The article will help you to remove PlayThunder Offers fully. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions given at the end of the article.
The PlayThunder Offers redirect is a recently discovered browser plugin that can be used for hijacker purposes. Interaction with it can hijack personal data belonging to the victims. Our in-depth article explores some of the dangers associated with its presence on infected hosts.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||The hijacker redirect can alter the homepage, search engine and new tab on every browser application you have installed.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab and search engine of all your browsers will be switched to PlayThunder Offers. You will be redirected and could see sponsored content.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss PlayThunder Offers.|
PlayThunder Offers – Distribution Methods
The PlayThunder Offers redirect is caused mainly by a hijacker installation. So far it seems that it follows the typical distribution strategy whihc relies heavily on several main methods. One of them is the use of email SPAM messages that are created in bulk and send out social engineering infused messages. The hacker operators attempt to create fake copies of legitimate notifications sent by well-known Internet services. They can range from password reset to contract related messages and account controls. In all instances the hackers will attempt to coerce the users into downloading and running a file that will contain the virus infection. This can also be done via interaction with an infected payload. Two of the most popular types are the following:
- Infected Installers — The criminals can embed the PlayThunder Offers code into popular applications — the original installers are taken from the official vendor sites and modified to include the custom code. Typically popular software is chosen as the host application: system utilities, creativity suites, productivity and etc.
- Documents — A similar technique is used with documents of different types: rich text documents, presentations, databases and etc. Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt will be spawned which asks the users to enable the built-in scripts. When this is done the virus infection will follow
Another method for spreading the PlayThunder Offers redirect is the spread of instances of the hijacker code on the extension repositories of the most widely used browsers. The hackers use fake credentials and user reviews in combination with an elaborate description that aims to coerce the victims into installing the relevant code.
The criminals can also create fake download sites that use the same templates as many famous Internet portals. The hackers behind it can also utilize similar sounding domain names.
PlayThunder Offers – Detailed Description
Once the PlayThunder Offers redirect is installed on the target machines it will start to execute the built-in behavior patterns. They can differ according to each target or the individual attack campaigns. However the captured strains seem to include the basic type of infection strategy like other similar threats.
It first launches a local data gathering component which starts to collect sensitive information about the victims and their machines. There are two main types that are classified by the security researchers:
- Private Data — The engine can be programmed to hijack information that is related to the victims, revealing their identity. This can include their name, address, telephone number, location, interests, passwords and etc.
- Campaign Metrics — Another set of data that is being gathered by the dangerous code is acquired at the same time and used by the criminals to optimize the attacks. The bulk of the gathered data consists of operating system values and a report of the installed hardware components.
The security analysis reveals that the PlayThunder Offers redirect has been found to use a white list that infects only certain systems based on their geographic location. Its algorithm is configured to reconfigure the victim browsers by changing the default settings: home page, new tabs page and search engine. As the infections happen from the web browser itself the malware engine also retrieves all potentially useful information from them: cookies, bookmarks, history, settings, passwords and etc.
The malware engine PlayThunder Offers redirect can also use the harvested information with a component called stealth protection. It scans the infected host for the presence of services and applications that can interfere with the correct execution. Examples include anti-virus programs, virtual machine hosts or sandbox environments. They can be bypassed or entirely removed by the engine.
Following the engine’s installation it can proceed with the changing of strings of the Windows Registry. When modifications are done to entries belonging to the operating system overall performance may suffer. When the changed strings reflect user-installed software or services some functions may be rendered non-working.
The associated virus engine can be configured to institute itself as a persistent threat by automatically starting itself every time the computer boots. Access to the recovery menu can be disabled which renders many manual removal methods non-working.
Threats like this one can be used to create a connection with a hacker-controlled server. This can lead to a Trojan-like instance that can take over control of the victim machines, spy on the users and also be used to deliver additional viruses to the infected hosts.
The site itself is modeled after a template engine that is popular with game publishers. It appears to feature content that may be pulled from other sites operated by the same developers or affiliate/partner ones. In order to present itself as a legitimate service it includes an email subscription form along with all required elements. The site has several main sections:
- Navigation Top Bar — The top menu bar allows the users to navigate to different parts of the site. As it is designed to appear as online gaming site it currently gives access to different categories of content.
- Featured Content — This part of the site gives further information on the individual games.
Other web elements can be added to the site dynamically.
- Personally-Identiifable Information — This data can be used to directly reveal the person’s identity by collecting their name, email address and other sensitive information.
- Anonymous Metrics — They are collected automatically by the tracking cookies and web beacons and consist of data about the user’s Internet Service Provider (ISP), operating system, web browser and etc.
- Usage Information — The tracking cookies are used to spy on the interactions with the site.
- Social Media Data — If any connections, login attempts or other services connected with social media networks are made the site operators may accesss the transferred data.
- Guide 1: How to Remove PlayThunder Offers from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of PlayThunder Offers on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove PlayThunder Offers in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase PlayThunder Offers from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall PlayThunder Offers from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove PlayThunder Offers from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate PlayThunder Offers from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable PlayThunder Offers Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove PlayThunder Offers from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PlayThunder Offers
Step 2: Uninstall PlayThunder Offers and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by PlayThunder Offers on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by PlayThunder Offers there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.
Step 4: Scan for PlayThunder Offers with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
Video Removal Guide for PlayThunder Offers (Windows).
Get rid of PlayThunder Offers from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall PlayThunder Offers and remove related files and objects
1.Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to PlayThunder Offers. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove PlayThunder Offers via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove PlayThunder Offers files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as PlayThunder Offers, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Video Removal Guide for PlayThunder Offers (Mac)
Remove PlayThunder Offers from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase PlayThunder Offers from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window:
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall PlayThunder Offers from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove PlayThunder Offers from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PlayThunder Offers will be removed.
Eliminate PlayThunder Offers from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by PlayThunder Offers from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".
What Is PlayThunder Offers?
The PlayThunder Offers threat is adware or browser redirect virus. It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of PlayThunder Offers?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like PlayThunder Offers?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most adware or unwanted programs by firstly isolating them and then removing them from your browser and computer. One recommended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter is one of the recommended anti-malware apps that can scan your computer for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps and eliminate them quickly. This saves time when compared to doing the removal manually.
How to Secure My Passwords and Other Data from PlayThunder Offers?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment underneath the articles about your computer problems. We will try to respond as fast as possible.
How Does PlayThunder Offers Work?
The PlayThunder Offers threat is typically installed as part of another application that you may have downloaded from the internet. Unwanted apps are often disguised as helpful programs, such as browser add-ons or toolbars, but they can also be included in software downloads without your knowledge.
Threats such as PlayThunder Offers can also be installed through malicious websites, email attachments, and other dubious sources. Once installed, PlayThunder Offers can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties. PlayThunder Offers can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information.
Is PlayThunder Offers Malware?
If you have noticed PlayThunder Offers on your computer, you may be wondering if it is considered malware. The answer is yes, it is possible for an unwanted program to be classified as malware.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent. The best way to protect your computer from PUPs is to be careful when downloading software from the internet. Be sure to read the terms of service and privacy policies before downloading any software, and be wary of any suspicious download links or ads.
About the PlayThunder Offers Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this PlayThunder Offers how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on PlayThunder Offers?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the PlayThunder Offers threat is backed with VirusTotal https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1.Browser Redirect – What Is It?
2.Adware Is Malicious, and It Uses Advanced Techniques to Infect
3.The Thin Red Line Between Potentially Unwanted Programs and Malware
4.The Pay-Per-Install Affiliate Business – Making Millions out of Adware
5.Malicious Firefox Extensions Installed by 455,000 Users Blocked Updates