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PlayThunder Offers Redirect Removal — Browser Restore Instructions

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.

Threat Summary

Name PlayThunder Offers
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
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

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.
  • Bottom Menu Bar — Shows links to the privacy policy and terms of use documents.

Other web elements can be added to the site dynamically.

PlayThunder Offers – Privacy Policy

The PlayThunder Offers redirect is governed by the rules specified in the privacy policy and terms of service documents. They state that once the site is visited a tracking cookie is registered in the web browser and identifies each user. This tracking technology is also used by any advertising or third-party sites.

The privacy policy reads that if the users consent to the data release. Some of the information that is collected may include the following:

  • 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.

Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups

How to Remove PlayThunder Offers from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove PlayThunder Offers

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.
boot your pc in safe mode step 1


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".

boot your pc in safe mode step 2

Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.
boot your pc in safe mode step 3


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.
boot your pc in safe mode step 4


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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.

boot your pc in safe mode step 5


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.

boot your pc in safe mode step 6


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
boot your pc in safe mode step 7Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by PlayThunder Offers on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

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.clean malicious registries step 1


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.

clean malicious registries step 2


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.

clean malicious registries step 3 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.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for PlayThunder Offers with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter Install and Scan for Viruses Step 1


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter Install and Scan for Viruses Step 2


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter Install and Scan for Viruses Step 3

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Video Removal Guide for PlayThunder Offers (Windows).


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups

Get rid of PlayThunder Offers from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall PlayThunder Offers and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1.Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
uninstall virus from mac step 1


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:

uninstall virus from mac step 2


3.In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to PlayThunder Offers:

uninstall virus from mac step 3

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.

uninstall virus from mac step 4


4.Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5.In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to PlayThunder Offers. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.

uninstall virus from mac step 5


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference.

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.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

uninstall virus from mac step 6

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

uninstall virus from mac step 7

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as PlayThunder Offers. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

uninstall virus from mac step 8

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for PlayThunder Offers:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac


Video Removal Guide for PlayThunder Offers (Mac)


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Remove PlayThunder Offers from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

Google Chrome removal guide step 1


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"

Google Chrome removal guide step 2


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.

Google Chrome removal guide step 3


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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


Erase PlayThunder Offers from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window:

Mozilla Firefox removal guide step 1


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.

Mozilla Firefox removal guide step 2


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"

Mozilla Firefox removal guide step 3


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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


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.

Edge Browser removal guide step 2


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".

Edge Browser removal guide step 3


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.

Edge Browser removal guide step 4


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.

Edge Browser removal guide step 5



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


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".

Safari browser removal guide step 3


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

Safari browser removal guide step 4


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

Safari browser removal guide step 5

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the PlayThunder Offers will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer Stop Push Pop-ups


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'

Internet Explorer browser removal guide step 2


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Internet Explorer browser removal guide step 3


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'.

Internet Explorer browser removal guide step 4


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.

Google Chrome - Disable Push Notifications Step 1

Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:

Google Chrome - Disable Push Notifications Step 2

Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:

Google Chrome - Disable Push Notifications Step 3

Step 4: Open “Notifications”:

Google Chrome - Disable Push Notifications Step 4

Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:

Google Chrome - Disable Push Notifications Step 5

Remove Push Notifications on Firefox

Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.

Mozilla Firefox - Disable Push Notifications Step 1

Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":

Mozilla Firefox - Disable Push Notifications Step 2

Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”

Mozilla Firefox - Disable Push Notifications Step 3

Stop Push Notifications on Opera

Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings.

Opera - Disable Push Notifications Step 1

Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.

Opera - Disable Push Notifications Step 2

Step 3: Open Notifications:

Opera - Disable Push Notifications Step 3

Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):

Opera - Disable Push Notifications Step 4

Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari

Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.

Safari Browser - Disable Push Notifications Step 1

Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".



PlayThunder Offers-FAQ

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.
  • Adware.
  • Browser hijackers.
  • Clickers.
  • 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.

References

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

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