Prefs Secure(Nettrans.exe) Adware– How to Remove It from Your PC
THREAT REMOVAL

Prefs Secure(Nettrans.exe) Adware– How to Remove It from Your PC

This article aims to explain what is the Nettrans.exe adware and how to remove it completely from your computer plus how to stop advertisements from appearing in the future as well.

A program, imitating the original process, called nettrans.exe, which belongs to software, known as Network Monitor, has been reported to be associated with various different advertisements and a slow performance of the computers the process has been installed on. Another name it is also associated with it is called Prefs Secure which is believed to be associated with some sort of security preferences. Either way, the sole purpose of this potentially unwanted program is to establish connections to third-party websites each hour or so and display advertisements on your computer, which can result in a lot of negative consequences. This is the main reason to read this article and learn how to remove this program from your computer and stop any advertisements in association with it.

Threat Summary

NamePrefs Secure
TypeAd-supported software.
Short DescriptionConnects to a remote host to which it transfers information and also displays third-party advertisements.
SymptomsMay display various third-party advertisements on your computer which may slow it down. Nettrans.exe runs in the background of your computer.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Prefs Secure

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Prefs Secure.

Nettrans.exe – How Did I Get It

There are several ways via which this software could have wound up in your computer. The main one of those is if this program has been installed on your PC as a result of software bundling. This means that the Nettrans.exe software may be embedded in the installers of third-party programs that are offered for free. Such programs most often are:

  • Free software optimizers.
  • Free drivers.
  • Installers of various ttypes of PC speed-up programs.
  • Media players.
  • Archiving software.
  • Internet tools.

The installers of those programs may come embedded with the Prefs Secure within them so that it is offered “as a free extra”. It may usually pretend to be some type of helper program that aims to help improve your browsing experience in one way or another.

Another way via which such programs are installed on your computer without your consent is by being downloaded and installed unknowingly by another adware or a Trojan.Downloader which may be installing various apps on your PC without your consent.

Prefs Secure – More Information

Once it has been installed on your computer, Prefs Secure may start it’s activity on your computer. The program activates it’s nettrans.exe file as an active process running in Windows Task manager. The process has been the reason for several security engines detecting it under the following detection names:

Gen:Variant.Adware.Ursu.225
PUP/Win32.Linkury.R196393
Gen:Variant.Adware.Ursu.225
Trojan/Win32.TSGeneric
Win32:Rootkit-gen [Rtk] Win32:Rootkit-gen [Rtk] Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT
Gen:Variant.Adware.Ursu.225
PUA.Linkury.S861061
malicious_confidence_100% (D)
W32/S-df4f1c5b!Eldorado
Trojan.Revizer.1148
Application.AdLink (A)
malicious (high confidence)
Gen:Variant.Adware.Ursu.225
a variant of MSIL/Toolbar.Linkury.BI potentially unwanted
W32/S-df4f1c5b!Eldorado
Gen:Variant.Adware.Ursu
MSIL.Application.Linkury.O
PUA.MSIL.Toolbar
WebToolbar.Linkury.oru
Adware ( 005017e31 )
Adware ( 005017e31 )
not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.Linkury.gen
PUP.Optional.Linkury
malware (ai score=63)
Adware-Linkury
McAfee-GW-Edition
BehavesLike.Win32.AdwareLinkury.pm
Trojan:Win32/Detplock
Riskware.Win32.Linkury.elicuy
Win32/Virus.Adware.000
static engine – malicious
Linkury (PUA)
Heuristic
PUP.Linkury/Variant
PUA.Gen.2
VBA32
Adware.Linkury
Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT
W32.Adware.Gen
PUA.Toolbar.Linkury!
Adware.GenericKD.Win32.1303

Most of the detections have one thing in common and this is the name “Linkury”, which is the name of one of the most annoying and difficult to delete unwanted software providers. It has been the reason of many PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) to be detected as smart toolbars and many other browser hijacking type of unwanted programs. These programs often aim to use tracking technologies on your computer that may obtain a lot of information from it, including:

  • IP Address.
  • Country and language.
  • Time.
  • Browsing history.
  • Track online clicks.
  • Downloads.
  • Browsers installed.
  • Type of antivirus installed.
  • Online search history.

These details about you and your online activities may be used by the Prefs Secure adware in order for it to generate different types of advertisements on your computer, that may come as:

  • Banners.
  • Pop-ups.
  • Online browser redirects to other sites.
  • Highlighted text on the articles you read online.
  • Other intrusive ads.

These types of advertisements often aim to generate money to the Linkury team via Pay-Per-Click schemes and they hardly care what type of websites these ads lead your computer to. For as long as they are concerned, these advertisements may lead you to websites which can be risky for your PC. These types of websites are believed to be the following:

  • Sites that may infect your computer with malware.
  • Websites which can advertise fake system optimizers or other falsely advertised programs.
  • Sites that may introduce tech support types of scams.
  • Websites which could get your computer to become a victim of a cryptocurrency miner malware which may use your CPU or GPU’s power to mine for Monero, BitCoin or other crypto.

These are more than enough reasons to flag the Prefst adware as a potentially unwanted program which hides indirect risk to your computer and it’s removal is strongly advisable.

Remove Prefs Secure (Nettrans.exe) Adware you’re your Computer

In order to remove this software from your computer system, we advise that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They are divided in manual as well as automatic removal manuals. Their main goal is to help you based on how much experience you have in malware and unwanted software removal. This effectively means that if you still see advertisements, security researchers often advise to download and install an advanced anti-malware software, which aims to make sure that your computer is fully secure and all adware and malware-related files are removed and your PC remains protected in real time against any threats that might appear in the future as well.

Manually delete Prefs Secure from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the Prefs Secure threat: Manual removal of Prefs Secure requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1.Remove or Uninstall Prefs Secure in Windows

Remove or Uninstall Prefs Secure in Windows.

Step 1: Remove/Uninstall Prefs Secure in Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program. No matter if you are using Windows 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 get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes 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:

  • Hold the Windows Logo Button and “R” on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear (fig.1).
  • uninstall-virus-fig1

  • In the field type in “appwiz.cpl” and press ENTER (fig.2).
  • uninstall-virus-fig2

  • This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC.
    Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
  • uninstall-virus-fig3

    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall Prefs Secure.

    2.Remove Prefs Secure from Your Browser

    Remove Prefs Secure from Your Browser.

    Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Internet Explorer Remove a toolbar from Safari
    Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window

    uninstall-fig4

    Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

    uninstall-fig5

    Select Prefs Secure and click “Remove

    uninstall-fig6

    After Prefs Secure is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu

    uninstall-fig7

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • uninstall-fig8

  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate Prefs Secure and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After Prefs Secure is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Start Internet Explorer:

  • Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig10

  • In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig11

    Select Prefs Secure to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.

    uninstall-fig12

    After Prefs Secure has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on Prefs Secure
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall Prefs Secure. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the Prefs Secure will be removed.

    3.Fix registry entries created by Prefs Secure on your PC

    Fix registry entries created by Prefs Secure on your PC.

    Some malicious scripts may modify the registry entries of your computer to change different settings. This is why manual clean up of your Windows Registry Database is strongly recommended. Since the tutorial on how to do this is a bit lenghty, we recommend following our instructive article about fixing registry entries.

    Automatically remove Prefs Secure by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

    1. Remove Prefs Secure with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    Remove Prefs Secure with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove Prefs Secure.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove Prefs Secure.
    Step 1: Click here to go to SpyHunter’s download instruction page.
    Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
    Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

    pets-by-myway-ads-virus

    Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any Prefs Secure files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

    2. Back up your data to secure it against attacks related to Prefs Secure in the future

    Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

    IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

    1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

    1-Click on Windows Start Menu
    backup-1
    2-Type Backup And Restore
    3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
    w7-backup3
    4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
    backup-3
    5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
    backup-4
    6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by Prefs Secure.
    backup-5

    1-Press Windows button + R
    filehistory-1
    2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
    filehistory-2
    3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
    filehistory-3
    4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
    filehistory-4
    5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from Prefs Secure.

    1- Press Windows button + R keys.
    sysdm
    2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
    windows-defense2
    3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
    windows-defense3
    5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
    6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from Prefs Secure is on.
    windows-defense1
    Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
    1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
    file-restore1
    2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
    file-restore2
    3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by Prefs Secure should be restored.

    Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

    Remove Prefs Secure Using Other Alternative Tools

    STOPZilla Anti Malware
    1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove Prefs Secure.
    Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
    Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
    Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

    2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all Prefs Secure associated files completely.
    Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
    Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

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    Ventsislav Krastev

    Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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