THREAT REMOVAL

Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP — WHAT IS IT

This blog post has been created with the main goal to help you detect and remove the Qbit Optimizer Pro “virus” from your computer.

Qbit Optimizer Pro and as many like to refer to it as a “virus” is actually what we know as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). These types of programs often tend to be downloaded on the users computers as a result of being directly added to them via various types of bundled packages and installers. The actual reason behind such programs is to display a lot of different advertisements and to trick users that they are legitimate utilities pretending to help by cleaning the computer or updating it’s driver. In reality, the outcome of those programs are general slowness of your computer and in addition to these, they may ask victims to opt in for a full version of their programs in order to fix computer issues. If you are experiencing issues on your computer as a result of the Qbit Optimizer Pro “virus”, we recommend that you read this article thoroughly.

Threat Summary

NameQbit Optimizer Pro
TypeScam System Utility
Short DescriptionThis is a scam software that poses as a legitimate system utility that will cleanup the hard disk of junk files.
SymptomsQbit Optimizer Pro may run automatically and perform automated scans on the user’s PC.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Qbit Optimizer Pro.

Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP — Distribution Methods

The Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP can be spread to the intended victims using a variety of tactics. The hacking collective behind it is not known which means that it is being distributed using a series of attack campaigns. The PUP itself can be spread using multiple methods at once.

The malware can be contained in attachments and links placed in phishing email messages. They are usually designed as legitimate emails that originate from well-known services and companies. The virus data can be contained in links and inserted multimedia content and attachments. This means that merely opening them can lead to a virus infection.

The other method is to craft malicious web sites that pose as legitimate and safe sources of applications and files. The hackers typically choose to create pages such as download portals, search engines, landing pages and etc. To convince the victims that they are visiting a safe place they can be hosted on domains that are similar to well-known sites. Self-signed security certificates are also regularly placed.

PUPs are widely distributed over via infected payloads of which there are two main types. The first one is the bundled software installer — the hackers will take the setup files of legitimate and well-known programs which are widely downloaded by end users. As soon as the file is engage the Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP will be installed alongside the application. The other method relies on the inclusion of scripts in the most popular file formats: presentations, text documents, spreadsheets and text files. When opened by the victims a prompt will appear asking the users to enable the built-in macros. The quoted reason is that this is required in order to correctly view the contents of the documents.

In some situations the files can be spread over file-sharing networks such as BitTorrent where both pirate and legitimate content is shared. Larger campaigns can be spread over browser hijackers which are dangerous plugins made for the most popular web browsers. They are uploaded mainly through the associated repositories with fake user reviews and developer credentials. They promise new feature additions and performance enhancements to the applications. However as soon as they are installed the Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP will be installed.

Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP — Analysis

The Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP is a typical scam system utility which will appear as an application that is designed to clean a computer of junk files. When it is started it will prompt the user to start a false in-depth scan which will result in thousands of reported data. To delete them the users will be guided into paying for a “full” version in order to ensure that they are protected from threats. This will open a browser window navigating to a payment page requesting their personal and financial information. In other cases the payment page can be directly embedded in the application.

PUPs like this one are very dangerous as they are conduits for other malware and can launch a series of dangerous malicious actions. This is dependent on the instructions which are ordered by the hackers in the specific attack campaign. Every single iteration can feature different malicious components.

A common tactic employed by many similar threats is the configuration of the associated engine as a persistent threat, this means that it will start automatically as soon as the computer is powered on. In most of the cases this will also disable access to the recovery boot menus. This option will render most of the manual user removal guides non-working due to the fact that the users will not be able to enter into the relevant options.

This is usually followed by another component used to extract sensitive information from the victims which can be grouped into two main types:

  • Personal Information — The engine can be used to extract data that can expose the identities of the victims by searching for relevant strings.
  • Machine Information — The PUP’s engine can be used to generate a single ID that can be assigned to every infected machine. It is made up of values that are taken from the installed hardware components list, user settings and certain operating system environment values.

Using the acquired information the Qbit Optimizer Pro PUP can also start a stealth protection process which will scan the system for the presence of security software that can interfere with the proper execution. This includes anti-virus programs, sandbox environments, firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

As soon as the PUP has infiltrated the system the Windows Registry values can be modified. This can include both operating system strings and values that are used by third-party applications. This can result in severe performance issues, errors and loss of data.

Additional threats can be delivered using the PUPs of which there are various types:

  • Trojan Module — This will allow the hacker operators to take over control of the victim machines at any give time.
  • Browser Hijackers — They will cause a browser redirect that will change the settings of the installed browsers that will lead to a hacker-controlled page.
  • Miners — They will mine cryptocurrency which is a process that takes advantage of the available hardware resources causing serious performance problems and possible hardware failure. When this module is active it will generate cryptocurrency for hacker operators.

Any other components and modules can be added in future releases.

Remove Qbit Optimizer Pro from Your Computer

To remove this PUP from your Computer we would strongly suggest that you follow the instructions that are posted underneath. They have been divided in manual and automatic removal steps so that if you fail to remove the program manually, a more effective and recommended method for removal is also at disposal in the face of an advanced malware removal program. Such software aims to automatically detect and remove all files that may be associated with the Driver Update software and protect your computer against any infections that might occur in the future too.

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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

How to Remove Qbit Optimizer Pro from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Qbit Optimizer Pro

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.


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


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Qbit Optimizer Pro 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.


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


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"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Qbit Optimizer Pro 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 Qbit Optimizer Pro there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


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


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

SpyHunter5-update-2018


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

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


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-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

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


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Qbit Optimizer Pro from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Qbit Optimizer Pro 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:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Qbit Optimizer Pro:

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


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 Qbit Optimizer Pro. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


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 Qbit Optimizer Pro. 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 Qbit Optimizer Pro 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:

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

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

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 malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Qbit Optimizer Pro 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Qbit Optimizer Pro 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Qbit Optimizer Pro 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Qbit Optimizer Pro 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".

stf-safari preferences


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

stf-safari-extensions


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


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Qbit Optimizer Pro 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


Eliminate Qbit Optimizer Pro 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.


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