THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Ads by DNS Unlocker and Dnspalenville.exe

Renmove-DNS-unlocker-dnspalenville.exe-sensorstechforumAn extremely aggressive and intrusive adware, DNS Unlocked has been around for quite some time now, affecting all types of users all over the globe. The unwanted program, also known as PUP shows adverts across each page during online browsing. To learn about DNS Unlocker and remove it effectively, we urge you to read this article completely.

Threat Summary

NameDNS Unlocker
TypeAdd-Supported Software
Short DescriptionDNS Unlocker resembles a ligitimate program which provides access to geo-restricted websites, however it may perform unwanted activities.
SymptomsThe user may be redirected to pages with online surveys; as a result, targeted ads may appear in his browser.
Distribution MethodVia bundling or fake setups.
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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss DNS Unlocker.

DNS Unlocker – A Quick Background

This nasty software first appeared on the security radar during the autumn of 2014, associated with the keyword “Netflix DNS Unlocker”. The software has nothing to do with Netflix, although it claims to enable users who cannot access Netflix(online service for watching TV series and other shows and movies online) from their area to use it, by modifying their DNS settings. Instead, the program uses the DNS Settings it has modified to sniff out user information and display various advertisements of unknown origins to the user. Even though Netflix is available in many places today, there are still a lot of geo-restricted websites that may push users into looking for access from their location and hence making the mistake of installing DNS Unlocker by accident. These factors make the software still very eventful and widely distributed, generating its author’s profit.

How Is DNS Unlocker Spread

To be distributed, the program does not have a direct download link on its website. Instead, it is spread via other methods, such as third-party installers downloaded from sites that may provide different programs for free. Such programs may be older versions of widely used apps, media players, video recorders, video converters and other programs downloaded daily. Some websites may replace or add to the installation of the programs DNS Unlocker’s installation file which slickly enough installs it on your computer. Users often tend to miss such “bundled” applications when they install programs for one reason or another. Here is how DNS Unlocker may appear on the “Advanced” or “Custom” installation options of your computer:

DNS-Unlocker-bundled-sensorstechforum

Since DNS Unlocker and other PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) like it are widely spread out across the web, users are strongly advised to read the End User License Agreement and always check for bundled applications. One particular software that may assist in “catching” such apps and may help to stop them is EULAlyzer which stops the installation if a specific keyword (for example bundling) is discovered. This makes it a very powerful tool in combination with a rich knowledge base and a recommended one if you want to detect adware or other rogue software slipping past you.

Associated Files and Objects with DNS Unlocker

Once the program is already installed on your computer it may leave its common files in the %Program Files% or %Program Files (x86)% (Depending on your Windows) folder of your computer:

dns unlocker-pop-ups

In addition to that, DNS Unlocker also modifies and creates multiple registry entries, such as the ones below in gray, reported by Symantec researchers for one particular detection of the software:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ {alpha-numerical-value-here}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Dhcp\Parameters\”{alpha-numerical-value-here}” = {Hexidecimal Value}Source:Symantec

DNS Unlocker’s Activity In Detail

Finally after its ready and operational, DNS Unlocker may begin to display advertisements of various character on your computer. Such adverts may be:

  • Banners.
  • Pop-ups.
  • Ad-supported search results on a hoax search engine.
  • Browser Redirects.

An example of how DNS Unlocker advertisements may appear on an affected computer may be the following picture:

ads-dns-unlocker-sensorstechforum

This is a clear indicator of having the application on your computer and such advertisements may redirect to other third-party websites. This is the main risk associated with DNS Unlocker, since it is created with that very purpose. Not only the suspicious software can redirect the user to third-party domains that want to generate hoax traffic and make money to their authors via pay-per-click and other affiliate schemes, but there are other dangers as well. We have divided the dangers associated with third-party websites in two main group:

Malicious domains that may infect the user with malware or rogue and unwanted software.
Dangerous domains that may scam users out of their money displaying fake messages, claims, etc.

Besides those dangers, DNS Unlocker also changes the IP version 4 DNS address of the user to what may appear to be an address belonging to the suspicious individuals behind it.

ip-address-dns-sensorstechforum

Such address is most likely used to collect user information, such as the following:

  • The browsing history.
  • The user’s online clicks.
  • Online search history.

This information may be used for different purposes, and even according to DNS Unlocker’s Privacy Policy, shared with third-parties whose policies you may know nothing about:

DNS-Unlocker-privacy-policy-sensorstechforum

Remove DNS Unlocker Files from Windows and Refresh Your Computer

Conventional uninstall may not be all that it will take to remove DNS Unlocker from your computer. This is why we urge you to take other steps towards the removal of this program. We have designed removal instructions below, and we suggest that you follow them for maximum effectiveness. In case you cannot locate or delete the files that are displayed in the article above or you believe that there are other unwanted programs or malware on your computer, you should use the steps for automatic removal. Also, be advised that malware researchers strongly recommend you to scan your computer with an advanced anti-malware software to automatically discover and delete all DNS Unlocker associated objects. Such program will also protect your PC from other programs of such character and malware in the future.

In addition to that, we have also prepared a video tutorial for removal of DNS Unlocker which may additionally assist you in the manual removal. In case you have any questions you may want to follow our forum topic about DNS Unlocker.

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

How to Remove DNS Unlocker from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove DNS Unlocker

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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker:

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 DNS Unlocker. 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 DNS Unlocker. 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker. 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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 DNS Unlocker 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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