Remove CryptoTab Browser Hijacker

Remove CryptoTab Browser Hijacker

The article will aid you to remove CryptoTab completely. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions provided at the bottom of this article.

CryptoTab is a browser hijacker redirect developed by the MindSpark. Its website will redirect you to its search engine or another malicious site. While using its services, you can find yourself on pages with lots of adverts and sponsored content that go through this hijacker. The hijacker will change the start page, new tab, and search settings for the browser applications you have on your computer machine.

Threat Summary

TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionEach browser application on your computer could get affected. The hijacker can redirect you and will display lots of advertisements.
SymptomsBrowser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and the new tab.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by CryptoTab


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss CryptoTab.

CryptoTab Hijacker – Methods of Distribution

The CryptoTab hijacker infections can be caused by various techniques. Depending on the scope of the intended victims the criminals behind the attacks can use several techniques at once.

A popular method is to coordinate SPAM email messages that are sent in bulk and contain various phishing strategies. The victims are manipulated into thinking that they have received a message from a well-known company or Internet service. Upon interaction with it the CryptoTab redirect will be installed — either by having it as an attached executable file or linked in the body contents. The users are lured into thinking that they are installing a software update or a new tool commissioned by a well-known company.

In some cases the criminals can also create malicious web pages — they are made to look like real vendor sites or well-known Internet portals. Whenever they are accessed the built-in content will present the CryptoTab hijacker as a legitimate software tool. Depending on the complexity and content the hackers may use various methods in order to fool the victims into thinking that they have accessed a useful utility.

These two methods are also the most common ones to distribute infected payload carriers. There are two popular types which can cause the Cryptotab hijacker infection:

  • Malicious Setup Files — They are made by taking the legitimate installer of well-known software which the users frequently download: system utilities, creativity suites and common productivity tools.
  • Infected Documents — They can be of all popular types: rich text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases. Whenever they are opened by the victims the built-in scripts will activate the virus deivery. A notification prompt will appear asking the users to enable the macros. This step will allow the actual delivery.

Still one of the most popular tactics is to upload malicious web browser extensions that ultimately will deliver the browser hijacker. This is done directly to the extension repositories of the most popular web browsers. Usually fake user accounts and developer credentials are used in order to coerce the victims into installing them. The descriptions will also present feature additions or performance optimizations.

CryptoTab Hijacker – In-Depth Description

The CryptoTab hijacker is an extremely dangerous infection as it combines several different types of malware characteristics. The reason for this is that CryptoTab is a popular web browser that includes a cryptomining module inside. In standard conditions the users will download it onto their machines voluntarily knowing that the software will automatically take advantage of the available system resources and run intensive tasks in the background. In ordinary situations the users will receive income for running the calculations when the various tasks are reported to the associated server. However in the case of CryptoTab hijacker infections the underlying engine is modified so that this income is wired to the hackers instead.

While the actual Cryptotab software may not be malicious by itself numerous hacker-made versions of it have spread. They may be rebranded versions of it or direct fake copies. Additional threats can also be installed by them.

An example is the installation of the tracking cookies and data harvesting modules. They are used to extract sensitive both from the machines itself and related to the owners. There are two main groups which are outlined by the security specialists:

  • Identity Data — This is a collection of strings that can directly identify and expose the victims. The engine and tracking cookies will search for data such as their name, address, emails and any stored account credentials. In most cases they will be able to look up not only the operating system contents, but third-party applications as well. s
  • Campaign Metrics — These malware can hijack information that can be used to optimize the attacks. Data includes a report on the installed hardware components, user settings and certain operating system conditions.

The main malicious application (the CryptoTab hijacker) in the most common form is a web browser that is a modified version of Chromium – the open-source version of Google Chrome. The malicious strains that we have detected impose numerous banners, pop-ups and other web content that constantly coerces the users into continue using it despite having the cryptocurrency miner active.

Active CryptoTab redirect infections can also serve as a conduit for other threats as well. Some of them include the following:

  • Ransomware Infections — They are programmed to encrypt user data with a strog cipher. In most cases a built-in list governs which files are to be processed.
  • Trojans — Тhese are aming the most dangerous infections as most Trojans set up a constant and secure connection to a hacker-controlled server. It allows the operators to spy on the victims in real-time, as well as take over control of their machines.
  • Additional Payloads — It can also serve as a payload dropper for other types of malware.

Upon interacting with it a clever social engineering is presented — the user is coerced into using it in order to continue gaining Bitcoins. In reality the income will be wired to the malicious hackers. Various pop-ups, redirects and other mechanisms can also be produced to notify them of gains.

Warning! The CryptoTab redirect can also have additional income sources. A common example is the delivery of sponsored links. They can be disguised as legitimate search results or other useful software. For every click the operators will receive a small income. In some cases this can be even other applications.

As the threat is based on software it can also modify the operating system. One of the most common actions is the installation of the CrypoTab hijacker as a persistent threat. This will create entries for itself in the Windows Registry and the boot options. This will make it very hard to remove as it disable access to the recovery menu.

Remove CryptoTab Browser Hijacker

To remove CryptoTab manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker redirect and its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer safe in the future.


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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