Remove Digital Coin Tracker Redirect
THREAT REMOVAL

Remove Digital Coin Tracker Redirect

This article will aid you to remove Digital Coin Tracker fully. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions at the end of the article.

The Digital Coin Tracker redirect is yet another browser hijacker developed by Polarity which is a well-known company that produces such malware. Our removal guide shows includes a complete analysis of the dangerous code.

Threat Summary

NameDigital Coin Tracker
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionThis is a typical browser hijacker that aims to infect the web browsers and redirect the victims to a malware site.
SymptomsTypical web browser settings are changed including the homepage, search engine and the new tabs page.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Digital Coin Tracker

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User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Digital Coin Tracker.

Digital Coin Tracker Redirect – Distribution Methods

The Digital Coin Tracker redirect is a newly discovered hijacker instance that has recently been reported by the security community. According to the preliminary overview available to us the hackers behind this particular hijacker seem to utilize the most popular tactics in order to attempt and infect as many victims as possible.

A primary strategy is the creation of browser plugins that are uploaded to the relevant repositories. The criminals tend to use counterfeit developer identities as well as fake user reviews in order to make it look like a legitimate item. One of the samples taken from the Chrome Web Store (used by Google Chrome) reads the following message:

Search and access popular crypto news quick links instantly from your new tab page!
Search your favorite Crypto currency news instantly from your home and new tab page!
Access Crypto currency news with just one click!

This extension configures your New Tab page to Digital Coin Tracker™. With it you can easily access your favorite Crypto currency news sites with one click of the mouse!

The Digital Coin Tracker™ extension offers convenient web search and quick links to popular Crypto currency news sites from the Chrome New Tab page.

You can uninstall the extension at any time.

Another widely used option is the coordination of email spam messages that use social engineering messages in order to coerce the victims into interacting with the malware elements. This can be done in several different ways. The first one uses hyperlinks that can lead the victims to a Digital Coin Tracker redirect hosted instance. The other method is the direct attachment which aims to mainpulate the users into executing the companion data. It is usually masked as files of interest.

A related tactic is the distribution of infected documents. They are made in popular formats (rich text documents, spreadsheets and presentations) and pose as important messages, notifications, contracts and etc. Once they are opened by the victims a notification message is spawned which asks them to enable the built-in scripts (macros). If this is done the infection follows.

Other related techniques include the use of various web scripts that can infect the victims through the use of malware banners, ads, pop-ups and related elements.

Digital Coin Tracker Redirect – Technical Information

Once the Digital Coin Tracker redirect has infected the target computer the users will notice that their browser settings are changed. The next time they open their browser windows they will be redirected to the Digital Coin Tracker redirect page. This behavior is expected as the code is compatible with all popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer. The basic changes include the manipulation of the default home page, new tabs page and search engine. After this is done the malware engine frequently is programmed to harvest all contained information:

  • Cookies.
  • Form Data.
  • Bookmarks.
  • Preferences.
  • History.
  • Passwords and account credentials.

A dangerous fact associated with threats of this type is that they can be used as intermediate payload delivery mechanisms for the infection with additional threats. Complex scenarios include the distribution of ransomware that encrypt sensitive files using a powerful cipher and then extorts the victims for a ransom fee. Another malware that can be deployed is the Trojan virus which can actively spy on the victims activity and also take control of the machines at any given time. The victims are presented with a home page that mimics a legitimate home page of a well-known Internet service. This is intentional as many computer users (especially beginner ones) may not be to differentiate between a real site and the counterfeit Digital Coin Tracker redirect one. The site itself consists of several main elements:

  • Top Menu Bar — This is placed at the top of the page and includes a small search engine box, alongside with current weather information and links cryptocurrency related sites.
  • Main Search Engine — This is the main interactive element which is intentionally made to capture the victim’s attention.
  • Bottom Menu Bar — It contains links to the service documents (privacy policy, terms of use and contact page)

As soon as the page is loaded in the browser a tracking cookie is immediately installed on the victim’s machine. It starts to actively track all users actions and send the acquired data to the site operators. We noticed that every individual victim is assigned a unique victim ID. This is the result of an information gatheing component which harvests data that is classified into two main categories:

  • Anonymous Data — This type is made up primarily of information about the installed hardware components and certain operating system configuration options.
  • Private Information — Information of this type consists mainly of data that can expose the victim’s identity: name, address, location, interests, demographic information, passwords and account credentials.

Advanced threats similar to the Digital Coin Tracker redirect have been sighted to impact the victim operating system as well. This includes modifications to the Windows registry and certain configuration files which can cause a persistent state of execution. As a consequence the users may not be able to effectively remove the malware plugin using manual methods. They may face performance issues and face application error messages. A dangerous tactic used by many similar threats is the installaton of cryptocurrency miners. They take advantage of the machine’s resources to perform complex calculations that lead to generation of digital cryptocurrency for the criminals. This step is done once all preliminary behavior components have completed as it uses the obtained data from the information gathering module to load the most appropriate (optimized) miner.

Our analysis shows that the listed links in the top menu bar can be changed at will by the hacker operators. Usually they are correlated with the user’s interests (harvested by the information gathering module) and represent sponsored or affiliate links. A pay-per-click (PPC) system is enforced which generates income once the victims navigate to the sites. They can also be malware portals that can redirect the victims to other hacker-controlled sites or viruses. The test samples that we have obtained and tested lead to the following pages:

  • Weather Conditions — Affiliate link to the National Weather Agency.
  • News — Custom news site with privacy intrusive scripts.
  • Digital Coin Prices — Leads to a sponsored news site.
  • Crypto News — Redirects the victims to a sponsored cryptocurrency news site.
  • Bitcoin News — Another affiliate link.

A slightly modified list is placed below the search engine which also includes a major e-commerce site. This is a clever strategy as the victims can be lured into using it to shop online. The hacker controllers usually include an affiliate cookie that makes a small percentage of income at every purchase. However if a Trojan module is installed it can hijack their account credentials. This in turn gives the possiblity to conduct crimes, among them identity theft and financial abuse.

Digital Coin Tracker Redirect – Privacy Policy

The privacy policy and terms of use documents showcase that the site is being operated by Polarity Technologies which is widely known as one of the biggest creators of browser hijackers like this one. Our analysis shows that the documents are shared between the different iteratons and their contents is the same. The policy states that the following information is obtained:

  • Email address
  • IP address
  • Home address (mailing address)
  • Search queries and all data you type in searches
  • Search data and specifics of searches
  • URLs and clicks
  • Browser type
  • Your name
  • Your geographic location
  • Your ISP (Internet Search Provider)
  • Communications preferences
  • Operating System (and other related data)

Remove Digital Coin Tracker Redirect Efficiently

To remove Digital Coin Tracker 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.

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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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