What is UC Browser? Is UC Browser legit or a scam? Is UC Browser an adware? How to remove UC Browser PUP from your PC or Mac?
The UC Browser PUP is a malware version of a legitimate and well-known web browser. It is made by multiple hacker groups and distributed over the Internet in large-scale distribution campaigns. These samples can lead to many different types of malicious actions, including the delivery of other threats. Even if the real UC Browser is installed on a given system we recommend that users check if it is not a malware or a PUP.
|Short Description||Poses as a legitimate and useful web browser.|
|Symptoms||The victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.|
|Distribution Method||Mainly via download sites and file sharing networks.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss UC Browser.|
UC Browser PUP — How Did I Get It?
The UC Browser is a popular web browser of which many PUP derivatives have been made. They are virus-infected copies of the software which are widely distributed posing as the real and safe program. This is a very popular threat as there are various made for many operating systems.
Infections can be made using a variety of methods, due to the fact that it is one of the most popular browsers among the younger generation. This has provoked a rise of the PUP variants. A common method is the coordination of email phishing campaigns that are sent to the victims. Various social engineering tactics are used in order to persuade them into installing the UC Browser PUP — an optimized web browsing experience, improvements over previous versions and etc.
The other popular method is to create scam Internet sites that aim to imitate well-known download portals, search engines and landing pages. They are hosted on similar sounding web pages to popular locations and may be signed with security certificates.
The installation of the browser can be triggered by interaction with various payload carriers of which there are two main types — modified documents that include malicious macros (of all types: text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases) and application installers.
The UC Browser PUP infection can also be triggered via the installation and use of browser hijackers which are dangerous plugins made for the most popular browsers. They are widely used to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page (usually a download landing site) or to directly deliver the UC Browser PUP to the victim computers. One of the most popular places where such hijackers can be found are the associated plugin repositories where they are posted with fake user reviews and developer credentials.
UC Browser PUP – What Does It Do?
The malicious UC Browser PUP versions can cause a series of dangerous actions on the affected devices. In many cases the users will not be able to distinguish between the legitimate and a fake and malicious PUP. In this case there may be more than one hacker collective sending out the UC Browser PUP to their intended victims. This means that different campaigns can be intermixed and several different infections can provide different behavior patterns.
Such samples can launch a sequence of dangerous actions that are governed by the hackers. Such infections usually begin with a data harvesting component which can be used to gather information about the victim users thereby exposing their identity. It can also be used to generate an unique infection ID that can differentiate each host.
The UC Browser has recently been found to include a bug in its stable release which allows computer hackers to deliver malware. This is found within the Android release showing that the company behind it has also violated the rules of the Google Play Store which prohibits such software to be uploaded to the official repository. Given this history of violations it is recommended that users of all UC Browser versions check if they are running the latest version. It is alarming that this is due to a design flaw which may pave the way for other exploits in future releases which may still remain undiscovered.
Many similar PUPs can use the acquired information in order to bypass the existing security applications and services which usually targets anti-virus programs, firewalls, virtual machine hosts and sandbox environments.
When these components have finished running various other malicious actions can take place:
- Windows Registry Changes — The associated engine can lead to multiple edits in the Windows Registry. They can create strings for the PUP itself and modify existing entries and delete them. This leads to serious performance issues, unexpected errors and loss of data.
- Persistent Infections — The UC Browser PUPs can be programmed to edit important configuration files which can block the users ability to access recovery boot menus. An additional consequence is that this will make most manual user removal guides worthless.
- Data Removal — The engine can locate and remove sensitive data which makes recovery much more difficult: backups, shadow volume copies and restore points.
- UC Browser Adware Component – UC Browser can add an adware component that can load a lot of pop-ups and gather data about its users.
- Additional Threats Deliver — The dangerous versions of the UC Browser can be programmed to deliver other threats, popular ones include Trojans and cryptocurrency miners.
As the UC Browser PUP samples are made by various hacker collectives around the world the variants will just continue being produced. Moreover, the UC Browser Adware can be added. Every single acquired samples can have a different behavior pattern which makes this PUP extremely dangerous. As soon as it has been placed on a given computer we advise that a quality anti-spyware solution is used in order to ensure that it is not a malicious release.
Remove UC Browser PUP
In order to fully remove UC Browser from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work and you still see UC Browser or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your comptuer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of UC Browser files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.
What Is UC Browser?
The UC Browser threat is adware or browser redirect virus.
It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of UC Browser?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like UC Browser?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
How Does UC Browser Work?
Once installed, UC Browser can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties.
UC Browser can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information and show risky ads, that may redirect to virus sites or scams.
Is UC Browser Malware?
The truth is that PUPs (adware, browser hijackers) are not viruses, but may be just as dangerous since they may show you and redirect you to malware websites and scam pages.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent.
About the UC Browser Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this UC Browser how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on UC Browser?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the UC Browser threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.