Norassie Adware
Adware | 06/06/2018

Guidelines to get rid of this dangerous PUP Norassie Adware

About: Norassie is an adware plugin which is a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). This PUP once infiltrated can cause a serious threat to user security and privacy. Let us read more to find out how?

| Adware | Guidelines to get rid of this dangerous PUP Norassie Adware

What is Norassie?

Norassie Adware plug-in is a Potentially Unwanted Program(PUP). This PUP along with displaying intrusive advertisements also displays unwanted Web browser toolbars, suspicious add-ons and also changes the Web Browser extensions that affects the web browser activity.

The adware keeps track of the user browsing activity to generate the most appropriate ads. The objective behind this malpractice is to promote various products and services and lure users to click on it by displaying tempting offers and other discounts. The cyber criminals generate revenue from Pay per Click on those ads.

Clicking on these ads may also result in the installation of additional adware and PUPs on the computer. The adware also exploits the security holes in the browser to steal user sensitive data and hence pose a threat to user security and privacy.

How does this PUP get installed on your system?

The most common method of distributing Norassie Adware is by bundling it with other software. While installing new program users may skip the installation process, failing to realize that have agreed to install Norassie Adware along with the main software.

The adware program also gets infiltrated when the user downloads spam email attachments without paying attention to the specs of the mail.

Mounting infected external drives without proper scanning can also pave way to the proliferation of this PUP in the system.

Threats posed by Norassie Adware to the system

Norassie Adware and similar PUPs are not considered destructive as they do not cause a significant threat to the system. However, the presence of this infection in the system is a serious concern and it is therefore recommended to remove Norassie Adware and similar components from affected computers immediately.

  1. Browser flooded with pop- ups and advertisements: Web browsers affected by Norassie Adware pester the computer users with suspicious pop-up windows and intrusive advertisements. This is the most usual symptom associated with Norassie Adware, which affects the computer system and render browsing inconvenient.
  2. Affects system Performance and render it sluggish: PUPs like Norassie Adware may alter the computer performance significantly. They may also serve as a gateway to other infections or more severe problems down the line.
  3. Customized Browser Settings: Norassie  Adware and similar PUPs may alter Web browser configuration. It changes the search engine’s default homepage. This has an impact on user search results. Users may be directed to other websites containing questionable and possibly unsafe content.
  4. Threat to user sensitive data: Once infiltrated, this harmful infection keeps an eye on user browser activity and collects online banking data, which is used by cyber attackers to access bank accounts and transfer funds to their own accounts.

Hence, we put together an easy-to-follow guide that shows how the malware can be removed from the computer.

Threat Summary

Name: Norassie

Browsers Affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari

Targeted Operating System: Windows and MAC

Category: Adware

Symptoms: Customized browser settings, appearance of annoying ads, popups, that may redirect the user to another web page and interrupt their browsing activity, unethical network activities, occasional sluggishness of the infected device.

How to Remove Norassie Adware from your computer system?

Step A: Remove the malicious program from Control Panel

Note: Before we begin, try to remember how the extension got downloaded  on your computer system. Generally, these programs come bundled with free applications that we download off the internet. It is a good practice to locate and uninstall such programs while removing the Browser Hijacker/ Extensions.

Windows XP

  1. Click on the “Start” button on the bottom left corner of your screen. A Start menu will be displayed as shown below. From this menu select the option that reads “Control Panel”.Windows XP start menu image
  2. In the window that will be displayed, click the option “Switch to classic view”.Control panel switch to classic view
  3. This will display all the options/icons available to you. From the displayed icons, click on the icon that reads “Add or Remove Programs”.Windows XP add or remove a program
  4. Select the “Uninstall a program” option from the “Programs” category. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.Uninstall a malicious program
  5. Select the programs related to Norassie Adware and click on the Uninstall button.Windows XP confirmation window

Windows 7/Vista

  1. Right click on the “Start” button located at the lower left corner of the screen. From the Start menu, click on “Control Panel”.Windows 7 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” Window will be displayed on the screen. Click on “Uninstall a Program” option from the “Programs” category.Uninstall a program from windows 7
  3. The “Programs and Features” window will be displayed on the screen. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.
  4. Scroll though the list of programs and select the programs related to Norassie Adware and then click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in Windows 7

Windows 8/10

  1. Right click on the “Windows logo” on the lower left side of the computer screen. From the drop down menu, select and click on “Control Panel”.Windows 10 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” window will be displayed. From this window select “Uninstall a program” option form the “Programs” category.Control panel
  3. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.select programs and features option
  4. Select the programs related to Norassie Adware and click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in windows 8
  5. In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads “OK” to save changes.

STEP B: Restore the setting changed by the Adware

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) located on the top right corner of the Chrome Window.Settings-Chrome
  2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Settings”. A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the settings.Settings-Chrome
  3. Now, we will make changes to the appearance section. Under the “Appearances” section, we will enable the “Show Home Button” option. You can select New Tab page or can add Google or any of your preferred browsers under the “Show Home Button” option.Appearance- Chrome
  4. After this, we will go to the “Search Engine “section.
  5. Here, make Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the drop-down menu under the option “Search engine used in the address bar”.Search Engine- Chrome
  6. After this click on Manage Search Engines. Now you can remove Other Search Engines that were added by the browser hijacker. Simply click the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) and select the option “Remove from list”. Other Search Engines-Chrome
  7. You can make Google or any other preferred browser as your Default Search Engine by clicking the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) and clicking on the “Make default” option.
    Manage Search Engines- Chrome
  8. At the end, we will go to the section “On Startup”. You can select the “Open the New Tab page” or can “Continue where you left off”.  If you want to open a specific page or set of pages, select the option “Open a specific page or set of pages”  and remove any pages added by the browser hijacker by clicking on the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon ) and selecting “Remove”.On startup-Chrome
  9. Then, add Google or any of your desired URL in “Add a new page” option under the “Open a specific page or set of pages”.Add a New Page- Chrome
  10. This is a very important step and we would like you to pay very close attention here. This step has to be repeated with all the shortcuts to the browser that you can locate; like your desktop, start menu and the shortcut pinned to your taskbar. Right click on the shortcut and a context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Reset Chrome properties
  11. A Google Chrome Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”
    Chrome target location
  12. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines (Mozilla Firefox menu icon ) i.e. Open Menu located on the top right corner of the Firefox Window.
  2. From the drop down menu that is displayed, we have to right click on the (IE Gear icon Options to open the window.Firefox menu options
  3. Now, we will click Search, under the given options that are displayed in the left corner of the screen.
  4. You can choose Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default search engine to use in the address bar and search bar.Search-Firefox
  5. Then, you have to go to the (IE menu icon General and under “startup” section to make sure that Firefox is your default browser.
  6. At the end, we have to add Google or your preferred URL in the box given under Home Page.Startup-Firefox
  7. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop, start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned. A context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Properties in Mozilla Firefox
  8. A Firefox Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”
    Mozilla Firefox target location
  9. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon (Internet Explorer gear icon )which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.Manage Add-Ons -Internet Explorer
  2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Manage add-ons” A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the add-on types.Manage Add-Ons- Internet Explorer
  3. Now, we will click on the “Search Providers” option from the list of options displayed on the left hand side of the screen. Then we will click “Find more search providers” option given at the lower left corner of the Manage add-onsFind More Search providers-Internet Explorer
  4. This will open an Internet Explorer Gallery; from here you can add Google search or any of your preferred add-ons as your default browser.Internet Explorer Gallery
  5. Next, you are required to go to the “Manage add-ons” window and click on the “Search Providers” option under the Add-on Types.
  6. Here, you can enable Google Search or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the list of search providers.Search Providers- Internet Explorer
  7. At the end, we will click on the gear icon (IE gear icon )which is at the top right corner of the screen and select “Internet Options” from the drop-down menu.Internet Options- Internet Explorer
  8. A new window will open displaying the Internet options. In the “Internet Options” window, add Google or any of your desired URL under the Create Home Page option and click OK.Create Home Page- Internet Explorer
  9. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop, start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned.  A context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Settings for Internet Explorer
  10. An Internet Explorer Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”Target column in Internet Explorer
  11. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

STEP C:  Reset Your Browser’s Home and Search Pages

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines (Mozilla Menu icon ) which are at the top right corner of the computer screen.
  2. A Drop down menu will be displayed. On this menu click on the “Help” (Mozilla help icon) button as shown in the image below. The Help menu will be displayed on the screen.Mozilla firefox menu screenshot
  3. From this menu click the option that reads “Troubleshooting information“. A new tab will open up with the <strong”>Troubleshooting information.
    Choose troubleshooting information from Mozilla Firefox menu
  4. On the Troubleshooting Information page, click on the button that reads “Refresh Firefox” as shown in the image below.Mozilla reset option
  5. The “Refresh Firefox” message box will pop up on the screen. On this message box click on the “Refresh Firefox” button.Refresh Firefox
  6. After this Firefox will close itself and a new window will be displayed which will list the information that is imported. Click on the option that reads “Finish” to complete the task.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Menu Icon-Chrome ) which is at the top right corner of the computer screen. A drop down menu will appear on the screen. From this menu choose the option that reads “Settings”.Google Chrome menu
  2. The Chrome’s settings window will be displayed on the screen. On this screen scroll through the bottom of the page and click on the option that reads “Advanced option” as shown below.Google Chrome advance settings
  3. The Advanced setting options will be displayed on the screen. Scroll through the list of options till you find the “ Reset browser settings” section. Click on the icon as shown below.Reset Chrome option
  4. The reset dialogue box will pop up on the screen. From this dialogue box click on the button that reads “Reset”.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon (Internet explorer gear icon ) which is at the top right corner of the browser screen. A drop down menu will be displayed on the screen. From this drop down menu, click on the option that reads “Internet options”.IE - internet options
  2. The “Internet options” dialogue box will be displayed. Click on the “Advanced” tab. In the Advanced tab click on the button that reads “Reset” as shown in the image below. The “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” section will be displayed on the screen. Now click on the button that reads “Reset” .Precautions: In this dialogue box make sure to uncheck the “Delete Personal settings” option to save your passwords and other important data.Reset Internet Explorer settings
  3. When it’s done, click on the button that reads “Close” to complete the task. Now close and reopen your browser.Close Reset Internet Explorer

Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –

  1. Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
  2. Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
  3. Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
  4. Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Sophos and Hitman pro so that it remains safe.
  6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

 

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