Epsilon Adware
Adware | 06/11/2018

Guidelines to remove Epsilon Adware: A malicious computer infection

About: Epsilon Adware is a nasty computer infection that bombards the browser with intrusive ads and suspicious pop- ups to generate traffic to the partner sites and hence generate revenue. The adware also degrades user browsing experience by spying ...  Read More  

| Adware | Guidelines to remove Epsilon Adware: A malicious computer infection

What is Epsilon Adware?

Epsilon Adware is a notorious computer infection that sneaks silently into the machine. It is a stealthy malware infection that bombards the browser with intrusive ads and suspicious pop- ups to generate traffic to the sites marked as Ads by Epsilon, powered by Epsilon or brought by Epsilon.

The Adware is designed with the purpose to generate revenue for partner websites. The adware once infiltrated not only injects ads to the browser but also has the capability to invade the user security and privacy completely. The infestation of this malware program in the system gives the third party users remote access to the infected computers to spy on user browsing activity and steal user sensitive data.

Systems affected by this nasty adware are therefore recommended to get rid of this virus soon to protect the system from further vulnerabilities.

How did Epsilon Adware invade your system?

Epsilon Adware gets infiltrated by some unsafe online conducts such as downloading freebies or visiting malicious sites. Internet web pages that redirect the browser to suspicious pop- up ads are most likely build to deceive the user into adware & potentially unwanted applications.

This troublesome malware is usually bundled with free third party programs that user downloads in a haste without going through the supporting documents. The Adware program is bundled to the payload files of these free software programs, information about which is disclosed only when the user goes for Advanced/ Custom settings rather than recommended settings. Opting for Custom/ Advanced settings gives user the provision to analyze every installation process and opt out any additional applications.

Downloading macro enabled spam email attachments may also pave way to Epsilon adware infestation. Macros are usually disabled by default, when prompted to enable user needs to be cautious to prevent the proliferation of this adware.

Visiting suspicious websites or accidental click on malicious links may also lead to this adware infiltration.

Threats posed by Epsilon Adware?

Once proliferated, lots of annoying and irritating pop-up ads appear in the the browser window that prompt the user to navigate to unknown websites.

Not only this, the adware completely degrades user browsing experience by keeping a track of on user online activity and browsing history to collect their personal and financial information. It spies on user as it sends this collected information to be exploited among the maleficent advertisers.

This deceptive threat may also pave way to other harmful threats on your computer without user consent.

Epsilon malware presence in the system may not come to the user’s knowledge as this malware can deceive the computer antivirus. It is potentially unwanted software that overloads the infected computer and renders it sluggish.

Threat Summary

Name: Epsilon Adware

Browsers Affected: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox

Targeted Operating System: Windows

Category: Adware

Symptoms:  Registry modification, customized browser settings, unnatural network activities, occasional sluggishness of the infected device, appearance of annoying ads, download links, pop-ups, torrents, spam messages that may redirect the user to another web page and interrupt their browsing activity

How to Remove Epsilon Adware from your computer system?

To avoid the concerns with the Epsilon malware & pop-ups, you are advised to scan the system on regular basis to eliminate this current threat and many others that can appear in the future. The short guide below will help you get rid of this malware and hence keep your system risk free.

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 Adware.

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 Adware Programs.

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 Epsilon 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 Epsilon 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 Epsilon 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

STEP D – Remove Epsilon Adware from the registry key.

Windows 7

  1. Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
    Folder and search options in windows 7
  2. On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
  3. On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck the option that reads “Hide protected operating system files“.
    Windows view tab advanced settings
  4. Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and folders visible to you.

Windows 8 and 10

  1. On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
    windows 8 file explorer toolbar
  2. In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
  3. Click on the options button.Windows explorer options button
  4. Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
    Windows 8 - hide protected operating file system option
  5. Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
  6. Click the “OK” button to save your changes.

STEP E – Restore the System Files and Settings.

Method 1 using Control Panel

  1. Click on the ‘Start’ button on the taskbar. This will open the Start menu.
  2. Click on the ‘Control Panel’ button in the Start menu. This will open the control panel window.
  3. In the Control Panel window, click on the ‘View by:’ button on the top right. Select the Large Icon option
  4. In the control Panel window click on the ‘Recovery Icon’. This will open a window that will ask ‘Restore the computer to an earlier point in time’.
  5. Click on the ‘Open system restore’ button. This will open the ‘system restore ’window where you need to click on the Next Button.
  6.  Select the restore point that is prior the infiltration of Epsilon Adware. After doing that, click Next.
  7. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by Epsilon Adware.

Method 2 using Command Prompt

  1. Type cmd in the search box and click on the command prompt to open the Command Prompt window. box and clicking on it.
  2. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter.(Ensure that you in the system32 directory of Windows folder in C Drive)
  3. Now type rstrui and press Enter again.
  4. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of Epsilon Adware. After doing that, click Next.
  5. This will open the ‘Confirm your restore point’ dialog box. Click on Finish button. This will restore your system to a previous restore point before your system was infected by Epsilon Adware.

Method 3 : Directly type 'rstrui' in the search box

  1. Type ‘Rstrui’ in the search box present on the task bar. This will open the System restore dialog box.

Continue to follow steps 4 & 5 of Method 2 to restore the System Files and settings.

STEP F: Remove the Adware from the Task Manager

  1. Launch the Task Manager Window by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+ Escape simultaneously. (The task manager window may vary depending on the OS ) OR bring the mouse cursor on the Task Bar (which is present at the bottom of the computer screen), right click on the empty space  and click on Task Manager.

                              Task Manager window for Windows 10

                                             Task Manager window for Windows 7

2 Right Click on the Suspicious File and select Open file Location.

3 In the File Location Screen that appears, Right click on the File and click on Delete, to delete the File permanently from the location.

OR

  1. Open Task Manager window again by following the  steps mentioned above.
  2. Click on the Startup tab.
  3. Select the suspicious entry and click on the Disable button present at the bottom right corner of the window

OR

  1. Open Task Manager window again by following the  steps mentioned above.
  2. Click on Services tab.
  3. Right click on the suspicious entry and click on Stop.

STEP G: Remove the infection from the Target link:

The Malware may have hijacked your web browser’s desktop shortcuts. In this case we will need to manually clean them by removing any links within the startup argument.

  1. Locate your web browser shortcuts (Desktop, Taskbar or Start Menu), then right-click on it and select Properties. To view the Properties menu for the browser shortcut pinned to your Taskbar, right-click on the browser shortcut from the Taskbar. Right-click again on the browser icon and Select Properties.
  2. In the Shortcut tab, in the Target field, remove the url argument for Epsilon Adware which starts with “http”. There should be only the path to the browser’s main file and end with .exe such as iexplore.exe, chrome.exe or firefox.exe These are the default shortcut path that should be there in your Target box, if there is anything else  you should remove it.

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/Pop- up Blocker in your browser- Enabling the pop- up blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

 

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