MKeeper.exe- A malicious OS infection
Adware, Browser Hijacker | 05/18/2018

MKeeper.exe Browser Scam

About: MKeeper.exe is a malicious Browser Hijacker designed to earn some unethical online profits and cheat innocent users by stealing their confidential data. The infiltration is through suspicious ads and pop- ups. So, the user has to cautious and ...  Read More  

| Adware | MKeeper.exe Browser Scam

What is MKeeper.exe?

Phishing is the most common practice adopted by cyber criminals now a days to infect computers. MKeeper.exe is one such malicious Browser Hijacker created by Cyber crooks to earn some unethical online profits and cheat innocent users. This adware is designed to monitor user traffic and to gather search terms. This information is in turn used by the hackers to display annoying advertisements, pop –ups, spam email attachments and redirect users to random pages. The purpose behind this is to steal user’s crucial and confidential data.

Hence the user is advised to be cautious and if possible install an authenticated malware tracker to increase the level of system security.

How does your system become a victim of this malware?

Doing some unsafe online conducts such as downloading freebies or visiting malicious sites is responsible for secret intrusion of this computer infection.

  1. Free Software Download: The browser Hijacker infiltrates in systems accidently using ‘bundling’ which is essentially stealth installation of third party programs together with regular software. These programs are not openly declared and hence if the user goes for recommended settings, they end up installing extra unauthenticated software, leaving them puzzled about the entry of this malicious virus.
  2. Email Spam Messages: MKeeper.exe can get installed in your computer via email spam messages or unsolicited mails and attachments.
  3. Infected External media drives: Mounting infected CD, DVD, USB drives, SD cards etc without proper scanning can also pave way to the proliferation of this virus in the system.
  4. Advertisements: The accidental click on the suspicious ads can also start the malicious process of this noxious virus in the computer system.

 Curious to know the harmful impacts of this Browser Hijacker?

  1. It is a very devastating malware program, which is capable to corrupt and lock all the files of your hard drive.
  2. It can also break the system security by making changes in the default settings of your computer and disable the legitimate application running in your system.
  3. It hijacks some popular web browsers including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari and change the default browser settings.
  4. It can also disable antivirus and block Firewall security.
  5. exe keeps record of your information such as IP address URL search Geographical location User name & password bank information and other financial data.

How to avoid the entry of this malicious Malware?

As Prevention is better than Cure users are recommended to be cautious and follow below steps to avoid the entry of this Noxious OS infection.

  1. Avoid installation of free software and go for legitimate software installation.
  2. Follow the practice to scan the PCs regularly.
  3. Make it a habit to uninstall any suspicious program using manual methods.
  4. Keep Windows Firewall setting enabled.
  5. Keep driver utility software and other software up-to-date.
  6. Avoid clicking on suspicious advertisements.
  7. Double check the specs of an email prior to opening it.

Threat Summary

  1. Name: MKeeper.exe
  2. Browsers Affected: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari
  3. Targeted Operating System: Windows and MAC
  4. Category: Browser Hijacker
  5. Symptoms: 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 MKeeper.exe from your computer system?

Step A: Remove MKeeper.exe 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 B: Remove the malicious program from Control Panel

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 C: Remove the malicious browser extension

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Google chrome menu icon ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
  2. Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.google chrome menu options
  3. Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID is the folder name created by the extension at the location “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.enable chrome developer mode
  4. Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”copy the extension folder name in Chrome
  5. Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned in step 3.delete the malicious extension from Chrome
  6. Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
  7. Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”. Delete the folder if present.show hidden files and folder
  8. Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines (Mozilla icon ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.Mozilla Firefox menu
  2. On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.FireFox manage Add-ons
  3. Find the extensions related to MKeeper.exe and click on the remove button.
  4. In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, Click on the Gear icon (IE menu icon ) which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.
  2. From the newly appeared dropdown menu, click on the option that reads Manage Add-ons.Internet explorer settings menu
  3. A new window will appear on the screen. On this window choose the option that reads Toolbar and Extensions. Under the Show option, select the option that reads “All add-ons”. This option will allow you to see all the browser extensions. Mozilla-manage add-ons toolbars and extensions page
  4. Select the Extension related to MKeeper.exe and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom right of the computer screen.

IE toolbar and extensions in Manage add-ons

Apple's Safari

  1. On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
  2. A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.Safari menu extension options
  3. The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.Safari extensions window
  4. On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.uninstall a program from Safari

Step D:  Delete the suspicious file from the Registry Key

  1. Type “Regedit” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. An authorization dialog box will appear, then you just have to click “Yes”. (The dialog box appearance may vary depending on OS used. For Windows 10 the the dialog box looks like the first screenshot and for windows 7 it appears like the second screenshot)
  3. In the registry editor, take the backup of the current registry settings before making any changes in case you want to revert to old settings later. For this, Click on File option in the menu and select Export. Save the entry at a known location.
  4. From the Menu, Click Edit and Select Find.
  5. Enter MKeeper.exe and click OK in the search box.
  6. Select and delete suspicious  Enteries.

Step E: Remove the malware from the system configuration Settings

  1. Type “Msconfig” in search box / Run Box, select it and press Enter.
  2. Click on “Services” Tab and click on “Hide all Microsoft services”.
  3. Select MKeeper.exe from the list of remaining services and disable it by removing the tick mark from the checkbox and click on Apply button.

Windows 7

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with MKeeper.exe mentioned and remove the check mark.
  3. Click on Apply button and then click on OK.

Windows 10

  1. Click on the next tab – “Startup”.
  2. Take the mouse cursor to ‘Open task Manager‘ link and click on it.  This opens the Task Manager window.
  3. Find any blank or suspicious entry or the entry with MKeeper.exe mentioned and click on it.
  4. Then click on Disable button.

STEP F: Restart System using Safe mode with Command Prompt

Windows 7/ Vista/ XP

  1. Click on Windows icon present in the lower left corner of the computer screen.
  2. Select and click Restart.
  3. When the screen goes blank, keep tapping F8 key until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  4. With the help of arrow keys on keyboard, Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list and press the Enter Key. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  5. Click on the username and enter the password (if any).

Windows 10 / Windows 8

  1. Press and hold the Shift Key and simultaneously click on the windows icon present in the lower left corner of your computer screen.
  2. While the Shift key is still pressed click on the Power button and then click on Restart.
  3. Now select Troubleshoot → Advanced options → Startup Settings.
  4. When the Startup Settings screen appears which is the first screen to appear after restart, select and click on Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt. The system will then restart to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
  5. Click on the username and enter the password.

Once the system starts, ensure to use an account with administrative privilege to access Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

After the user enters admin credentials, Command prompt window is displayed wherein you are entitled to enter the below commands:

  1. Type the command “sc delete mkeeper” in the command prompt and press Enter.
  2. Type “exit” to exit the command prompt and restart the system in safe mode with command prompt.

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 Vipre 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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