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Moatads is a stubborn adware-type infection. It injects your browsers with irritating advertisements and creates a mess on your PC screen. Endless piles of pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, interstitials, video and other commercials now cover all websites you visit. Or, should we say, attempt to visit. Surfing the Web becomes pretty much impossible due to the parasite’s shenanigans. Moatads modifies your default browser settings behind your back. It neither needs nor seeks your consent. Instead, the virus bypasses your opinions and makes changes in silence. You may notice that a brand new extension is added to your browsers. That is just the beginning of a long, long list of malicious traits. Moatads causes your browsers to redirect you to some immensely unreliable websites. Thus, you could land on dangerous pages filled with malware. As long as Moatads is on board, you are one click away from parasites. Do not make the terrible mistake to underestimate this program. It was never supposed to be beneficial for you. On the other hand, Moatads is quite beneficial for its creators. By flooding your PC screen with sponsored ads, hackers gain profit. Yes, that is the sole reason why you’re now stuck with this pest. The parasite is boosting web traffic to some specific pages that may or may not be harmless. You could be more than positive some of the Moatads commercials are corrupted. Clicking them may automatically worsen your online situation. Are you willing to take such a risk? There are some devious pop-ups brought by Moatads; there are also some safe ones. To make sure you don’t accidentally compromise your safety further, avoid all commercials. Take no chances when it comes to your security. The Internet is full of some much more aggressive types of infections. Thanks to Moatads, you may download Trojan horses, ransomware or other vicious viruses. Stay away from all advertisements and other web links the adware may display. You won’t regret it.
How did I get infected with?
The parasite must have applied some stealthy infiltration technique. One notoriously popular method is called freeware/shareware bundling. You see, hackers prefer this method because it is both secretive and effective. Cyber criminals could attach all kinds of malware to a seemingly harmless software bundle. To be able to spot and deselect the “bonus”, pay attention. Opt for the custom or advanced option in the Setup Wizard. Check out the Terms and Conditions as well. Unless you watch out for potential intruders, you could fall victim to infections. Save yourself the hassle and be cautious online. Your care will eventually pay off so don’t skip installation steps. Instead, take your time during the process. In addition, avoid unverified websites as they are often dangerous. Last but not least, viruses get spread online via spam emails, fake software updates, bogus torrents and third-party pop-ups. Always put your safety first. It is your job to keep your computer virus-free so don’t overlook any cyber threat.
Why is this dangerous?
The Moatads infection is a complete and utter pest. It messes with your favorite browsers so you can’t surf the Web anymore. Due to the parasite’s changes, you get constantly redirected and your browsers freeze/crash. Your PC speed is slowed down as well and your Internet connection becomes unstable. Thus, your once enjoyable online experience is turned into a cyber nightmare. Make sure you avoid all pop-ups Moatads brings to your PC screen. This nuisance takes over your browsing activities and attempts to trick you into clicking its commercials. Restrain yourself from clicking anything generated by a cyber infection, though. Hackers currently use the pay-per-click mechanism to gain profit. By keeping the adware on your device, you become a sponsor of their illegitimate business. We assume you aren’t actively trying to support cyber criminals. Take action as soon as possible and uninstall the virus for good. Moatads might even cause some privacy issues by stealing personal information. This program collects browsing history, passwords, usernames, search queries, IP addresses, email addresses. Hackers get free access to all you browsing-related data. They could sell your details to third parties and cause you some serious damage. To delete the adware manually, please follow our detailed removal guide down below.
How to Remove Moatads virus
The Moatads infection is specifically designed to make money to its creators one way or another. The specialists from various antivirus companies like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton, Avast, ESET, etc. advise that there is no harmless virus.
If you perform exactly the steps below you should be able to remove the Moatads infection. Please, follow the procedures in the exact order. Please, consider to print this guide or have another computer at your disposal. You will NOT need any USB sticks or CDs.
STEP 1: Track down Moatads in the computer memory
- Open your Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys simultaneously
- Carefully review all processes and stop the suspicious ones.
- Write down the file location for later reference.
Step 2: Locate Moatads startup location
Reveal Hidden Files
- Open any folder
- Click on “Organize” button
- Choose “Folder and Search Options”
- Select the “View” tab
- Select “Show hidden files and folders” option
- Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”
- Click “Apply” and “OK” button
Clean Moatads virus from the windows registry
- Once the operating system loads press simultaneously the Windows Logo Button and the R key.
- A dialog box should open. Type “Regedit”
- WARNING! be very careful when editing the Microsoft Windows Registry as this may render the system broken.
Depending on your OS (x86 or x64) navigate to:
- and delete the display Name: [RANDOM]
- Then open your explorer and navigate to: %appdata% folder and delete the malicious executable.
Clean your HOSTS file to avoid unwanted browser redirection
Navigate to %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/host
If you are hacked, there will be foreign IPs addresses connected to you at the bottom. Take a look below:
STEP 3 : Clean Moatads traces from Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer
Open Google Chrome
- In the Main Menu, select Tools then Extensions
- Remove the Moatads by clicking on the little recycle bin
- Reset Google Chrome by Deleting the current user to make sure nothing is left behind
Open Mozilla Firefox
- Press simultaneously Ctrl+Shift+A
- Disable the unwanted Extension
- Go to Help
- Then Troubleshoot information
- Click on Reset Firefox
Open Internet Explorer
- On the Upper Right Corner Click on the Gear Icon
- Click on Internet options
- go to Toolbars and Extensions and disable the unknown extensions
- Select the Advanced tab and click on Reset
- Restart Internet Explorer
Step 4: Undo the damage done by Moatads
This particular Virus may alter your DNS settings.
Attention! this can break your internet connection. Before you change your DNS settings to use Google Public DNS for Moatads, be sure to write down the current server addresses on a piece of paper.
To fix the damage done by the virus you need to do the following.
- Click the Windows Start button to open the Start Menu, type control panel in the search box and select Control Panel in the results displayed above.
- go to Network and Internet
- then Network and Sharing Center
- then Change Adapter Settings
- Right-click on your active internet connection and click properties. Under the Networking tab, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Left click on it and then click on properties. Both options should be automatic! By default it should be set to “Obtain an IP address automatically” and the second one to “Obtain DNS server address automatically!” If they are not just change them, however if you are part of a domain network you should contact your Domain Administrator to set these settings, otherwise the internet connection will break!!!
You must clean all your browser shortcuts as well. To do that you need to
- Right click on the shortcut of your favorite browser and then select properties.
- in the target field remove Moatads argument and then apply the changes.
- Repeat that with the shortcuts of your other browsers.
- Check your scheduled tasks to make sure the virus will not download itself again.
How to Permanently Remove Moatads Virus (automatic) Removal Guide
Please, have in mind that once you are infected with a single virus, it compromises your system and let all doors wide open for many other infections. To make sure manual removal is successful, we recommend to use a free scanner of any professional antimalware program to identify possible registry leftovers or temporary files.