Complete DNS Unlocker Virus Removal Guide (Full Instructions)

An infection with the dangerous DNS Unlocker Virus leads to serious security issues. Victims can restore and protect their computers by following our complete removal guide.

Remove DNS Unlocker Virus and Restore PC
Manual Removal Guide
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Distribution of DNS Unlocker Virus

The DNS Unlocker Virus is a new virus which has been sighted in a limited attack campaign. At the moment the security researchers cannot determine the primary infection strategy. We presume that the most widely used tactics are going to be employed.

Among them are the email messages created in an automated way and sent to large lists of potential victims. The DNS Unlocker Virus can be directly attached to the messages. This is one of the easiest way for the criminals to attempt the infection. However a lot of email hosting providers usually capture the signatures of the virus and as such discard such messages or label them as dangerous or spam. Other infection methods related to this one is the option of inserting hyperlinks in the body content of the messages. The links are usually labelled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest. Redirects can redirect to hacker-controlled sites, infected payloads or other instances that can lead to an DNS Unlocker Virus infection.

The computer criminals behind the malware can create malicious sites or download portals which distribute malware of different kinds, including the DNS Unlocker Virus. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind the DNS Unlocker Virus. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious addons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware, but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of DNS Unlocker Virus

The security community has alerted us of a new campaign carrying the DNS Unlocker virus. This is a classic case of adware infection that has spawned several different versions. Depending on the acquired sample the victims may experience different symptoms.

The first samples associated with it have been identified back in 2014 when the DNS Unlocker was distributed using the name of “Netflix DNS Unlocker”. Like other similar threats it merely uses popular keywords and descriptions that attempt to manipulate computer users. Computer users frequently are tricked into downloading such software when browsing through malicious and hacker-controlled sites. The most popular way of attaining such infections is through downloading of infected software bundles.

The early DNS Unlocker virus strains claimed to enable an useful feature — the tunneling of Internet content from on-demand video providers (such as Netflix) to areas where it is inaccessible.

This stems from its name and counterfeit description. The DNS Unlocker virus is usually advertised as a way to modify the Internet settings by relaying the traffic through the service-operated services. In reality this allows the hacker operators to access all interactions and perform dangerous man in the middle attacks.

The reason for the success and popularity of this particular malware is the fact that such services are usually restricted to certain locations. Other sites have also been found to institute such restrictions. There are numerous legitimate services (both free and unpaid) that are available. As their popularity has grown so has the prospects of allowing malware into the niche.

Once imposed on the victim’s computer it can trigger different malware components. One of the most common tasks is the information harvesting phase that attempts to extract sensitive files from the infected host. This includes a list of the available hardware components, installed applications and user settings. In the case of web browsers the DNS Unlocker virus it can acquire sensitive information from the web browsers as its code is usually compatible with the most popular ones: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Safari. Popular acquired data includes the stored cookies, history, bookmarks, account credentials, form data and passwords.

Additional actions initiated by the malware is the installation of a Trojan component. It would allow the hacker operators to spy on the victims in real time as well as record their mouse movement and keystrokes. The infected hosts can be remote controlled at any given moment.

The DNS Unlocker virus is known for being a highly persistent threat as it allows the malware engine to bind itself deep into the system. The base engine is moved to the operating system folders and it can sometimes actively prevent the victims from removing it. The DNS Unlocker virus has also been observed to create and modify registry entries. This can lead to the following consequences:

  • Persistent Installation — DNS Unlocker virus installations using this method allow it to continously montior the users actions thus preventing every manual removal attempt.
  • Deep Injection — The malware engine can install itself deep into the system. Such infections can cause a variety of malware actions with almost unlimited capabilities.
  • System Modification — Discovered DNS Unlocker strains have the ability to make dangerous changes such as disabling recovery options. The users can also find that shadow volume information may be deleted which prevents data recovery without the use of quality data recovery software.
  • If the end goals of the DNS Unlocker virus include software modification, the most likely victims would be the web browsers. It may cause any of the following changes: settings change, pop-ups, redirects, banners and performance issues.

    Remove DNS Unlocker Virus and Restore PC

    WARNING! Manual removal of the DNS Unlocker Virus requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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    DNS Unlocker Virus – Manual Removal Steps

    Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

    This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

    1. Hit the WIN Key + R

    2. A Run window will appear. In it, write msconfig and then press Enter

    3. A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named Boot

    4. Mark Safe Boot option and then go to Network under it to tick it too

    5. Apply -> OK

    Remove DNS Unlocker from Windows

    Here’s a way to remove the program. This method will work regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP. Simply selecting the program and pressing delete won’t work, as it’ll leave a lot of small files. That’s bad because these leftovers can linger on and cause all sorts of problems. The best way to delete a program is to uninstall it. Here’s how you can do that:

    1. Hold the “Windows” button (It’s between CTRL and Alt on most keyboards) and press “R”. You’ll see a pop-up window.

    run-window-windows

    2. In the textbox, type “appwiz.cpl”, then press“ Enter ”.

    appwiz-cpl-command-run-windows

    3. The “Programs and features” menu should now appear. It’s a list of all the programs installed on the PC. Here you can find the program, select it, and press “Uninstall“.

    uninstall-malicious-software-control-panel-programs-features-windows

    Remove DNS Unlocker Virus From Your Browser

    Before resetting your browser’s settings, you should know that this action will wipe out all your recorded usernames, passwords, and other types of data. Make sure to save them in some way.

    Removal guide for Mozilla Firefox Removal guide for Google Chrome Removal guide for Internet Explorer

      1. Start Mozilla Firefox. In the upper right corner, click on the Open menu icon and select “Add-ons“.
      add-ons-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

      2. Inside the Add-ons Manager select “Extensions“. Search the list of extensions for suspicious entries. If you find any, select them and click “Remove“.
      remove-suspicious-extensions-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

      3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.
      options-mozilla-firefox-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

      4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.
      restore-to-default-settings-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

      5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.
      search-remove-unknown-search-engine-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

      1. Start Google Chrome. On the upper-right corner, there a “Customize and Control” menu icon. Click on it, then click on “Settings“.

      settings-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      2. Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.
      delete-suspicious-extension-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      3. Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.
      set-new-page-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      4. Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.
      manage-search-engines-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      5. In the default search settings list, find the unknown search engine and click on “X“. Then select your search engine of choice and click “Make default“. When you are ready click “Done” button in the right bottom corner.

    1. Start Internet Explorer. Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Manage add-ons“.
    manage-add-ons-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker-bestsecuritysearch

    2. In the “Manage add-ons” window, bellow “Add-on Types“, select “Toolbars and Extensions“. If you see a suspicious toolbar, select it and click “Remove“.
    remove-suspicious-toolbars--internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

    3. Then again in the “Manage Add-ons” window, in “Add-on Types“, Select “Search Providers“. Chose a search engine and click “Set as default“. Select the unknown search engine and click “Remove and Close”.
    search-providers-set-engine-delete-suspicious-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

    4. Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.
    internet-options-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

    5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.
    enter-preferred-homepage-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

    Repair Windows Registry

    1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

    2. In the box, write regedit and hit Enter

    3. Type the CTRL+ F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable

    4. In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

    Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

    Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • Author : Martin Beltov

    Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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