It’s very arguable whether a computer user who is constantly encountering browser redirects to vosteran.com is doing okay cybersecurity-wise. Grounds for such an assumption are strong, considering the fact that this activity is powered by malicious software called WSE_Vosteran. What this article encompasses is a description of this adware and do-it-yourself removal how-tos.
Vosteran Search is a fairly common sample of browser hijacker differing from the crowd in the rapidity of propagation. To begin with, just a quick overview of this infection species: hijackers, most frequently acting to advertising’s advantage, are written to change browser preferences on whatever computer they install to. This results in the rerouting of web traffic over to sites known as “landing pages”, which either advertise something directly or further redistribute user visits to third-party domains.
Speaking of WSE_Vosteran, it’s nothing out of the ordinary in terms of this pattern. What’s quite alarming, though, is how fast it’s been proliferating since it emerged literally a few weeks ago. The people who are at biggest risk are those seeking cool features for free, in particular during freeware installs. The reason is some of these apps have sort of a tradeoff hard-coded into them, not charging the clients for using their services but containing other applications inside the setup. This approach being pretty widespread these days, the bad part in this specific case is that the bundle is not necessarily indicated on the surface – it’s usually some unnoticeable box ticked, which most web surfers do not pay attention to.
The Vosteran adware, when it finds itself inside a workstation after the above-mentioned latent install, will add an extension or toolbar to IE, Firefox and Chrome. The add-on needn’t ask for permission to deploy its routine simply because it’s been programmed that way. It modifies the following settings to vosteran.com: browser homepage, search engine by default, and new tab page. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what this means – you get your browsing trapped in a redirect loop. Vosteran.com will get resolved pretty much whatever you do online: the browser gets opened – there it is, you trigger a new tab – bam, you want to look for something on the Internet – same story. Why vosteran.com and what’s so special about it to the malware authors? It’s a rather typical landing site involved in a far-fetched traffic monetization model. More visitors means more money. But why should the infected users care? This is a logical conclusion that makes WSE_Vosteran a must-remove app. The best practices of present-day adware removal applicable to this particular pest are provided in the part below, with easy steps and detailed illustrations.
WSE_Vosteran automatic removal
Elimination of the Vosteran virus can be efficiently accomplished through the use of reliable security software. Sticking to the automatic cleanup technique ensures that all components of the adware get thoroughly wiped out from your system.
1. Download recommended security utility and get your PC checked for malicious objects by selecting the Start Computer Scan option
2. The scan will come up with a list of detected items. Click Fix Threats to get Vosteran Search removed from your system. Completing this phase of the cleanup process will most likely lead to complete eradication of the infection. However, it might be a good idea to consider ascertaining the malware is gone for good.
Remove Vosteran Search using Control Panel
- Open Control Panel. On Windows XP / Windows 8, go to Add or Remove Programs. If your OS is Windows Vista / Windows 7, choose Uninstall a program
- Look for Vosteran on the list. Once spotted, click Change/Remove (Uninstall/Change) option to get it exterminated
Remove Vosteran Search from Firefox
- In order to restore your correct Firefox preferences, type about:config in the browser’s address field and press Enter
- Confirm that you would like to proceed by clicking on “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button on the alert that pops up
- In the field called Search, type vosteran
- Firefox will display all preferences related to this adware. Be sure to right-click on each item and select the Reset option
- Now go to Tools –> Add-ons
- Select Extensions on the screen, and uninstall Vosteran by clicking the Remove button
- To remove Vosteran from the list of Firefox search engines, access the Manage Search Engines box. Highlight the Vosteran entry on the list and click Remove button. Save the changes by hitting OK
Remove Vosteran Search from Internet Explorer
- In IE, go to Tools and choose Manage add-ons option in the drop-down menu
- Select Search Providers in the left-hand part of the interface. In the field to the right, choose the preferred search engine and click on Set as default button at the bottom. Also, click on Vosteran entry with your mouse and hit the Remove button to eliminate it from the list
- Don’t exit the Manage Add-ons interface yet. Click the Toolbars and Extensions item on the left, locate Vosteran there and disable it by clicking the corresponding button at the bottom
- Now you need to set the correct IE homepage. Go to Tools and choose Internet Options. Hit the General tab and type in or paste the homepage you would like to open at browser launch
Remove Vosteran Search from Google Chrome
- Click the Chrome menu icon in the top right-hand part of the Chrome window
- Select Settings in the drop-down list
- Proceed to the section called On startup under Settings, select the radio button for Open a specific page or set of pages option and click on Set pages link
- On the Startup pages screen that pops up, find Vosteran Search (http://vosteran.com) and click the X button to the right
- Proceed to the Search section under Settings and select Manage search engines option
- Find and delete Vosteran from the list. Also, select your preferred search provider
- Under the Appearance section, put a checkmark for the Show Home button value and click Change
- Activate the Use the New Tab page radio button and save the changes by hitting OK at the bottom
- Click the Chrome menu icon again, proceed to Tools –> Extensions
- Find the Vosteran extension on the list (most likely called Vosteran New Tab) and click the trash bin icon next to it. This will remove the unwanted item
Recheck if Vosteran Search virus has been successfully removed
For certainty’s sake, it’s advised to repeatedly run a scan with the automatic security software in order to make sure no harmful remnants of the Vosteran adware are left inside Windows Registry and other system locations.