What is WindowShopper Adware (SuperFish)?
WindowShopper, often referred to as the WindowShopper virus, Window Shopper virus, or SuperFish virus (though not an actual computer virus) is malware categorized as combo adware and browser hijacker discovered by botcrawl.com that may change internet browser settings by targeting and entrapping unsuspecting victims to unethical terms, including third-party terms the internet user may not be aware of. WindowShopper by SuperFish promotes itself as a “Window Shopper addon” for Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome that displays comparable prices, advertisements, or retail items by utilizing images that the WindowShopper user (victim) is currently viewing online. WindowShopper pop up advertisements appear when a user hovers over an image as pictured below Internet users who download the WindowShopper addon may also experience unwanted browser redirections to websites such as snap.do and others owned by SuperFish and associates.
Furthermore, it has been reported that the WindowShopper virus may collect sensitive information and using the WindowShopper addon voluntarily or without authorization may allow WindowShopper and third-parties to collect sensitive information, including data submitted online such as home addresses, credit card numbers, bank accounts, user names, passwords, and more. Information suggest cyber crime relative to WindowShopper may include credit theft, extortion, and identity theft. WindowShopper may also use the collected information for internal marketing lists and provide the collected information to third-parties. The tactics WindowShopper utilizes are unethical and are used to target and ultimately entrap unsuspecting victims to terms they would never agree with if presented in a clear and proper manner.
Aside from the more severe consequences of WindowShopper malware, victims of the WindowShopper virus have reported excessive email spam, telemarketers, phishing attempts by telephone, and junk mail.
How does Windows Shopper infect a computer?
Though WindowShopper primarily infects a computer without consent, the WindowShopper add-on can be manually and voluntarily downloaded and installed from a variety of websites including
http://www.superfish.com/window-shopper. WindowShopper claims to be a legitimate add-on used to compare prices site by site by taking an image as a search query and extracting it’s “visual fingerprint,” but the deals and advertisements displayed by the WindowShopper add-on are actually just provided by sponsors. Window Shopper ads and links that pop up when hovering over an image were purchased by third-parties and may not suggest beneficial advertisements and prices.
WindowShopper may also bundle inside or alongside third-party browser attachments including add-ons, extensions, and toolbars, or software that represents itself as freeware or shareware. The WindowShopper browser hijacker may also be included with software and files such as media codecs, media players, p2p clients, and torrents downloaded from the internet. It has been reported that removing a third-party item such as Xtendmedia may stop WindowShopper advertisements from appearing or “popping” up.
To remove the WindowShopper virus and third-party malware from your computer, please use the free WindowShopper removal instructions below. Instructions include automatic and manual WindowShopper removal steps.
How to remove WindowShopper malware
- Automatically remove Window Shopper malware – Scan for and automatically remove WindowShopper malware
- Manually remove Window Shopper malware – Remove/Uninstall WindowShopper and third-party malware
When removing WindowShopper malware, it is important to remember that WindowShopper may install as a standalone product, inside a third-party browser attachment, and/or bundled alongside third-party attachments. It may be necessary to remove and uninstall third-party software and browser attachments to completely remove WindowShopper from your computer if using manual removal procedures.
1. Automatic WindowShopper removal
Use the instructions below to automatically remove WindowShopper adware and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines that may have hijacked your home page, default search engine, and browser shortcuts.
1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.
3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.
4. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.
CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall stubborn WindowShopper software.
1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.
2. Once installed, open the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found.
4. To automatically uninstall WindowShopper and unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and located WindowShopper software in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the programs as selected.
2. Manual WindowShopper removal
Use the instructions below to manually uninstall WindowShopper adware using generic removal procedures.
How to uninstall WindowShopper malware
1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.
2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.
3. In the list of installed programs, search for WindowShopper and other potentially unwanted software. Once located, double click the unwanted programs or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.
How to remove the WindowShopper add-on and extension
Use the instructions to remove WindowShopper add-ons, extensions, plugins, and toolbars.
1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.
2. Search for the WindowShopper extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the WindowShopper add-on and remove it.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.
2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the WindowShopper add-on and remove it if located.