EchinaceaPurpurea is a malicious browser extension that targets Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers. This extension has the ability to access and manipulate certain data, compromising user privacy and potentially exposing sensitive information. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of EchinaceaPurpurea, how it can infect your computer, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to remove it from your browser.
EchinaceaPurpurea is a highly concerning browser extension that poses a significant threat to users of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It can access and read a user’s browsing history, collecting information about websites visited, search queries, and online activities. This invasion of privacy can lead to the compromise of personal data.
Not only does EchinaceaPurpurea monitor your browsing activity, but it also has the ability to manipulate applications, extensions, and themes within Chrome and Edge browsers. This level of control allows the extension to alter the appearance and functionality of your web browser, potentially leading to security vulnerabilities and unauthorized changes.
Additionally, EchinaceaPurpurea can enable the “Managed by your organization” feature on Chrome and Edge browsers. This feature is typically reserved for organizational IT administrators to control browser settings and configurations. However, in the hands of a malicious entity, this feature can be misused to gain access to critical browser settings and potentially manipulate them, posing further security risks.
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How EchinaceaPurpurea Infects Your Computer
EchinaceaPurpurea is typically distributed through malicious installers obtained from dubious websites. Users may unknowingly install this extension when they download and run these installers. Another common method of distribution is through bundling with other programs. Users may inadvertently install EchinaceaPurpurea when they install free software without carefully checking the installation settings.
Furthermore, users can inadvertently install EchinaceaPurpurea by opening email attachments or clicking on malicious links. They may also fall victim to misleading pop-up ads or deceptive download buttons on websites. It is crucial to exercise caution and only download software from reputable sources to avoid the installation of unwanted applications like EchinaceaPurpurea.
The Dangers of EchinaceaPurpurea
EchinaceaPurpurea poses several risks to users’ computers and online security. Some of the dangers associated with this malicious extension include:
- Data Breaches and Privacy Violations: EchinaceaPurpurea can access and read a user’s browsing history, compromising their privacy and potentially exposing sensitive information.
- Unauthorized Manipulation of Applications: This extension has the ability to manipulate applications, extensions, and themes within Chrome and Edge browsers, potentially leading to security vulnerabilities and unwanted changes to your browser environment.
- Enabling the “Managed by your organization” Feature: By enabling this feature, EchinaceaPurpurea gains extensive control over your browser settings, potentially leading to unauthorized changes, data collection, and security risks.
- Distribution of Unwanted Software: EchinaceaPurpurea is often distributed via installers that contain other unwanted software, such as adware, browser hijackers, and other potentially harmful applications.
How to Remove EchinaceaPurpurea
Removing EchinaceaPurpurea from your browser is crucial to protect your privacy and maintain the security of your web browsing environment. Follow the steps below to remove this malicious extension from Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Use Rkill to Terminate Malicious Processes
The first step is to download and run Rkill to terminate any malicious processes that may be running on your computer. Rkill is a program that terminates known malware processes, allowing your security software to clean your computer of infections.
- Download Rkill from the official website.
- Double-click on the downloaded file to run Rkill. It will search for and end various malware processes.
- Once Rkill has finished running, a log file will open. Do not restart your computer.
Step 2: Uninstall Malicious Programs
Next, you need to manually check if any unknown or malicious programs are installed on your computer. These programs may be responsible for the presence of EchinaceaPurpurea.
Windows 11 Users:
- Right-click on the Start icon and select “Apps and Features” from the menu.
- In the Apps and Features settings, scroll down to the list of installed apps and look for any suspicious or unknown programs.
- Click on the suspicious program and select “Uninstall” to remove it from your computer.
Windows 10 Users:
- Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
- Click on “Apps” and then select “Apps & features”.
- Scroll down to the list of installed apps and uninstall any suspicious or unknown programs.
Windows 7 Users:
- Click on the Start button and select “Control Panel”.
- In the Control Panel, click on “Programs” and then select “Uninstall a program”.
- Locate any suspicious or unknown programs in the list and uninstall them.
macOS (OSX) Users:
- Click on Finder and select “Applications” from the sidebar.
- Find any suspicious or unknown applications and drag them to the Trash.
- Right-click on the Trash icon and select “Empty Trash” to permanently remove the unwanted applications.
Step 3: Remove Malicious Browser Policies
In this step, we will use the Command Prompt as Administrator to remove any malicious policies that were set by EchinaceaPurpurea.
- Type “cmd” in the Windows search bar and right-click on “Command Prompt”.
- Select “Run as administrator” to open the Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
- Enter the following commands one by one and press Enter after each command:
- RD /S /Q “%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers”
- RD /S /Q “%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy”
- gpupdate /force
Step 4: Remove Malicious Files and Folders
In this step, we will manually search for and remove any malicious files and folders associated with EchinaceaPurpurea.
- Open the Task Scheduler by searching for “Task Scheduler” in the Windows search bar.
- Navigate to the Task Scheduler Library and delete any malicious scheduled tasks.
- Open the AppData\Roaming folder and delete any unknown folders.
- Open the AppData\Local folder and delete the Default, WindowsApp, and ServiceApp folders.
- In the Chrome browser extensions folder, delete the folder associated with the malicious extension.
Step 5: Reset Browser Settings to Defaults
Finally, we need to reset your browser settings to their default values to ensure the complete removal of EchinaceaPurpurea.
Resetting Google Chrome:
- Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the top-right corner.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Scroll down and click on “Advanced” to expand the advanced settings.
- Click on “Reset and clean up” and then select “Restore settings to their original defaults”.
- Confirm the reset by clicking “Reset settings”.
Resetting Microsoft Edge:
- Open Microsoft Edge and click on the three dots in the top-right corner.
- Select “Settings” from the menu.
- Scroll down and click on “Reset settings”.
- Click on “Restore settings to their default values”.
- Confirm the reset by clicking “Reset”.
EchinaceaPurpurea is a dangerous browser extension that can compromise your privacy, manipulate your browser settings, and distribute unwanted software. It is essential to remove this malicious extension from your browser to protect your personal information and maintain a secure browsing experience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively remove EchinaceaPurpurea from Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Remember to exercise caution when downloading software and regularly update your security software to prevent future infections. Stay safe online!