Remove Capricornus Advertisements

  • December 6, 2015

The Capricornus Advertisements malware is both an adware program and a Trojan infection. It is considered adware because when you are infected with this malware, advertisements will be injected into any web site that you visit regardless if it normally shows ads. These advertisements will be labeled Ads by Capricornus, Capricornus Ads, Powered by Capricornus, Delivered by Capricornus, or by Capricornus and will be displayed in a variety of formats. These ad formats include a peel down advertisement that appears in the upper right-hand corner of a page, highlighted words that display an ad when hovered over, and other advertisements injected into the web page itself. The adware will also randomly open other web sites that you did not request. Examples of the types of Capricornus ads you may see are shown below.

  • Capricornus Ads injected on BleepingComputer.com
  • Capricornus Overlay Advertisements
  • Capricornus Peel Down Advertisement
  • Fake Web Site Alerts
  • MalwareBytes' blocking a malicious page

When infected, this adware will also display fake security alerts when you visit web sites. These alerts will state that your computer is infected, that pop-ups are enabled, or that the "Windows Anti Hacking department" has detected that your computer has security issues. These alerts will then prompt you to call the 866-998-0517 phone number in order to receive remote tech support. These alerts should be ignored and you should instead follow the removal guide below.

This malware is also considered a Trojan because it patches the legitimate Windows file C:\Windows\System32\dnsapi.dll with malicious code that injects advertisements as described above. By patching the Windows file it also makes it more difficult to remove this infection as this file is required by Windows to operate properly. Therefore, to remove this infection you will need to replace the dnsapi.dll file with a legitimate version from Windows. Thankfully, there are automated tools that can assist you in performing this repair process.

If your computer is showing unusual advertisements and web pages are opening when they not specifically requested, you can check if you are infected by this malware by running the Rkill program. When you run Rkill it will check if legitimate Windows files have been patched. If detects any patched files it will display an alert in the log that is displayed when Rkill is finished scanning your computer. For this infection, we are looking for a patched dnsapi.dll file and if Rkill detects this infection, it will display output similar to the following:

Searching for Missing Digital Signatures:

* C:\Windows\System32\dnsapi.dll : 357,888 : 03/10/2015 07:50 PM : 6a38352f45ce215dbe22276139d4a764 [NoSig]
+-> C:\Windows\SysWOW64\dnsapi.dll : 270,336 : 03/10/2015 07:50 PM : 76983194bf0e2021044c74499147466d [Pos Repl]
+-> C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-dns-client_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17570_none_3fc3a19c992d2ff6\dnsapi.dll : 357,888 : 03/03/2011 01:24 AM : 492d07d79e7024ca310867b526d9636d [Pos Repl]
+-> C:\Windows\winsxs\wow64_microsoft-windows-dns-client_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17570_none_4a184beecd8df1f1\dnsapi.dll : 270,336 : 03/03/2011 00:38 AM : b40420876b9288e0a1c8cca8a84e5dc9 [Pos Repl]

It is important to note that the Capricornus adware is bundled with and installed by free programs that did not adequately disclose that other software would be installed along with it. Therefore, it is important that you pay close attention to license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers you Custom or Advanced installation options, it is a good idea to select these as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed. Furthermore, If the license agreement or installation screens state that they are going to install a toolbar or other unwanted adware, it is advised that you immediately cancel the install and not use the free software.

As you can see, this computer infection is not your typical adware and is one that can cause your computer to have serious issues. If you are being shown constant advertisements and unusual unrequested web pages are opening on their own, then it is possible you are infected with this program. If so, please use the following removal guide below to remove this infection and any related adware for free.

Capricornus Advertisements Removal Options

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.

To remove Capricornus Advertisements, follow these steps:

1

This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.

2

To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

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Rkill

When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

3

Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Capricornus Advertisements and other malware. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.

Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

4

At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
5

Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

6

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.5.1.2522. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

7

When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

8

MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.

Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Detection and Protection Settings Page

At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.

9

Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scan Screen

Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

10

MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scanning

11

When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the selected items. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

12

You can now exit the MBAM program.

13

Now we need to download Junkware Removal Tool, or JRT, and save it to your desktop. JRT will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can download JRT from the following URL:

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Junkware Removal Tool
14

When JRT has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon Junkware Removal Tool will open and you will be presented with its start screen as shown below. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run JRT, please allow it to run.

JRT Start Screen

15

Now press any key on your keyboard to continue with the cleaning process. The program will now start to search for known adware, PUPs, and junkware programs that may be installed on your computer. This process may take upwards to 20 minutes while it creates a registry backup and checks your startups, installed modules, processes, services, files, folders, and the Windows Registry.

16

When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the adware programs, files, and registry keys that have been detected.

JRT Log

Please review this log file and then close the Notepad Window.

17

We now need to delete the certificates installed by Capricornus Advertisements. To do this press the Windows keyboard key (Windows Key) and the R key at the same time to open the Run dialog box. When it opens, type certmgr.msc in the Open: field and press the Enter key. The Windows Certificate Manage will now open. Click on the little arrow next to Trusted Root Certification Authority category to expand it and then click on the Certificates folder. You should now see a list of certificates similar to the image below.

Certificate Manager

18

When the list of certificates open, scroll through the list and look for certificates whose Issued To identifier appears to be random and have a Friendly Name set to . Example certificates with random Issued To strings are Juw Laonce, Erenvob Aband, and Qosmabj Zitmuy.

If you click on the Expiration Date column to sort the certificates by date it will make it easier to spot these random named certificates.

Once you have identified these certificates, right-click on each one and select Delete as shown below. If you need help with this process, please feel free to ask in the forums.

Delete Cloudguard.me certificate

Once you have deleted the associated certificates, you can close the Certificate Manager window and proceed with the rest of the steps.

19

Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:

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HitmanPro

When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.

20

Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.

HitmanPro Start Screen

Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.

21

You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.

Kickstart Setup Options

Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.

22

HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.

Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.

23

As many malware and unwanted programs are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Your computer should now be free of the Capricornus Advertisements program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

Are Your Protected?

While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!


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HitmanPro

Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!

Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.

View Associated Capricornus Advertisements Files

C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\DifkiLibauok\ C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\DifkiLibauok\Piimmy.din C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\DifkiLibauok\Vamrorme.exe C:\Windows\System32\khq\ C:\Windows\System32\khq\fik\ C:\Windows\System32\khq\fik\anuan.dat

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus,Trojan,Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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