What is Qualitink?
Qualitink is a known form of adware, a type of malicious software that runs on your computer to display unwanted ads without your consent. Qualitink is considered a web browser add-on - it is installed without your knowledge as a plugin or extension in your browser.
After installation, Qualitink starts displaying unwanted ads when you browse the Internet with your browser. This type of adware is not limited to displaying ads, but can also redirect you to other malicious websites and constantly display annoying popup ads.
The most common methods by which Qualitink can enter your browser are by accidentally clicking on "sponsored links", installing legitimate software provided with this type of adware, or installing an infected browser plugin or extension. Qualitink can also infect your computer if you open an email attachment or download a program already infected by Qualitink.
Once your computer is infected by Qualitink, it will immediately start behaving maliciously. In addition to displaying unsolicited advertisements, Qualitink may ask you to install false software updates or submit your personal and sensitive information for collection.
In addition, adware programs such as Qualitink can also change your browser settings. It is common for browsers infected by Qualitink to change their default settings in an undesirable way. In extreme cases, Qualitink can cause very serious damage to your system by manipulating the Windows registry and security settings on your computer.
- Adware Name: Qualitink
- Risk Level: Medium
- Date Discovered: 18/09/2016
- File Length: Unknown
- Subtype: Adware
- Category: Adware
Qualitink is also known by these other aliases:
- Trojan horse Autoit
- Win32/Injector.Autoit.BYU trojan
What is Adware?
Adware is a software application that displays banner ads during the execution of a program. Announcements are provided through popup windows or bars that appear within the program's user interface. Adware is often created for computers, but can also be found on mobile devices. The rationale for adware is that it helps to cover the development costs of the program for the software developer and to reduce or eliminate costs for the user.
Adware software generates revenue for its developer by automatically displaying advertising in the software's user interface or on a screen that appears on the user's face during the installation process. You can also open new tabs, see a change on your home page, see the results of a search engine you've never heard of, or even be redirected to a NSFW website.
How did Qualitink get on my Computer?
Qualitink is sometimes integrated into freeware (free software) that a user has downloaded from somewhere. After installation, the user has the choice of continuing to use the software as is with advertising or purchasing an advertising-free version of the software.
Software manufacturers pay for ads to appear when you search for certain software. These ads will lead you to download software that may not even install the software you are looking for, but you will still receive adware. So, while you think that all you get is decent free software, what you actually get is a lot of ads.
In addition to replacing ads with yours and withdrawing money from search engines, adware will also appear with even more questionable offers, such as asking you to install an "update" for Adobe Flash. All this for something that the customer could download for free from the right site. No part of the revenue goes to the free software developer; in fact, their reputation has probably been damaged.
What are the symptoms of Qualitink?
If you suspect that your computer is infected with adware, look for any of the following signs:
- Your browser suddenly runs slower than before and/or crashes very often.
- Banners and ads appear on sites they have never had before.
- Your homepage has changed in some way and you cannot reset it.
- Each time you want to visit a website, you will be redirected to a different page.
- You will notice new toolbars, plugins or extensions in your browser.
- If you click anywhere on the page, one or more pop-up windows will open.
- Your computer starts installing unwanted applications without your permission.
How to remove Qualitink?
Disconnect from the Internet
Close all open browser windows and applications (including email), then disconnect your computer from the Internet.
If you are connected to the Internet via an Ethernet cable, the easiest way to disconnect is to simply remove the cable from your computer.
If you are connected via Wi-Fi
For Windows 10 :
- When searching, type "Network Connections" and select "Show Network Connections". Identify the connection you want to disable.
- Right-click on the connection and select Disable/Activate.
For Windows 8 :
- Press the Windows button to start the boot interface, then type wirelessly.
- Click Settings to display a list of wireless settings.
- Click on Enable or disable wireless communication.
Uninstall any malicious programs from Windows
In this step, we will try to identify and remove any malware that may be installed on your computer.
- Go to "Programs and functions".
- Find the malware and uninstall it.
- The Programs and Features screen displays a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll down the list until you find the malware, then click on it to highlight it, then click on the "Uninstall" button that appears in the top toolbar.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the program.
In the following message box, confirm the uninstallation process by clicking Yes, then follow the instructions to uninstall the program.
Clean Qualitink from your browser
Even if the above step worked for you, chances are that the adware has already infected your browser and the uninstallation of the program does not get rid of ads. To clean the browser, simply reset its search engine (if it has changed) and search for extensions or add-ons that you do not recognize.
To reset the search engine:
- Go to your browser settings and search for the Search header. It should be in the general section.
- From the drop-down menu, select the search engine you want to clean (for example Google).
To search for an adware extension or add-on, I recommend that you use a third-party tool that displays all extensions and plug-ins of all your browsers in a single window, including those that are hidden.
Use An Anti-Spyware Program
Finally, you certainly need an anti-spyware program that works in the background of your computer. You need a program that can detect and intercept spyware when it tries to enter your computer; it should also be able to scan your computer for existing spyware and isolate it. Be sure to keep your anti-spyware program up to date with new daily or weekly "definition files" to make it work effectively. You never want to leave your computer unprotected and open to spyware or adware.