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Removal instructions for Linkey

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What is Linkey?

 

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Linkey is a browser hijacker. These so-called "hijackers" manipulate your browser(s), for example to change your startpage or searchscopes, so that the affected browser visits their site or one of their choice. This one also displays advertisements.

 

How do I know if my computer is affected by Linkey?

 

This is how the start- and search-page looks:

 

main.png

 

And you may see these browser extensions:

 

warning2.png

 

warning3.png

 

warning4.png

 

or this warning: 

 

warning1.png

 

and this entry in your list of installed programs:

 

warning5.png

 

How did Linkey get on my computer?

 

Browser hijackers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was downloaded from their site.

 

How do I remove Linkey?

 

Our program Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted program.

  • Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  • Double-click mbam-setup-version.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:
    • Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
    • Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • If an update is found, you will be prompted to download and install the latest version.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Scan now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  • When the scan is complete , make sure that everything is set to "Quarantine", and click Apply Actions.
  • Reboot your computer if prompted.
Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of Linkey?
  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes Linkey completely.
Look at the replies to this topic for the additional guides.

 

How would the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware help protect me?

 

We hope our application and this guide have helped you eradicate this hijacker.  

 

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware would have protected you against the Linkey hijacker.  It would have warned you before the rogue could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

 

protection1.png

 

Technical details for experts

 

Signs in a HijackThis log:

 

O9 - Extra button: Linkey - {DDF035BF-F2BE-497E-B8DD-3C6575A65BAB} - C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\comext.dll
 

Alterations made by the installer:

 

 File system details  ---------------------------------------------    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\Linkey       Adds the file Helper.dll"="5/28/2013 8:22 PM, 1700352 bytes, A       Adds the file log.log"="11/27/2014 11:55 AM, 4437 bytes, RHS       Adds the file Uninstall.exe"="5/28/2013 8:22 PM, 290566 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\Linkey\ChromeExtension       Adds the file ChromeExtension.crx"="5/28/2013 8:22 PM, 47580 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension       Adds the file comext.dll"="5/28/2013 8:22 PM, 95232 bytes, A       Adds the file hoticon.ico"="5/21/2013 1:53 PM, 1150 bytes, A       Adds the file icon.ico"="5/21/2013 1:53 PM, 1150 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs       Adds the file Linkey.lnk"="11/27/2014 11:55 AM, 810 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com       Adds the file chrome.manifest"="5/13/2013 12:15 PM, 193 bytes, A       Adds the file install.rdf"="5/13/2013 12:15 PM, 771 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\content       Adds the file action.js"="5/28/2013 5:49 PM, 1578 bytes, A       Adds the file button.css"="5/13/2013 12:15 PM, 77 bytes, A       Adds the file overlay.xul"="5/26/2013 11:01 AM, 658 bytes, A    Adds the folder C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\skin       Adds the file logo.png"="5/13/2013 12:15 PM, 2292 bytes, A    In the existing folder C:\Users\{username}\Downloads       Adds the file LinkeySetup-r0-n-bi.exe"="11/27/2014 11:54 AM, 1460592 bytes, A Registry details  ------------------------------------------    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Applications\LinkeySetup-r0-n-bi.exe]       "IsHostApp"="REG_SZ", ""    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "Linkey ButtonExt Class"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}\InprocServer32]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\comext.dll"       "ThreadingModel"="REG_SZ", "Apartment"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}\Programmable]    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}\TypeLib]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}\Version]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "1.0"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Interface\{33B0A3CE-0830-4EB8-9769-03470E57D571}]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "IButtonExt"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Interface\{33B0A3CE-0830-4EB8-9769-03470E57D571}\ProxyStubClsid]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "{00020424-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Interface\{33B0A3CE-0830-4EB8-9769-03470E57D571}\ProxyStubClsid32]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "{00020424-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Interface\{33B0A3CE-0830-4EB8-9769-03470E57D571}\TypeLib]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}"       "Version"="REG_SZ", "1.0"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\TypeLib\{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}\1.0]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "comextLib"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\TypeLib\{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}\1.0\0\win32]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\comext.dll"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\TypeLib\{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}\1.0\FLAGS]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "0"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\TypeLib\{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}\1.0\HELPDIR]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah]       "path"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\ChromeExtension\ChromeExtension.crx"       "version"="REG_SZ", "1.0"    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Extensions\{DDF035BF-F2BE-497E-B8DD-3C6575A65BAB}]       "(Default)"="REG_SZ", ""       "ButtonText"="REG_SZ", "Linkey"       "CLSID"="REG_SZ", "{1FBA04EE-3024-11d2-8F1F-0000F87ABD16}"       "ClsidExtension"="REG_SZ", "{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}"       "Default Visible"="REG_SZ", "Yes"       "HotIcon"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\hoticon.ico"       "Icon"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\icon.ico"    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Linkey]       "appid"="REG_SZ", "0"       "clid"="REG_SZ", "{09185207-B37F-4775-B9BC-28C907DC4116}"       "home"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey"       "itime"="REG_SZ", "2014-11-27"       "iver"="REG_SZ", "0.0.0.90"       "ln"="REG_SZ", "en"       "pver"="REG_SZ", "0.0.0.90"       "sysid"="REG_SZ", "300"    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{8856F961-340A-11D0-A96B-00C04FD705A2}\iexplore]       "Count"="REG_DWORD", 1       "Flags"="REG_DWORD", 0       "Time"="REG_BINARY, .....55.       "Type"="REG_DWORD", 1    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Linkey]       "DisplayIcon"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey\uninstall.exe"       "DisplayName"="REG_SZ", "Linkey"       "DisplayVersion"="REG_SZ", "0.0.0.90"       "InstallLocation"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files\Linkey"       "NoModify"="REG_SZ", "1"       "NoRepair"="REG_SZ", "1"       "Publisher"="REG_SZ", "Aztec Media Inc"       "Traffic_type"="REG_SZ", "n"       "UninstallString"="REG_SZ", ""C:\Program Files\Linkey\uninstall.exe"" 
 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware log:

 

Malwarebytes Anti-Malwarewww.malwarebytes.org Scan Date: 11/27/2014Scan Time: 12:02:45 PMLogfile: mbamLinkey.txtAdministrator: Yes Version: 2.00.3.1025Malware Database: v2014.11.27.04Rootkit Database: v2014.11.22.01License: FreeMalware Protection: DisabledMalicious Website Protection: DisabledSelf-protection: Disabled OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1CPU: x86File System: NTFSUser: Malwarebytes Scan Type: Threat ScanResult: CompletedObjects Scanned: 277666Time Elapsed: 3 min, 26 sec Memory: EnabledStartup: EnabledFilesystem: EnabledArchives: EnabledRootkits: DisabledHeuristics: EnabledPUP: EnabledPUM: Enabled Processes: 0(No malicious items detected) Modules: 0(No malicious items detected) Registry Keys: 5PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\Linkey, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\CLSID\{C9776592-77D0-4C68-8F83-BC65F674B92A}, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\TYPELIB\{726E90BE-DC22-4965-B215-E0784DC26F47}, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, HKLM\SOFTWARE\CLASSES\INTERFACE\{33B0A3CE-0830-4EB8-9769-03470E57D571}, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, HKLM\SOFTWARE\GOOGLE\CHROME\EXTENSIONS\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah, Quarantined, [a020cc74a8d47abcad2b85eb689b758b],  Registry Values: 0(No malicious items detected) Registry Data: 0(No malicious items detected) Folders: 8PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\ChromeExtension, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\content, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\skin, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b],  Files: 22PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\Downloads\LinkeySetup-r0-n-bi.exe, Quarantined, [853b07396a120630c8ce33538d7440c0], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Linkey.lnk, Quarantined, [f4ccf14f176573c342eb6e016e9526da], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\log.log, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\Helper.dll, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\Uninstall.exe, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\ChromeExtension\ChromeExtension.crx, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\comext.dll, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\hoticon.ico, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Program Files\Linkey\IEExtension\icon.ico, Quarantined, [a21e00407dffde58e1f571ffd92a53ad], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\chrome.manifest, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\install.rdf, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\content\action.js, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\content\button.css, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\content\overlay.xul, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qeoodjs.default-1401006518835\extensions\extension@linkeyproject.com\skin\logo.png, Quarantined, [328ec0809fddfb3b6dc0a96cda29ef11], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\action-icon.png, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\background.js, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\icon128.png, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\icon16.png, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\icon48.png, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\manifest.json, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b], PUP.Optional.Linkey.A, C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\fpmeembnagmagppkgghhfjfdfajdfcah\1.0_0\newtab.html, Quarantined, [249c67d9a5d75ed887a7080ded16659b],  Physical Sectors: 0(No malicious items detected)  (end)
 

As mentioned before the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware could have protected your computer against this threat.

We use different ways of protecting your computer(s):

  • Dynamically Blocks Malware Sites & Servers
  • Malware Execution Prevention
Save yourself the hassle and get protected.

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