Home Malware Programs Adware AdPunisher


Posted: October 2, 2014

Threat Metric

Threat Level: 2/10
Infected PCs: 85
First Seen: October 3, 2014
OS(es) Affected: Windows

AdPunisher is adware for your Web browser that makes settings changes for the purpose of loading extra, potentially undesirable advertisements. Although, ironically, AdPunisher markets itself as an anti-advertising product, its users may find themselves exposed to more advertisements than otherwise by installing AdPunisher. By default, malware researchers suggest uninstalling AdPunisher, which earns the rating of a Potentially Unwanted Program best handled by standardized anti-adware utilities.

Punishing Your Browser Advertisements by Soliciting Them

AdPunisher is a self-proclaimed 'punisher' of intrusive advertisements by providing access to a user-defined block list of advertisement domains. This blacklist supposedly allows the AdPunisher base to determine for themselves which advertisements are sufficiently invasive to warrant being blocked. In a showing of impressive irony, AdPunisher also is adware, or a program that loads extra advertising content into your browser automatically. Since AdPunisher's real advertisement-blocking functions easily can be acquired from non-adware alternatives in the market, malware researchers find few reasons to encourage using AdPunisher as a favored advertisement network-blocking add-on.

AdPunisher's last confirmed development team has since moved on to other projects, and AdPunisher's distribution is estimated to be low. Despite its reduced numbers, AdPunisher still may be a potential security or performance issue for PCs that do have AdPunisher installed. Typical adware-associated hazards, not limited to AdPunisher, include:

  • Loss of Web-browsing privacy, as adware often monitors your Web traffic.
  • Poor Web-browsing performance.
  • Interactivity issues with Web pages modified by injected advertisements.
  • Exposure to threats potentially circulated throughout advertisement networks (such as the recent case of the Angler Exploit Kit installing threats via the Pirate Bay).

Removing Your Browser from an AdPunisher Hit List

In spite of its relative age, in comparison to other adware add-ons, AdPunisher does have a similar history of being difficult to uninstall. Incomplete removal of AdPunisher, which may be caused by using the Control Panel or your Web browser's default add-on removal settings, occasionally may fail to delete all of its settings changes. One of the explicit symptoms of this problem is the continual display of AdPunisher advertisements even when the AdPunisher toolbar seemingly is no longer on your browser.

Eliminating the advertisements brought by AdPunisher, as well as deleting AdPunisher, typically is most safely handled through the use of a trusted brand of anti-adware software. Closing your browser, using Safe Mode for any system scans and updating all relevant threat databases also can give your security solutions the necessary help to restore your browser to its original condition with minimal trouble.

The last known versions of AdPunisher add-ons were compatible with multiple browsers and may be in distribution with other, bundled software. The latter may display independent symptoms as Potentially Unwanted Programs, which frequently install themselves in multiples.

Technical Details

File System Modifications

Tutorials: If you wish to learn how to remove malware components manually, you can read the tutorials on how to find malware, kill unwanted processes, remove malicious DLLs and delete other harmful files. Always be sure to back up your PC before making any changes.

The following files were created in the system:

C:\ProgramData\adpunisher File name: C:\ProgramData\adpunisher
Group: Malware file
C:\ProgramData\AdPunisher\AdPunisher.exe File name: C:\ProgramData\AdPunisher\AdPunisher.exe
File type: Executable File
Mime Type: unknown/exe
Group: Malware file