Posted: April 9, 2015
Threat Metric
Threat Level: 8/10
Infected PCs 49

FlashFree Description

FlashFree is a Chrome extension that claims to be a viable means of blocking unwanted Flash content, but also injects advertisements of its own into your browser. Although this swerve in intended purpose is insufficient for making FlashFree classifiable as a threat, FlashFree does merit being rated as a Potentially Unwanted Program that you should uninstall from your PC. Since malware experts have seen cases of incomplete FlashFree deletions that could cause additional issues, you should consider using proper anti-adware utilities to delete FlashFree for your browser's safety.

Free from Flash, but not from Advertisements

Flash, while a go-to means of delivering advanced graphical content, also is favored by some third parties for attacking vulnerable PCs. As a safety measure, some Web surfers prefer to block Flash by default, with some turning to the seemingly innocuous FlashFree extension. Up to early 2014, FlashFree acquired mostly positive reviews for that purpose, with no significant anomalies in functionality. However, in January 2014, FlashFree was updated with a notably extraneous feature: injecting extra advertisements into Chrome.

As an adware program, FlashFree prefers to use forcibly inserted advertising links bound to text content, which may be 'relevant' keywords for the advertising partner's services. FlashFree must be uninstalled to disable these advertisements, and since they may include pop-up Flash content, they work counter to the original, security-oriented purpose of this extension. Currently, malware analysts have yet to see any major attacks originating through advertisements promoted by FlashFree. However, adware advertising networks may distribute such PC threats as fraudulent patches, disguised PUP installers and, in the worst cases, even drive-by-downloads.

Freeing Your Browser from FlashFree Links

Like most non-threatening extensions, FlashFree can be installed from the Chrome store, for those willing to ignore its many, negative reviews. However, malware analysts also saw recent incidents involving FlashFree's distribution by other channels, most notably, attacks through online advertisements. These attacks installed a variety of other threats in addition to FlashFree, including at least one secondary adware program for Internet Explorer. At this time, the rest of the payload still is being determined, along with the exploit used to achieve the non-consensual installation of the above software.

Whether FlashFree comes to your browser by a legitimate store link or by illegitimate advertising content, its classification as a PUP makes FlashFree a potential source of future attacks against your PC. Removing FlashFree and other adware from your browser, especially with dedicated anti-adware tools, can prevent precisely the same kinds of attacks that now are used to distribute FlashFree to unwelcoming Web surfers. Sadly, FlashFree's history shows that even a formerly useful security product may silently update itself into an extension that serves the opposite of its theoretical purpose.

Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats

If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to FlashFree may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.

Download SpyHunter's Malware Scanner

Note: SpyHunter's free version is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware tool to remove the malware threats. Learn more on SpyHunter. If you would like to uninstall SpyHunter for any reason, please follow these uninstall instructions. To learn more about our policies and practices, visit our EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.

Why can't I open any program including SpyHunter? You may have a malware file running in memory that kills any programs that you try to launch on your PC. Tip: Download SpyHunter from a clean computer, copy it to a USB thumb drive, DVD or CD, then install it on the infected PC and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.

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