Home Malware Programs Browser Helper Objects LessTabs


Posted: June 5, 2013

Threat Metric

Ranking: 1,529
Threat Level: 2/10
Infected PCs: 28,482
First Seen: June 5, 2013
Last Seen: October 17, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

Marketing for LessTabs proclaims LessTabs as a utility that enables you to examine various website links without any need to open a new window or tab. However, while LessTabs does seem to provide this function, malware experts also have analyzed several undesirable elements in LessTabs that can make LessTabs classifiable as adware or a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). LessTabs alters several browser settings in ways that can reduce your web-browsing security, installs itself to all major browsers by default, and – most visibly – displays advertisements to derive easy revenue from anyone who uses the LessTabs plugin. Adware like LessTabs typically should be deleted on a regular basis, and doing so (hopefully with relevant anti-malware tools) is especially encouraged on account of the security issues raised by LessTabs's mere presence.

LessTabs for You... Means More Money for LessTabs Than Usual

To LessTabs's credit, LessTabs does offer some legitimate web-browsing features that you may or may not find convenient. However, SpywareRemove.com malware experts are forced to warn any would-be users of LessTabs that this program's drawbacks outweigh its advantages by a fairly heavy margin. It also should be emphasized that, since LessTabs's installs itself to all common brands of browsers by default, these changes are relevant to all of your browsers (unless noted otherwise):

  • LessTabs will insert advertisements into the websites that you browse. These advertisements appear to be LessTabs's main revenue source and can vary in format, including pop-ups, pop-unders, banners and text-based links.
  • LessTabs increases the time threshold of the IE Load Time Alert.
  • LessTabs disables Internet Explorer-based Accelerators.
  • LessTabs will disable the Content Security Policy, which guards against script exploits and data injection attacks (like the adware functions that LessTabs uses to enable its advertisements).

While LessTabs elaborates on all of these 'features' freely and claims that they are implemented for the quality of your web-browsing experience, SpywareRemove.com malware researchers can see little justification for them, and particularly consider disabling the CSP to be a dangerous and unwarranted function.

Why Less is More When It Comes to Your Browser

Unnecessary browser add-ons with exceptionally risky side effects, such as LessTabs, always should be removed from your computer regularly, even when their side effects don't cause any immediate exposure to malicious web content or other PC threats. Since LessTabs makes a range of browser-indiscriminate settings changes that can endanger your computer's web-browsing safety, SpywareRemove.com malware researchers suggest you use anti-malware tools to clean up LessTabs and the system changes that follow in its wake.

Advertisements associated with LessTabs don't appear to be screened for your safety, and LessTabs explicitly denies any responsibility related to the content of the advertisements and sites that LessTabs promotes. With this kind of problems on your mind, if you do find your browser being subjected to LessTabs's advertisements, you should avoid any needless contact with them – no matter how good their offers may seem at a first glance.


Suspicious file [Panda]AdWare.Lesstabs [Ikarus]

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:\Users\<username>\Documents\Geek Squad Backup 01403-287600339\Program Files (x86)\LessTabs\IE32\LessTabsClientIE.dll File name: LessTabsClientIE.dll
Size: 143.89 KB (143896 bytes)
MD5: f6151f0794532c627e76b2f2ccb87716
Detection count: 1,974
File type: Dynamic link library
Mime Type: unknown/dll
Path: C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Geek Squad Backup 01403-287600339\Program Files (x86)\LessTabs\IE32\LessTabsClientIE.dll
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: February 25, 2023
C:\Program Files (x86)\LessTabs\IE32\LessTabsClientIE.dll File name: LessTabsClientIE.dll
Size: 143.89 KB (143896 bytes)
MD5: 6697289655c08cbc5bd2e7ce9fce47e9
Detection count: 705
File type: Dynamic link library
Mime Type: unknown/dll
Path: C:\Program Files (x86)\LessTabs\IE32\LessTabsClientIE.dll
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: November 10, 2021
%PROGRAMFILES%\LessTabs\IE32\LessTabsClientIE.dll File name: LessTabsClientIE.dll
Size: 139.8 KB (139800 bytes)
MD5: 2255420ceaaab71eee4590a03b92b375
Detection count: 447
File type: Dynamic link library
Mime Type: unknown/dll
Path: %PROGRAMFILES%\LessTabs\IE32
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: November 4, 2022
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\DIQM\internet-explorer_085\software\lesstabs-setup.exe File name: lesstabs-setup.exe
Size: 1.22 MB (1220936 bytes)
MD5: b8b72f821e8a33d2225273e0b30b82bc
Detection count: 37
File type: Executable File
Mime Type: unknown/exe
Path: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\DIQM\internet-explorer_085\software\lesstabs-setup.exe
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: August 17, 2022
%PROGRAMFILES%\LessTabs\IE32\LessTabsClientIE.dll File name: LessTabsClientIE.dll
Size: 139.8 KB (139800 bytes)
MD5: ef69a5e1bebad743f4969a173acee597
Detection count: 32
File type: Dynamic link library
Mime Type: unknown/dll
Path: %PROGRAMFILES%\LessTabs\IE32
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: May 25, 2017

Registry Modifications

The following newly produced Registry Values are:

CLSID{3178A392-8963-471E-B7A2-969CB58D6496}{8A2BBD3A-2130-4882-B198-863271F320DE}HKEY..\..\..\..{RegistryKeys}SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\LessTabsSOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Tracing\lesstabs-setup_RASAPI32SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Tracing\lesstabs-setup_RASMANCSSOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{3178A392-8963-471E-B7A2-969CB58D6496}SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\PreApproved\{3178A392-8963-471E-B7A2-969CB58D6496}HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\[APPLICATION]\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall..{Uninstaller}LessTabs

Additional Information

The following directories were created:
%PROGRAMFILES%\LessTabs%PROGRAMFILES%\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\lesstabs@lesstabs.com%PROGRAMFILES(x86)%\LessTabs%PROGRAMFILES(x86)%\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\lesstabs@lesstabs.com