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VLC Addon Virus

Posted: January 10, 2014

Threat Metric

Threat Level: 2/10
Infected PCs: 1,199
First Seen: January 10, 2014
Last Seen: June 14, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The Fake VLC Addon Virus is an adware program that's distributed through the fraudulent methods that are typical to threats. The Fake VLC Addon Virus's installer claims to be an installation bundle for the VLC Player (a legitimate program) and an affiliated add-on. However, malware experts rapidly verified that the real VLC Player has no association with the Fake VLC Addon Virus, which has no purpose besides generating quick money through browser advertisements. The Fake VLC Addon Virus's limitations to simple advertising may make the Fake VLC Addon Virus detectable as a Potentially Unwanted Program, but, considering the circumstances surrounding the Fake VLC Addon Virus, deleting the Fake VLC Addon Virus immediately with adequate anti-malware utilities should be thought of as necessary for your PC's safety.

The Tag-Along for a Trusted Brand in Media

The VLC Player, as a freeware alternative to a premium media player, is a well-known product with well over one billion individual downloads to its name. Knowing this, malware researchers weren't entirely shocked to find that threat-distributing criminals have taken to using VLC's brand name to install harmful software. The Fake VLC Addon Virus is one of the freshest occurrences of this kind of attack, although the Fake VLC Addon Virus isn't an actual virus and doesn't include any file-infector properties.

The Fake VLC Addon Virus is distributed by a fake movie site, coolestmovie.info, which claims that an update to the VLC Player is required for it to play its movie content. The installer looks similar to a real VLC Player installer but also claims to install a 'VLC Addon' component that can't be deselected. The Fake VLC Addon Virus actually isn't an add-on for VLC Player at all and includes functions related to showing advertisements in your Web browser.

Malware researchers also confirmed that the same website responsible for the Fake VLC Addon Virus also has been installing a second type of adware, BrowseBeyond. The functions of both of these programs are semi-redundant; they both modify the Web pages of your browser to load new advertisements. These advertisements may be sources of attacks against you or your computer, besides being overall performance hindrances.

The Perfect Vaccine for a Fake Plugin to Your Favorite Media Player

In the overwhelming majority of cases, malware researchers are content to classify adware add-ons as PUPs that are not illegal, but should be removed for optimizing your PC's performance and security. The Fake VLC Addon Virus is a semi-rare example of adware developers tipping their hand too far and displaying just how little concern they have for their advertising audiences. Like all fraudulent software, the Fake VLC Addon Virus should be considered threatening, and removing Fake VLC Addon Virus with anti-malware tools is highly recommended. This is regardless of whether your software of choice detects the Fake VLC Addon Virus as a PUP or as any other form of PC threat. Win32/AdWare.Linkular.AG is one prominent alias for the Fake VLC Addon Virus.

It could be the main lesson that can be learned from the Fake VLC Addon Virus is that malware authors are quick to exploit any common file-downloading excesses to attack the associated PCs. PC users who are in the habit of downloading movies from free websites of questionable reputations may consider doing a better judgment, the next time they're asked to install an update. Regardless, appropriate anti-malware software should be able to detect the Fake VLC Addon Virus, no matter how its installer tries to mislead you.

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:

FirefoxAddonSetup.exe File name: FirefoxAddonSetup.exe
Size: 193.14 KB (193149 bytes)
MD5: 1f68734ada025ed8cc3d219c436cd7c6
Detection count: 49
File type: Executable File
Mime Type: unknown/exe
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: January 8, 2020
ChromeAddonSetup.exe File name: ChromeAddonSetup.exe
Size: 291.01 KB (291017 bytes)
MD5: a7d913619028e74e9dd99e98e4c22b4a
Detection count: 45
File type: Executable File
Mime Type: unknown/exe
Group: Malware file
Last Updated: January 8, 2020

Additional Information

The following directories were created:
%LOCALAPPDATA%\VLC Links%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\VLC Links