If you see unwanted ads in Chrome, specifically "Ads by Betabot" it is a sure sign your computer is infected with an ad-injection malware called Betabot.
This malware which we also classify as adware or unwanted software is also very dangerous to both your computer and more specifically your privacy and financial safety. This is because once installed Betabot is not just serving you up more banner and coupon advertising cluttering up your computer, but also quietly delivering malware through very suspicious ad networks that buy cheap traffic in order to infect user's with Trojans and bots.
After infection, Betabot starts by tracking your online habits and behaviors in Chrome buy capturing the URLs you visit and what your preferences are. It begins to build a basic profile on you which not just includes shopping websites but also other sites, even secure ones like your banking or financial sites. This data is then downloaded and sold to third-party advertisers as well as used to deliver targeting ads to your browser. These targeted ads delivered by Betabot are then injected directly into Chrome through what is known as ad injection or content injection. Ads usually are in the form of banners and text links but based on the site you are visiting can also be video or popup ads. In some cases clicking on a standard link to a known site will redirect you to an advertising site. Such adware looks for particular websites you visit such as shopping sites like Amazon or Walmart and then inject coupon offers directly on the page. What's concerning here is that many of the sites with better offers are for shady commerce sites that might steal your credit card details.
There are some very simple tell-tale signs you can use to determine if your browser has been hijacked by Betabot. This includes noticing ads with attribution from Betabot. Additionally your home or search page might be taken over by an unfamiliar web site or you see a bunch of coupon offers for other sites when visiting your familiar shopping sites. If you notice this malware running, make sure you follow the instructions below to remove it immediately. Be careful with Betabot, it contains functionality that's typically used to steal personal information.
How Do I Remove Betabot?
Removing Betabot from Chrome is typically pretty easy if you follow the instructions below. There are methods from removing this malware from you browser. Depending on your level of technical expertise you can opt to remove Betabot automatically (recommended) or manually. While removing this manually is not the best course of action since many times the controlling malware is still installed on your computer, Google Chrome has a couple built in functions that may assist with this. However, the recommended removal procedure is to utilize a professional anti-malware removal tool such as the ones we have tested with Betabot below.
Automatically Remove Betabot
In this method we will show you simple steps to search for and remove this malware completely from Chrome. While we have tested a number of professional antivirus and antimalware programs the following is by far the best we have tested that was able to fully remove all traces of Betabot. To get started click the button below to download the the software. We recommend using Reason Core Security as it has successfully proven itself as the most effective antimalware product and scan and removal is 100% free.
If you chose Save, double-click the installer file (reason-core-security-setup.exe) to start the installation process. You might be prompted for Administrator permission, if so click OK.
When the installer opens, click Next > to begin.
The software will walk you through a quick installation process.
You will then be asked to automatically run an initial scan.
This scan should take about 5 to 10 minutes and should find Betabot.
Next, it will ask you to remove Betabot as well as any other detected malware or adware. Click the Remove Checked button.
Your computer should be nice and clean within a few moments! If you keep Real-time Protection running it will prevent any other Chrome malware from infecting your computer and browser.
Note: Reason Core Security like most professional antimalware software is a commercial product. While it's free to clean any malware infections you have during the trial period some features might be disabled when the trial ends.
As you can see using the automated method for removing Betabot is very simple and fast. There are a number of other antivirus and antimalware programs that we also recommend that too are successful in removing this malware. These include Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, ESET NOD32, VIPRE and Microsoft Security Essentials (or Windows Defender).
Manually Remove Betabot
Should you decide to, you can also manually remove this malware from Chrome by following the steps below. It is very important to note however that since this malware might run as a stand along set of processes on your computer even manually removing them using these instructions does not 100% guarantee that its completely removed and Betabot does not show up later down the road. The reason this is the case is because if you do not use a professional antimalware cleaner there is a strong possibility that the activate traces of this malware will simply re-infect Chrome over and over again. Thus, finding and eliminating the entire malware is critical.
Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs including some malware. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed but some settings will be reset such as cookies.
To remove Betabot from Chrome using the built in reset browser settings:
In the top-right corner of the browser window, click the Chrome menu
At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.
Under the section "Reset settings,” click Reset settings.
In the dialog that appears, click Reset.
Note: using the Chrome reset functions will not only remove Betabot but will also clear your personal settings such as cookies, saved form data, extensions, themes and search and homepage settings.
Sabrina is a Chrome malware removal expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback about the page.