SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack — Adware Removal Guide

Written by Wilbur Woodham
If you spectate the notification of SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack detection, it appears that your computer has a problem. All viruses are dangerous, without any exceptions. PossibleHostsFileHijack fills your personal computer with various ads, opens your web browser without your desire and makes the system unprotected to other malware infiltration.

Any malware exists with the only target – make money on you1. And the programmers of these things are not thinking of morality – they utilize all possible methods. Taking your private data, receiving the comission for the banners you watch for them, utilizing your CPU and GPU to mine cryptocurrencies – that is not the complete list of what they do. Do you like to be a riding equine? That is a rhetorical question.

What does the pop-up with SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack detection mean?

The SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack detection you can see in the lower right corner is displayed to you by Microsoft Defender. That anti-malware software is pretty good at scanning, however, prone to be basically unreliable. It is vulnerable to malware attacks, it has a glitchy interface and problematic malware clearing features. For this reason, the pop-up which states concerning the PossibleHostsFileHijack is simply an alert that Defender has spotted it. To remove it, you will likely need to use another anti-malware program.

SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack found

Microsoft Defender: “SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack”

The exact SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack virus is a very nasty thing. This malware demonstrates to you an extraordinary amount of commercials. Have you ever visited the doorway web pages? They are filled up only with banners – blinking, improperly designed and with weird information. Adware does the identical thing to all sites you open. That virus brings profit to its developers in a really tricky way. You check the banners – they get money. Furthermore, these banners oftentimes contain fraudulent and sometimes shocking content. Penis enlargement, porn websites ads, Microsoft virus alertsall these things are usual for adware.

Adware Summary:

NamePossibleHostsFileHijack Adware
DetectionSettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack
DamageDisplay advertisements in the browser, which are not related to the sites the affected users are visiting.
SimilarEakwhenspo Work Popup, Mydesktopdefence Removal, Trybellyfeilicia Best Removal, Imsemy, News Ficubo Cc, Watervery Work Removal, Checkthesafety, Arriedstro Work Removal
Fix ToolSee If Your System Has Been Affected by PossibleHostsFileHijack adware

Is SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack dangerous?

Adware like PossibleHostsFileHijack one is not something contrasty, compared to other advertising malware. However, as it was pointed out, the banners it demonstrates to you are quite often loaded with phony information. Even if you can distinguish fraud from adware – do you really like seeing ads for free? Specifically ones that cover your web browser window and disturb you from your working process? It looks that we actually know the reply.

How did I get this virus?

It is hard to trace the sources of malware on your PC. Nowadays, things are mixed up, and spreading tactics chosen by adware 5 years ago may be used by spyware nowadays. However, if we abstract from the exact spreading method and will think of why it has success, the explanation will be really basic – low level of cybersecurity awareness. Individuals click on promotions on strange websites, open the pop-ups they get in their web browsers, call the “Microsoft tech support” thinking that the scary banner that says about malware is true. It is necessary to understand what is legitimate – to prevent misunderstandings when trying to identify a virus.

Microsoft tech support scam

Microsoft tech support scam page

Nowadays, there are two of the most extensive tactics of malware spreading – lure emails and injection into a hacked program. While the first one is not so easy to evade – you should know a lot to recognize a fake – the second one is very easy to get rid of: just do not utilize cracked apps. Torrent-trackers and other sources of “totally free” applications (which are, exactly, paid, but with a disabled license checking) are really a giveaway place of malware. And SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack is simply among them.

How to remove the SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack from my PC?

Adware like PossibleHostsFileHijack is quite easy to clear away by hand. However, it is not so easy to revert the system changes it did in the process of the activity. Because a lot of various system elements are touched, it is quite easy to miss something. That’s why I ‘d recommend you to utilize anti-malware program. My preference for adware clearing is GridinSoft Anti-Malware.

Why GridinSoft Anti-Malware? It is very lightweight and has its detection databases updated practically every hour. Furthermore, it does not have such bugs and vulnerabilities as Microsoft Defender does. The combination of these details makes GridinSoft Anti-Malware suitable for eliminating malware of any type.

Remove the viruses with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

  • Download and install GridinSoft Anti-Malware. After the installation, you will be offered to perform the Standard Scan. Approve this action.
  • Gridinsoft Anti-Malware during the scan process

  • Standard scan checks the logical disk where the system files are stored, together with the files of programs you have already installed. The scan lasts up to 6 minutes.
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware scan results

  • When the scan is over, you may choose the action for each detected virus. For all files of PossibleHostsFileHijack the default option is “Delete”. Press “Apply” to finish the malware removal.
  • GridinSoft Anti-Malware - After Cleaning

Reset Browser settings after the adware attack

Adware makes a lot to keep annoying you even after being removed from your computer. It distorts the browser configurations, so it will not work correctly. Until you reset it, of course. Each browser has its own way to restore the default settings. Here are the guides for the most popular ones:

To reset Edge, do the following steps :
  1. Open “Settings and more” tab in upper right corner, then find here “Settings” button. In the appeared menu, choose “Reset settings” option :
  2. Reseting the Edge browser

  3. After picking the Reset Settings option, you will see the following menu, stating about the settings which will be reverted to original :
For Mozilla Firefox, do the next actions :
  1. Open Menu tab (three strips in upper right corner) and click the “Help” button. In the appeared menu choose “troubleshooting information” :
  2. The first step to revert Mozilla Firefox

  3. In the next screen, find the “Refresh Firefox” option :
  4. The second step of Firefox restoration
    After choosing this option, you will see the next message :
    The last step for Firefox
If you use Google Chrome
  1. Open Settings tab, find the “Advanced” button. In the extended tab choose the “Reset and clean up” button :
  2. In the appeared list, click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” :
  3. Finally, you will see the window, where you can see all the settings which will be reset to default :
Opera can be reset in the next way
  1. Open Settings menu by pressing the gear icon in the toolbar (left side of the browser window), then click “Advanced” option, and choose “Browser” button in the drop-down list. Scroll down, to the bottom of the settings menu. Find there “Restore settings to their original defaults” option :

  2. After clicking the “Restore settings…” button, you will see the window, where all settings, which will be reset, are shown :

When the browsers are reset, you need to make sure that your browser will be connected the proper DNS while connecting to the web page you need. Make a text file named “hosts” on your desktop, after that open it and fill it with the following content2:


# Copyright (c) 1993-2006 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
# 102.54.94.97 rhino.acme.com # source server
# 38.25.63.10 x.acme.com # x client host
# localhost name resolution is handle within DNS itself.
# 127.0.0.1 localhost
# ::1 localhost

Find the hosts.txt file in C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc directory. Rename this file to “hosts.old.txt” (to distinguish it from the new one), and then move the file you created on the desktop to this folder. Remove the hosts.old from this folder. Now you have your hosts file as good as new.

Reset Browser settings with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

GridinSoft Anti-Malware offers its own way to reset the browsers. With the help of this program, you can reset all your browsers in just several clicks. It also resets the HOSTS file automatically, so you don’t need to make any excessive actions. To reset your browser with GridinSoft Anti-Malware, open the Tools tab, and click the “Reset browser settings” button.

Tools tab in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

You can see the list of the options for each browser. By default, they are set up in the manner which fits the majority of users. Press the “Reset” button (lower right corner). In a minute your browser will be as good as new.

Reset Browser Settings tab in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

How to Remove SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack Malware

Name: SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack

Description: If you have seen a message showing the “SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack found”, it seems that your system is in trouble. The PossibleHostsFileHijack virus was detected, but to remove it, you need to use a security tool. Windows Defender, which has shown you this message, has detected the malware. However, Defender is not a reliable thing - it is prone to malfunction when it comes to malware removal. Getting the SettingsModifier:Win32/PossibleHostsFileHijack malware on your PC is an unpleasant thing, and removing it as soon as possible must be your primary task.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Adware

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References

  1. Read about malware types on GridinSoft Threat encyclopedia.
  2. Official Microsoft guide for hosts file reset.

About the author

Wilbur Woodham

I was a technical writer from early in my career, and consider IT Security one of my foundational skills. I’m sharing my experience here, and I hope you find it useful.

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