Remove Smalk.live Pop-up Ads — How to Fix Gude

Written by Wilbur Woodham
Smalk.live push notifications appear when you do not expect, disturbing and irritating you. However, that is slightly more than annoying notifications – their origins is purely malicious, and they can introduce other malicious stuff to your PC. In this post, I will guide you on how to remove Smalk.live pop-up advertisements and explain how to avoid them in the future.

Any interaction with Smalk.live pop-up notifications will be useless at best. At worst, the pages it can show you may introduce malware to your system. These pop-up notifications can also advertise fake shopping websites which will take your money and payment info. The latter generally ends up with losing all the money you have on the exposed card.

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What are Smalk.live pop-ups?

As the pop-up definition goes, these are short and small advertisements that attract your attention to a product they promote. But the difference between regular pop-up advertisements and Smalk.live notifications is the malignant origins of the latter. Common pop-up advertisements are offered for you to enable on different sites with a benevolent purpose – keep you aware about the new publications, goods for sale and so on. It is a useful tool to help your site to keep visitor’s attention and help the interested ones to have the best price.

Brief description of the Smalk.live pop-ups:
NameSmalk.live
HostingAS14061 DigitalOcean, LLC
United States, North Bergen
IP Address157.230.4.182
Malware typeAdware1
EffectUnwanted pop-up advertisements
Hazard levelMedium
Malware sourceApps from third-party websites, ads on dubious websites
Similar behaviorTuskel, News, Ciling
Removal method
To remove possible virus infections, try to scan your PC

Smalk.live push notifications, in contrast, have a deal with untrustworthy web pages. You will commonly witness the proposition to enable them after a redirection from another website. Redirects are OK unless it throws you into such a questionable place. In this case, turning on pop-up ads is served under the guise of the anti-DDoS check. In other cases, the web pages may refuse to show you the contents unless you turn on these pop-up advertisements. These demands should be the red flag, as sites commonly feature a different anti-bot mechanism. Seeing this offer should be the reason to leave the site right away. Sometimes, even after clicking “Allow”, you will not see the site – the sole page it has is a landing page with the offer to turn on the pop-ups.

Smalk.live push notification

Smalk.live push notification.

How does it work?

The majority of web browsers support enabling push notifications from sites. Websites, on the other hand, may send out notifications with the content of their choice. It may be an advertisement of the product posted on this particular site, as well as an ad of the page of their partner. As a result, you may see the push notification from site X, but opening it will redirect you to website Y – because a referral link to the latter was built in.

Cybercriminals rely on this feature in their attempt to earn money through advertising. They trick victims into turning on pop-ups, and after that just spread hundreds of ads of other crooks they contract with. As you can suppose, no normal organisations will have a business with fraudsters. All the Smalk.live notifications you can see lead to other fraudulent sites. At some point, the same victim can be trapped by several pop-up spamming sites, and its web browser will turn into a complete mess.

The ads these criminals show are paid under the pay-per-view model. It generally provides a negligible commission for one view, but when you have hundreds of users and make it hundreds of times every day – that is a much more significant sum. Despite most of such ads giving no result at all, it can still give all the participants a lot of money.

Are Smalk.live pop-up advertisements dangerous?

Yes, they are. Initially, they may look harmless – just a colourful pop-up that appears from time to time. However, the things this window promotes differ drastically from what you generally see in pop-up advertisements. Smalk.live web page is ruled by crooks, who intendedly throw hundreds and thousands of irrelevant ads in pop-ups. They also never follow any common sense and can launch sporadic pop-up advertisements into a hurricane of ads. For weak systems, that may be enough to cause performance issues. But that is not all problems these pop-ups carry.

Why people dislike popups

As with any other thing that touches illegal advertising, Smalk.live pop-ups do not contain any legit deals to offer. Even when hackers make the ads looking similar to ones from Walmart or Amazon, the site these ads will throw you to are completely different. And these pages may offer you to turn on other pop-ups, install a “useful” program, or pay for a thing at a big discount and never receive it. Let’s leave aside the cases when pop-ups promote phishing pages or straightforward malware. There’s no way these pages will bring you any good, thus interacting with them is a very bad idea. For the same reason, Smalk.live push notifications are not recommended to click on either, and the best solution is to disable them as soon as possible.

How to remove Smalk.live pop-ups?

Fortunately, Smalk.live pop-ups removal is not very complicated. They sit in the web browser and cannot hide themselves in the system. Nevertheless, as I stated above, some pop-up ads can deliver malicious programs to your computer. It is hard to describe all cases, and manual malware removal is a bad idea. Therefore, after disabling the pop-up notifications the best option is to use anti-malware software. I would especially recommend that in the case when you have never clicked “Allow” to pop-up ads, but they still appeared. This situation can be a sign of malware activity. GridinSoft Anti-Malware will be the best both recovery and malware scanning and removal purposes, thanks to its system recovery functionality and multi-component detection system.

First of all, you should reset your browser settings. You can do that in manual or automated way. The former, obviously, takes more time to complete and may be somewhat complicated if you have never done that. Automated supposes the use of anti-malware programs that can reset all browser settings at once.

Reset your browsers with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

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 options for each browser. By default, they are set up in a manner that 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

The browser reset is recommended to perform through the antivirus tool by GridinSoft, because the latter is also able to reset the HOSTS file without any additional commands.

Reset your browsers manually

Manual method of browser reset

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 ensure that your browser will connect the right DNS while connecting to the website you need. Create a text file titled “hosts” on your pc’s desktop, then open it and fill it with the following lines2:


# 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.

Scan your system for possible viruses

After removing the Smalk.live push notifications, it’s time to see if these pop-ups brought any threat to your system. Launch GridinSoft Anti-Malware, and then click on Standard scan. It will be enough in most cases to find and remove malware. The scan will last 5-10 minutes; you are free to use your system during that process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware during the scan process

Once the scan is complete, you will see the detections or a notification about a clean system. Proceed with pressing the Clean Up button (or OK when nothing is detected).

GridinSoft scan finished

How to Remove Smalk.live Pop-ups?

Name: Smalk.live

Description: Smalk.live - a lot of users became a target for the pop-up advertisements. I have a lot of friends who literally bombed me with the questions like “how to remove Smalk.live push notifications?” or “why do Smalk.live pop-ups keep appearing on Chrome even after AdBlock installation?”. In this article we will show you how to deal with Smalk.live pop-ups, which may corrupt your browser’s correct performance, and create a lot of troubles while you are working.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Adware

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References

  1. More about this malware type on GridinSoft 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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