What is Ciantel.com? And how does it function?
Ciantel.com is a browser extension that supposedly functions as a search engine. It features an interface that allows users to search the web. It also contains quick links to popular sites like YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, and many more. If you install this browser extension, it will change the default configuration of your browser without your permission. This is why security experts tagged it as a browser hijacker and a PUP (potentially unwanted program).
Upon the installation of Ciantel.com, you will quickly notice some changes as you browse the web. Apart from sudden redirects to dubious websites, you will also notice sudden increase of advertisements which means that it is created solely for the purpose of generating revenue for its developers and partnered websites by injecting websites with tons of sponsored content such as pop-ups, banners, in-text links, and many more. Moreover, Ciantel.com also tracks and monitors online activities of users in order to collect browsing-related information. The information obtained may be shared with third parties in order to generate more customized and personalized contents.
How is Ciantel.com distributed over the web?
Ciantel.com is distributed over the web using several techniques but its developers mostly use the software bundling technique – using this method, cyber criminals attach unwanted programs like Ciantel.com to software bundles along with other PUPs. The tricky thing is that if you don’t pay much attention during installation, you could unknowingly install unwanted programs. If you do not want that to happen, then you have to use the Advanced or Custom setup always when installing software bundles, else you will have to suffer the consequence of dealing with pesky ads and redirects.
Removing Ciantel.com is not as easy as you think so you need to use the removal guide below as a reference as well as the advanced steps that follows.
Step 1: You need to first close the compromised browser. However, if you are unable to do so, you can close it via Task Manager. Tap Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open the Task Manager and from there, end the browser’s process.
Step 2: Afterwards, you have to flush the DNS cache. To do that, just, right click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt (administrator). From there, type the “ipconfig /flushdns” command and hit Enter to flush the DNS.
Step 3: After that, restart your computer and then open all the browsers infected by Ciantel.com. Reset all the affected browsers to default to their default state.
- Open Firefox and click the icon that looks like a three stacked lines located at the top-right section of the browser.
- Next, select the question mark icon from the drop-down menu.
- Then select “Troubleshooting information” from the slide-out menu.
- After that, click on the “Reset Firefox” button located at the top-right section of the newly opened web page.
- Now select “Reset Firefox” in the confirmation pop-up window that appears.
- Open Google Chrome, then tap the Alt + F keys.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Next, scroll down until you see the Advanced option, once you see it, click on it.
- After clicking the Advanced option, go to the “Restore and clean up option and click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option to reset Google Chrome.
- Now restart Google Chrome.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Next, click the wrench icon for Settings.
- Then click Internet Options.
- After that, go to the Advanced tab.
- From there, click the Reset button. This will reset Internet Explorer’s settings to their default condition.
- Now click OK to save the changes made.
Step 4: Next, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “appwiz.cpl” in the field and press Enter to open the Programs and Features in Control Panel.
Step 5: From the list of programs installed, look for Ciantel.com or any unfamiliar program that could be related to it under the list of installed programs and once you’ve found it, uninstall it.
Step 6: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the hosts file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Ciantel.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 7: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 8: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated to the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 9: Exit the File Explorer.
Step 10: Now empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of Ciantel.com as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.