Uninstall Steam Store “Virus”

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I wrote this article to help you remove Steam Store. This Steam Store removal guide works for all Windows versions.

The Steam Store is a legitimate gaming outlet. It has become quite popular in PC gaming circles. The website provides a lot of games to choose from. Discounts are often made. Malware developers have taken advantage of the platform’s popularity. An unknown coder has devised a tool which shows fake offers, presented as Steam Store deals. The ads promote sales, seasonal discounts, package deals and other exclusive offers for computer games. In addition, they provide listings for everyday consumer goods which are not related to gaming. Researchers have discovered that the Steam Store ads derive from an unreliable source. The application which displays them has been categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP).

What makes the PUP behind the Steam Store ads dangerous?

The activity of the rogue tool will have a negative effect on your computer. Since the PUP uses up a high amount of CPU, the performance of the machine is degraded. Your computer will become slow and find difficulties when you make sophisticated requests. The overall efficiency of your PC will go down. The Steam Store ads will interrupt your scheduled work all the time. The clandestine program generates a great number of advertisements in different shapes and sizes. The most common formats include pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, in-text links, coupon boxes, freebies, contextual, transitional, interstitial, floating, comparison, inline and full-page ads.

The ad windows contain embedded links to third party websites. They will not take you to the Steam Store. The domains they lead to could spread infections. The windows which do not show offers for games link to unsolicited websites which may also be harmful. To garner users’ interest, the alternate advertisements show bargain offers for high quality items. The product palette encompasses clothes, accessories, technological appliances, furniture, sports equipment, interior and exterior decorations, gardening tools, hiking gear, books, games, toys and other consumer goods. The owners of the PUP promote the content of all paying parties without bothering to do a security check.

While avoiding the Steam Store ads is indeed an obvious solution to the problem, it does not suffice. There is another risk which is more difficult to neutralize. The PUP is set to track your sessions and collect information from your browser. It can record statistical, personal and financial data, like your browsing history, cookies, keystrokes, IP address, geographic location, postal code, email, telephone number, residency, user names and passwords. The gathered data will be sold on the darknet without your knowledge or consent.

How did the PUP behind the Steam Store ads make its way into my machine?

The PUP behind the Steam Store ads uses a couple of propagation vectors which we will refer to as dark patterns. The predominant distribution vector is bundling. The furtive tool merges its setup file with the executable of another program and tries to get installed together with it. The PUP can travel with freeware, shareware and pirated copies of paid utilities. It will be included as an optional bonus tool which you can choose not to include. The option for extra software is listed along the terms and conditions of the main program from the bundle. Make sure to read them when processing the install.

The other distribution method the PUP behind Steam Store has adopted is spam emailing. The covert program hides behind attachments to bogus messages. The sender needs to convince the user that the fake notification is genuine. To do so, he will format the email like an official correspondence letter. The message will likely be written on behalf of a reliable company or entity, like the national post, a courier firm, a social network, an e-commerce platform, a government institution, a bank or the local police department. To confirm the reliability of a given email, you need to check the listed contacts.

Steam Store Uninstall

STEP-1 Run the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.

task manager

Look carefully at the file names and descriptions of the running processes. If you find any suspicious one, search on Google for its name, or contact me directly to identify it. If you find a malware process, right-click on it and choose End task.

STEP-4

Open Control Panel by holding the Win Key and R together. Write appwiz.cpl in the field, then click OK.

appwiz

Here, find any program you had no intention to install and uninstall it.

STEP-6

Open MS Config by holding the Win Key and R together. Type msconfig and hit Enter.

msconfig

Go in the Startup tab and Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

Still can not remove Steam Store from your computer? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.

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Daniel Stoyanov
Daniel Stoyanov has a Master's degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional. Daniel provides top cyber security news with in-depth coverage of malware, vulnerabilities, PC and Network security, online safety.If you have any questions feel free to ask him right now.

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