Where did this Amazon Advertisement Come from and How do I remove it?

Phanixis

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Mar 1, 2015
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Often when running google searches on Chrome and Amazon.com advertise will drop from the top of the browser and cover the search bar. Please see the picture below



As you can see the big yellow bar blocks the google search bar. It can be temporarily removed by pressing the white X in the yellow bar but I don't ever remember installing and I can't find it anywhere in the Chrome configuration files. Has anyone ever seen it? Does anyone know how to permanently get rid of it?

Thanks for the help.
 
I'll add that it's likely not an Amazon toolbar. The way online stores work is that if a website gives you a link to the store, the link includes something called a referral code. Your browser remembers that referral code as you browse the store. If you happen to buy anything from the store, the store pays a percentage of your purchase price to the referring website as a sales commission.

Some malware authors have abused this to make money, instead of extorting the victim or selling access to your system. A toolbar like this may overwrite the referral code for any link to Amazon with the malware author's. And whenever you buy something from Amazon, he gets a percentage of your purchase price as a referral commission, instead of the website which actually sent you to Amazon.
 

volkgren

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Aug 13, 2017
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It appears to be an add-on for your web browser. You can probably find it in the Add/Remove Programs in Windows and uninstall it.

On top of that I would run SuperAntiSpyware (Free Edition) and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Free Edition) to scan for that and other adware/spyware/malware.
 

Phanixis

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Mar 1, 2015
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I don't see it anywhere under Programs and Features (the Windows 7 version of Add/Remove Programs) nor change I find it under Chrome settings. I have been able to block other unwanted popups in Chrome from both space.com and facebook.com by disabling them in the notifications tab, but I cannot locate this amazon bar there. I also run Avira for virus and malware protection but its scans find nothing. I suppose I could just scan my system with any spyware scanner I can get my hands on, but I was hoping somebody here knew where this thing might be hiding on my system so I could purge it directly.
 

volkgren

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Anti-virus does not detect it because it is not a virus. It's an adware that was likely installed by you without knowing it, hidden as part of another program.

https://www.malwarebytes.com/

http://www.superantispyware.com/
 
I'll add that it's likely not an Amazon toolbar. The way online stores work is that if a website gives you a link to the store, the link includes something called a referral code. Your browser remembers that referral code as you browse the store. If you happen to buy anything from the store, the store pays a percentage of your purchase price to the referring website as a sales commission.

Some malware authors have abused this to make money, instead of extorting the victim or selling access to your system. A toolbar like this may overwrite the referral code for any link to Amazon with the malware author's. And whenever you buy something from Amazon, he gets a percentage of your purchase price as a referral commission, instead of the website which actually sent you to Amazon.
 

Phanixis

Estimable
Mar 1, 2015
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Ok, I contacted Amazon.com and they said its supposed to be Amazon assistant, but I didn't see Amazon assistant in either Programs and Features or under Chrome settings. I even installed and uninstalled the actual Amazon assistant for good measure. No luck though, the add is still there.

I think Solandri is right. There appears to be a fake version of Amazon assistant floating around. Whatever it is though, Avira doesn't see it. I will probably try some kind of spyware/adware scanner next. I've heard bad things about malwarebytes and spyhunter has an expensive subscription, so I might start with superantispyware. Does anyone else have any other suggestions.

Thanks for the help.

 

volkgren

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I'm not telling you to pay for malwarebytes, they have a free version and a free trial version. Malwarebytes will catch things that SuperAntiSpyware will not, and vice versa. They are meant to suppliment your anti-virus software.
 
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