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When I open any site, I sometimes see unknown images replacing the original images on the website. They are not ads and can't be clicked. Just random images of people, cartoons etc.

When I refresh the page, the fake images are gone.

It actually started when I was using Windows 7 - Firefox browser & I installed some plugin I don't remember.

This problem was temporarily resolved when I installed Windows 10 (with format C:) and I installed Malwarebytes and Bitdefender. However, when I removed Malwarebytes temporarily due to an error, fake images started appearing again on the websites.

It happens when I open any site containing images, like free sites on weebly.com.

It happens on my computer and my Android phone. I didn't see it in other PCs in the same network. I have tried two different internet connection networks on my PC, the problem is same.

I am using Opera Browser with no add-ons, extensions etc. and I regularly clean the temporary files using CCleaner utility.

I checked the startup and didn't find anything suspicious. I have very few apps enabled on startup. Plus I also checked Control panel for installed programs I don't recognize. I have a free version of Win 10.

I opened the image link in a new tab, & it was fine (original image- not the fake one replacing it)

The last thing I did was installing software (Autodesk Maya or Unity 3d I think)

Where is the problem? I've been trying to solve this for the last 3 months.

  • Isn't somebody hacking your connection? – Vilican Nov 22 '15 at 11:04
  • What error did Malwarebytes cause you to remove it? You didn't believe a random pop-up you saw on a web page, do you? – lorenzog Nov 22 '15 at 11:57
  • Do the images appear for HTTPS sites? If so try comparing the certificate fingerprint with the ones here. – SilverlightFox Nov 22 '15 at 14:32
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It's really hard to tell with only this much information. Investigating this could be a forensics challenge rather than a simple Q&A. Some things to look at:

  • Does it only happen on your computer, or also on smartphones or other computers in the same network?

  • Does your computer only do it on your network or also elsewhere? (If it's a desktop computer, I guess you can't test that.)

  • Does it also happen when you boot a Linux live boot (e.g. Ubuntu)?

  • Are there strange things running at startup? See task manager (ctrl+shift+escape) -> startup tab.

  • There are probably processes you don't recognize, but perhaps something strange jumps out, so are there weird processes running?

  • Did you download an illegal version of Windows? Since 10 is free I can't imagine why but if you did, that might contain viruses by itself.

  • Where are the images located? If you right click on one and then click something like "open in new tab" or "view image" or "show properties", what URL is it hosted on?

  • What is the last thing you did or installed before it started again? You might be using a fake version of certain software, e.g. when downloading Ccleaner you might have used the wrong download button. Many ads are fake download buttons, trying to get you to download fake software.

Etc.

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