Threat Database Potentially Unwanted Programs Art and Weather Browser Extension

Art and Weather Browser Extension

During an analysis of suspicious online domains, infosec experts came across the Art and Weather browser extension. Touted as a utility designed to showcase captivating browser wallpapers and offer seamless access to up-to-date weather forecasts, the application may initially seem like a worthwhile choice.

However, when taking a close look, the researchers were able to confirm that the Art And Weather makes unwanted alterations to crucial browser settings. Following the typical behavior of browser hijackers, these adjustments were utilized to take unsuspecting users toward the fake search engine through forced redirects.

The Art and Weather Browser Hijacker could Lead to Privacy Issues and Risks

Browser hijackers function by manipulating the fundamental settings of Web browsers, such as the default homepage, search engine and new tab pages. The Art And Weather browser extension undertakes these very same actions. Consequently, once this extension is integrated into a browser, any attempt to open a new tab or start a search via the URL bar will promptly trigger a redirect to the website.

In the vast majority of cases, fake search engines are not capable of generating authentic search results. Instead, they redirect users to established and legitimate internet search platforms. This holds true for as well. This particular domain has been observed taking results from the Bing search engine. It's important to note that the redirect destinations could potentially vary based on factors such as the geographical location of the user.

To fortify their grip on compromised browsers, browser-hijacking software often employs tactics to ensure persistence. These techniques are geared towards preventing users from effectively recovering their browsers and reclaiming control of the modified settings.

Beyond the manipulation of browser functions, the Art And Weather browser hijacker also may have data-tracking capabilities. Typically PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) of this type can assemble a wide range of data, such as visited URLs, accessed pages, executed searches, login credentials, Internet cookies, personally identifiable information, financial data and more. The collected data could be exploited in a variety of ways, including being sold to third parties.

Browser Hijackers and PUPs are Often Installed via Shady Tactics

Browser hijackers and PUPs frequently find their way onto systems through deceptive and underhanded methods. These tactics exploit users' trust and lack of vigilance, often resulting in unintended installations that can compromise the security and functionality of their devices.

One common avenue for the distribution of browser hijackers and PUPs is through software bundling. In this scheme, seemingly legitimate software packages include additional components, often hidden within the installation process. Users, in a rush to install desired software, may overlook these additional items and inadvertently grant permission for the installation of unwanted programs.

Furthermore, misleading advertisements and pop-ups play a pivotal role in this digital subterfuge. Fraud-related actors design these advertisements to mimic legitimate notifications or update prompts, encouraging users to click on them. By doing so, users unknowingly trigger the download and installation of browser hijackers and PUPs.

Additionally, free software downloads from unverified sources can be used for the distribution of unwanted programs. Some websites offer seemingly attractive software for free, only to bundle them with hidden browser hijackers and PUPs that are installed simultaneously.

Email attachments and links within phishing emails can also serve as gateways for these unwelcome intruders. Cybercriminals craft convincing messages that persuade users to download attachments or click on links, resulting in the inadvertent installation of malicious software.

To effectively protect against these deceptive tactics, users should exercise caution when downloading software and updates, particularly from unfamiliar sources. Regularly updating security software, being skeptical of unsolicited emails, and scrutinizing each step of software installations can significantly mitigate the risk of browser hijackers and PUPs infiltrating your system.


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