Threat Database Potentially Unwanted Programs Glacier Tab Browser Extension

Glacier Tab Browser Extension

The Glacier Tab browser extension initially presents itself as a tool that offers users the ability to enjoy high-definition wallpapers, presumably with a glacier theme, given its name. However, upon conducting a thorough examination of this extension, cybersecurity researchers have identified it as a browser hijacker. This designation is attributed to Glacier Tab's deceptive practices, as it manipulates and modifies various browser settings to promote and endorse the Web address. These manipulations primarily involve redirects that force users to visit the site, which runs counter to their original intentions and may disrupt their browsing experience.

Browser Hijackers Like the Glacier Tab Perform Unauthorized Changes

The Glacier Tab configures the browser's settings, setting as the homepage, default search engine, and new tab pages. Consequently, when users open a new browser tab or input a search query into the URL bar, they are redirected to the website.

Typically, illegitimate search engines are unable to generate search results themselves, so they redirect users to legitimate search engines. Indeed, redirects users to the Google search engine. It's worth noting that this destination may vary due to factors such as the user's geographical location, which can influence the behavior of the rogue application.

Browser-hijacking software frequently employs tactics that ensure its persistence within the user's browser, making it challenging for individuals to recover their browsers to their desired configurations.

Furthermore, the Glacier Tab is highly likely to possess the capability to track user data. The targeted data may encompass a wide range of information, including visited URLs, viewed Web pages, search queries, Internet cookies, account login credentials, personally identifiable information, financial data and more. The gathered details could be shared with or sold to third parties, which may include cybercriminals, raising significant privacy and security concerns for users.

PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Browser Hijackers are Very Rarely Installed Intentionally

PUPs and browser hijackers rely on a range of shady distribution practices that make it highly unlikely for users to install them intentionally. These practices are often designed to deceive or manipulate users, leading them to install these unwanted software unwittingly:

  • Bundled Software: One of the most common tactics is bundling PUPs and browser hijackers with legitimate software downloads. Users looking to install a specific program might not realize that the installation package includes additional, unwanted software. This software is often pre-selected for installation during the setup process, and users may not notice it among various checkboxes and options.
  •  Deceptive Download Sources: PUPs and browser hijackers are frequently distributed through unofficial, suspicious, or deceptive download sources. Users who are seeking to download software or content may end up on websites that employ misleading download buttons, pop-ups or fake download links. These tactics can lead users to click on the wrong links and install unwanted software.
  •  Fake Updates: Some distribution tactics involve displaying fake update notifications for popular software, web browsers, or plugins. Users are tricked into thinking that they need to update their software for security or performance reasons, and clicking on these fake updates initiates the installation of PUPs or browser hijackers.
  •  Social Engineering: Social engineering techniques manipulate users' emotions and psychology to make them take actions they wouldn't normally take. This may include creating a sense of urgency, fear or offering enticing deals to persuade users to download and install the unwanted software.
  •  Malvertising: Fraudulent advertising, or malvertising, involves using advertisements on legitimate websites to distribute PUPs and browser hijackers. These advertisements may appear legitimate, but when clicked, they trigger downloads or redirect to dubious installation pages.
  •  Manipulative Installation Wizards: Some PUPs and browser hijackers use installation wizards that are designed to confuse users. They may use misleading language, hide 'decline' options, or create confusing user interfaces to discourage users from opting out of the installation.

In summary, PUPs and browser hijackers rely on these deceptive distribution practices to hide their installation and make it difficult for users to avoid or remove them intentionally. To protect against these unwanted programs, users should exercise caution when downloading software, avoid unofficial download sources, and pay close attention during the installation process. Additionally, keeping security software up-to-date can help identify and prevent the installation of such unwanted software.


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