LeadingUpdater is a fake search engine that is being promoted through a browser hijacker application or browser extension. The main goal of this scheme is for the PUP to take over specific browser settings of the user's Web browser that will result in artificial traffic being generated for the promoted address. Usually, the homepage, new tab page, and the default search engine are among the affected settings. All three will be modified to open the LeadingUpdater Search engine. While the LeadingUpdater PUP is present on the system, it will prevent users from reverting the browser to its original state.
Fake search engines are incapable of producing any meaningful search results on their own. Instead, they hijack the search queries initiated by the user, and either redirect it straight to a legitimate search engine such as Yahoo, Bing, and Google or go through a redirect change involving multiple questionable search engines before reaching a legitimate one. In LeadingUpdater's case, it uses search.yahoo.com.
However, having a browser hijacker present on your system can be more than a simple nuisance. Nearly all PUPs are equipped with a certain degree of data-harvesting capabilities. Usually, the applications track the user's browsing activities such as clicked URLs, conducted searches, visited websites, etc. However, some dig deeper and also collect device details, including the IP addresses, ISP and geolocation.