Nature-Newtab Browser Extension
Infosec researchers discovered Nature-Newtab, a rogue browser extension, and are warning users about its intrusive capabilities. This extension's primary function is to alter several necessary browser settings as a way to promote an illegitimate search engine. More specifically, Nature-Newtab is tasked with generating artificial traffic toward the api.nature-newtab.com address through the use of redirects. As a result of these actions, Nature-Newtab is classified as a browser hijacker.
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Browser Hijackers Like Nature-Newtab Often Lead to Security and Privacy Concerns
Nature-Newtab has been observed modifying the default search engine, homepage, and new page tab of users' web browsers. The goal of these changes is to redirect the user to the api.nature-newtab.com website. As a result, whenever a new browser tab is opened or a search query is started via the affected browser's URL bar, users will be redirected to promoted address.
Browser-hijacking software often employs tactics to maintain persistence by blocking access to removal-related settings or reversing any subsequent changes made to the targeted settings.
Fake search engines like api.nature-newtab.com are most often unable to generate search results on their own, so they redirect users to legitimate search engines instead. The api.nature-newtab.com engine is not an exception, and it has been confirmed to cause further redirects and show results taken from the legitimate Bing engine. However, it is a must to consider that the specific destinations of the forced redirects may not always be identical, depending on factors such as the user's geolocation.
Nature-Newtab may Collect Browsing Information
Browser hijackers and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) are often equipped with the functionality to collect specific data. Typically, they gather various types of information, including visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, frequently visited websites, IP addresses (geolocations), Internet cookies, etc. However, some of these untrustworthy applications also may be able to gain access to usernames and passwords, personally identifiable details, financial data and more. This collected information could then be monetized through its sale to third parties.
Browser Hijackers and PUPs Often Mask Their Installation via Dubious Distribution Tactics
PUPs and browser hijackers employ various shady distribution tactics to infiltrate users' devices. These tactics are designed to deceive users into installing these unwanted programs without their knowledge or explicit consent.
One common method used by PUPs and browser hijackers is bundling. They are often packaged alongside legitimate software downloads or updates, disguising their presence during the installation process. Users may inadvertently agree to install these unwanted programs by overlooking or misunderstanding the bundled software offers or by choosing default installation settings without carefully reviewing the options.
Another tactic involves deceptive advertisements and misleading download buttons. PUPs and browser hijackers may use pop-up advertisements or banners on websites that mimic legitimate download buttons or claim to offer necessary updates or enhancements. Users may click on these misleading buttons, thinking they are accessing desired content, but end up installing the unwanted programs instead.
Social engineering techniques also are employed by PUPs and browser hijackers. They may trick users through deceptive tactics, such as fake system alerts or error messages, urging them to download or install certain programs to resolve the reported issues. In some cases, they may impersonate reputable brands or services to gain users' trust and convince them to install the malicious software.
Furthermore, PUPs and browser hijackers may leverage unsafe email attachments or links, masquerading as legitimate correspondence or enticing offers. Users who unknowingly interact with these deceptive emails may end up executing the malware or inadvertently downloading unwanted programs onto their devices.
It is worth noting that PUPs and browser hijackers continuously evolve their distribution tactics, making it challenging for users to discern their wrong intentions and avoid falling victim to their installation techniques. Therefore, it is crucial for users to exercise caution, employ reliable security software, keep their systems and applications up to date, and be vigilant while browsing the Internet or downloading software to protect against these deceptive practices.