New Tab Theme Buddy

The New Tab Theme Buddy is marketed as a useful tool for customizing browser wallpapers and themes, creating personal greetings, and other related actions that may sound attractive for some users. However, malware researchers stamp this program as a browser hijacker as they have observed several potentially harmful features that it undertakes once installed on a computer. Furthermore, this program is considered a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) as it usually installs stealthily on a computer bundled with the installation setup of other programs.

The New Tab Theme Buddy modifies the browser's settings, replacing the homepage, default search engine, and new tab URL with the address of a fake search tool named '' Thus, users get redirected to this fake search engine each time they launch their browser or conduct an online search query. '' is called fake because it does not have the functionalities needed to generate its own search results. To present a results page to the user, it causes redirection chains that end up with the search results from a legit search engine. Depending on the user's geolocation, '' uses either Google or Bing for that purpose.

Browser hijackers also have scripts that prevent the user from resetting the browser to its previous state. Hence, recovery is not possible without the complete removal of the PUA from the computer. An additional highly threatening feature of the New Tab Theme Buddy is that it can collect the user's personal information related to their browsing history, like visited URLs, IP addresses, search terms, etc. Owners of browser hijackers then profit from the extracted data by sharing it with third-parties, while affected users may suffer financial losses and even identity theft.


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