Threat Database Potentially Unwanted Programs Plantastic Tab Browser Extension

Plantastic Tab Browser Extension

Threat Scorecard

Ranking: 4,576
Threat Level: 50 % (Medium)
Infected Computers: 68
First Seen: May 28, 2023
Last Seen: September 28, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered another dubious extension named the Plantastic Tab browser extension. The primary function of this application has been confirmed to be to modify the settings of users' browsers, thereby promoting the fake search engine through redirects. This behavior has led to the classification of the Plantastic Tab as a browser hijacker.

Browser Hijackers Like the Plantastic Tab could Cause Privacy and Security Issues

After installing the Plantastic Tab, users will notice alterations to the default search engine, homepage and new tab page of their Web browser. The goal is to redirect users to the website and generate artificial traffic as a result. Whenever users attempt to open a new browser tab or window or enter a search query in the browser's URL bar, they are consistently redirected to

In line with the behavior of many fake search engines, does not generate its own search results. Instead, it redirects to the legitimate Bing search engine ( However, the destination of the caused redirects may vary based on factors such as user geolocation, potentially leading users to dubious search engines or websites.

Furthermore, browser-hijacking software often employs tactics to impede the removal process and maintain persistence. This can include limiting access to removal-related settings or undoing any subsequent changes made by users.

Considering the nature of browser hijackers, it is highly likely that the Plantastic Tab possesses data-tracking capabilities. Such capabilities are commonly employed to gather various types of data, including visited URLs, viewed Web pages, search queries, Internet cookies, login credentials, personally identifiable information, financial details and more. This collected data can be utilized for profit by selling it to third parties or other forms of misuse.

PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Browser Hijackers Often Use Questionable Distribution Methods

PUPs and browser hijackers often employ questionable distribution methods to infiltrate users' systems. These methods are designed to deceive or trick users into unintentionally installing these unwanted programs without their knowledge or explicit consent.

One common distribution method involves bundling the PUP or browser hijacker with legitimate software downloads. These unwanted programs are bundled together with popular free software, such as file converters, media players, or system optimization tools. Users may overlook or rush through the installation process, not realizing that additional programs are being installed alongside the desired software. This tactic capitalizes on users' tendency to opt for default installation settings, which often include the installation of bundled software.

Another technique is the use of deceptive advertisements or pop-ups that mimic legitimate system messages or software updates. Users may encounter pop-up messages claiming that their system is infected or outdated and prompting them to download a file or access a link to fix the issue. However, these links or files lead to the installation of PUPs or browser hijackers instead.

PUPs and browser hijackers also may be distributed through misleading or unsafe websites. Users may unknowingly visit compromised websites or click on misdirecting links that trigger automatic downloads or installations of unwanted programs. These websites may employ deceptive tactics, such as fake download buttons or misleading information, to trick users into initiating the installation process.

Additionally, email attachments and phishing campaigns can serve as vehicles for distributing PUPs and browser hijackers. Cybercriminals may send emails masquerading as legitimate organizations or individuals, enticing users to open attachments or click on links that initiate the installation of unwanted programs.

Social engineering techniques are frequently used to manipulate users into voluntarily installing PUPs and browser hijackers. This can include enticing users with free offers, prizes, or exclusive content, requiring them to provide personal information or download a specific program to access the promised benefits. These tactics exploit users' curiosity or desire for rewards, leading them to install unwanted programs inadvertently.

In conclusion, PUPs and browser hijackers employ various deceptive and misleading distribution methods to gain access to users' systems. Users should exercise caution when downloading software, clicking on pop-ups or links, visiting websites, opening email attachments, and interacting with suspicious offers or requests to avoid inadvertently installing these unwanted programs.


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