Threat Database Adware PublicConsoleSearch


The core functionality of PublicConsoleSearch is to act as an adware application, but it also has been equipped with browser hijacker capabilities. PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) such as PublicConsoleSearch are rarely installed by users willingly. Instead, they rely on deceptive distribution techniques that hide their installation process. Indeed, PublicConsoleSearch has been observed to be delivered through fake installers for the Adobe Flash Player. 

When the PUP begins to execute its programming, the affected users may be bombarded with intrusive and unwanted advertising materials. The advertisements could appear as pop-up windows, banners, coupons, surveys and even in-text hyperlinks. At the same time, the browser hijacker part of the application will take control over specific browser settings such as the homepage, new tab page, and the default search engine. All modified settings will be set to open a promoted address, most likely that of a fake search engine. 

While PublicConsoleSearch may not present a danger to the system it is installed on, the advertisements it generates should be viewed as a security weakness. They may redirect the user to unsafe domains conducting phishing or technical support tactics, spreading additional PUPs, etc. Users also should keep in mind that most browser hijackers track the browsing activities on the system they are installed on. Among the collected information could be the browsing and search histories, IP addresses, geolocation and more. 


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