Safe Search Eng

Threat Scorecard

Ranking: 2,477
Threat Level: 50 % (Medium)
Infected Computers: 1,800
First Seen: November 14, 2022
Last Seen: September 29, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The Safe Search Eng is a type of browser extension that manipulates the search functionality of users' Web browsers, redirecting their searches to an undesired search engine. This intrusive software, known as a browser hijacker, alters the default search engine settings of the browser, forcing it to utilize instead. Browser hijackers like the Safe Search Eng can significantly impact the browsing experience on the device.

Browser Hijackers Like the Safe Search Eng Often Lead to Privacy Issues

Browser hijackers are a type of intrusive software that aim to take control of a user's web browser and alter its settings without their consent. These programs typically operate in a similar manner, exhibiting several common characteristics and behaviors.

When a browser hijacker like the Safe Search Eng gets installed device, it starts by modifying the browser's settings, including the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page. This alteration is designed to redirect the user's browsing activities to predetermined websites or search engines chosen by the hijacker's creators. In this case, users will experience forced redirects to the fake search engine.

Fake engines are categorized as such because they lack the ability to produce meaningful search results on their own. Instead, causes further redirects and shows users results taken from the legitimate Yahoo search engine.

Additionally, browser hijackers may gather user data and browsing habits to create user profiles for targeted advertising or to sell to third-party advertisers. This invasion of privacy further emphasizes the malicious intent behind these programs.

PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Browser Hijackers Rely Heavily on Questionable Distribution Tactics

Browser hijackers and PUPs can find their way onto users' devices through various methods and sources. Understanding these potential avenues of installation can help users take precautionary measures to avoid unwanted software on their devices. Here are some common ways browser hijackers and PUPs can get installed:

  1. Software Bundling: One prevalent method involves bundling unwanted software with legitimate software downloads. When users download and install software from unreliable sources or websites, they may inadvertently install additional programs without their knowledge. These bundled installations often include browser hijackers or PUPs.
  2.  Deceptive Advertising: Malicious or misleading advertisements, commonly known as malvertising, can redirect users to websites that prompt them to install unwanted software. These deceptive ads can be encountered while browsing certain websites or even through legitimate ad networks.
  3.  Fake Software Updates: Users may be tricked into installing browser hijackers or PUPs disguised as software updates or security patches. Attackers can mimic legitimate software update notifications to deceive users into downloading and installing malicious programs.
  4.  Untrustworthy Websites: Visiting websites with poor security measures or engaging with untrustworthy content, such as illegal streaming or file-sharing platforms, increases the risk of inadvertently downloading and installing browser hijackers or PUPs.
  5.  Freeware and File-Sharing Platforms: Downloading software from unreliable or unofficial sources, especially free software or files shared through peer-to-peer networks, carries a higher risk of bundled installations of unwanted programs.

Users should exercise caution while downloading and installing software, visiting websites, opening email attachments, and interacting with online advertisements. Being mindful of the sources and legitimacy of the software being installed, keeping software and operating systems updated, by applying the latest security patches, and utilizing reputable anti-malware software can help protect against browser hijackers, PUPs and even threats.

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