Threat Database Browser Hijackers Searchello - Safe Search Engine

Searchello - Safe Search Engine

The Searchello - Safe Search Engine browser extension from hxxps://www.searchello[.]com is promoted to deliver an enhanced search functionality to Google Chrome users. The app at hand is marketed via free software bundles, and it might apply potentially unwanted changes to your new tab and search settings in Google Chrome. The Searchello - Safe Search Engine browser extension can be downloaded from hxxps://www.searchello[.]com and Installing the app from the Chrome Web Store bring up a notification that says:

‘Add "Searchello - Safe Search Engine"
It can:
Read and change all your data on the websites you visit.
Communicate with cooperating sites.
Change your search settings to:
Manage your apps, extensions, and themes.’

You should note that the new tab provided by Searchello - Safe Search Engine does not include links to your Web apps. Additionally, the Searchello - Safe Search Engine extension does not include support for themes, and it may seem strange to many users that the Searchello - Safe Search Engine app requires extensive privileges outside of its advertised functionality. In reality, the Searchello - Safe Search Engine extension is an ad-supported program that does not offer valid developer information. There is no 'About' page or Piracy and EULA pages published on hxxps://www.searchello[.]com. We have observed the Searchello - Safe Search Engine extension contact remote servers operated by ad networks and inject personalized commercials on the new tab and the search results page on hxxps://www.searchello[.]com/search?q=[search terms]. Additionally, the searchello[.]com search services provider may appear to support SSL certificates when you look at the URL bar/Omnibox, but we found that this site uses Amazon's certificates for authentication. The lack of proper authentication, the requests for extensive privileges and the behavioral marketing technologies implemented in Searchello are causes for cybersecurity vendors to tag the app as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP).


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