SearchIT New Tab

Threat Scorecard

Ranking: 5,226
Threat Level: 20 % (Normal)
Infected Computers: 1,229
First Seen: January 31, 2023
Last Seen: September 27, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

Cybersecurity researchers discovered a browser extension called the SearchIT New Tab, which is being promoted on dubious websites. Upon a more accurate inspection, it was determined that the SearchIT New Tab operates as a browser hijacker. It may modify the settings of users' Web browsers with the goal of causing frequent redirects to a promoted website at The site itself is a fake search engine.

Intrusive Actions Associated with the SearchIT New Tab

The SearchIT New Tab is a browser-hijacking software that has been found to assign as the homepage, new tab/window URL and default search engine on users' browsers. When a new browser tab/window is opened or a search query is typed into the URL bar – it results in unwanted redirects. This fake search engine is unable to provide real search results, so it instead causes further redirects to legitimate ones, such as Google. It should be noted that where sites like land may vary depending on various factors, such as the user geolocation.

In addition, the SearchIT New Tab utilizes the 'Managed by your organization' feature of Google Chrome to ensure persistence and prevent users from recovering their browsers. It also is likely that this browser hijacker collects browsing-related data, such as visited URLs, viewed Web ages, searched queries, etc., which could then be monetized by being sold to third parties.

How are Browser Hijackers and Other Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) Spread?

Browser hijackers and PUPs are typically spread through deceptive downloads, such as fake updates to popular programs like Java or Adobe Flash Player. Additionally, they also may be spread through dubious advertisements on websites or via email attachments.

One of the more common methods for the distribution of such intrusive applications is known as 'bundling.' It consists of including the browser hijacker alongside other applications, and when the user downloads the package, the additional items get installed as well. The user might not even be aware that something else was downloaded in addition to the desired application. This can be prevented by carefully reading each step of the installation and opting out of any suspicious offers. It's also wise to use reputable anti-malware software to help monitor and protect your computer from such invasive applications.


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