Threat Scorecard

Ranking: 7,598
Threat Level: 20 % (Normal)
Infected Computers: 17
First Seen: June 16, 2024
Last Seen: June 28, 2024
OS(es) Affected: Windows

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) often hijack critical browser settings to promote questionable Web pages, significantly compromising user experience and security. One prominent example is, a dubious website that redirects users to various search engines. Cybersecurity researchers have extensively analyzed and revealed it as a fake search engine that undermines user control over their browsing environment.

How Compromises User Experience? masquerades as a legitimate search engine but fails to deliver genuine search results. Instead, it redirects users to various other search engines, often unreliable, to promote potentially fraudulent pages and applications. This practice compromises the integrity of the user's browsing experience and can lead to exposure to unsafe content.

Websites like are typically promoted through browser hijackers. These hijackers forcibly redirect users to these dubious search engines, stripping them of control over their browsing settings. The hijackers alter critical settings such as the standard search engine, homepage, and new tab page, making it difficult for users to revert to their preferred configurations.

Security and Privacy Concerns

Infosec researchers have identified that frequently redirects users to other search engines, which can expose them to significant privacy and security risks. Users redirected from sites like may find themselves on:

  • Phishing Websites: Sites designed to trick users into disclosing personal information like credit card details and passwords.
  • Fraudulent Giveaway and Lottery Pages: Deceptive pages promising rewards to collect personal data.
  • Fake Surveys: Surveys that gather personal information under pretenses.
  • Technical Support Tactics: Fake support pages designed to convince users to pay for unnecessary services or software.

The installers promoting dubious sites like often include various unwanted applications. Users experiencing redirects from are likely to have dubious applications or extensions installed on their computers or browsers. Some of these may be unsafe, posing significant security and privacy risks by collecting sensitive data and undermining system performance. and the associated PUPs might collect browsing-related data, including search queries, geolocation data, and browsing history. This information can be sold to third parties or misused for marketing and other purposes, further compromising user privacy

The Deceptive Distribution of PUPs and Browser Hijackers

PUPs and browser hijackers are rarely installed intentionally. They typically rely on deceptive distribution tactics designed to trick users into installing them without fully understanding the consequences.

  • Bundling: One common method is bundling, where PUPs and hijackers are included as additional software in the installation packages of legitimate applications. During the installation process, users may be rushed through or misled by confusing language and obscure checkboxes, inadvertently allowing the unwanted software to be installed.
  • Misleading Advertisements and Fake Updates: These programs are often marketed using misleading advertisements or fake update prompts. Users may be led to believe they are downloading a necessary update or useful tool, only to find they have installed unwanted software.
  • Rogue Websites and Scare Tactics: PUPs and browser hijackers may also be distributed through dubious websites that use scare tactics, such as fake virus alerts or security warnings. These methods exploit users' fears and lack of technical knowledge, pressuring them into downloading the software.

Due to these underhanded distribution practices, many users end up with PUPs and browser hijackers on their systems without ever intending to install them. This results in compromised browser settings, reduced system performance, and increased security risks. To avoid these issues, users should be cautious during software installation, avoid dubious websites, and utilize reputable security tools to protect their systems.

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