ScreenshotBogus search engines are among the most common forms of online scams. In the past couple of years, ESG security analysts have observed a marked rise of these fake online search engines (particularly since the summer of 2011). In fact, it seems that this scam has surpassed what was formerly the most common kind of online scam, the rogue security program's scam. While criminals go to great pains to ensure that their fake search engines are convincing in order to attract victims and to induce them to stay, is a rather uncreative version of this scam. Sporting a white page with nothing but the search bar, the bogus search engine is not particularly credible.

However, its scam is the same and just as profitable as most common examples of this kind of scam. Basically, fake search engines like are designed to display spam and advertisements instead of actual search results. This means that criminals can profit from inflated advertisement revenue and pay-per-click schemes. The obvious question is: why would anyone use for their online searches if there are dozens of reliable, free search engines online? – Google, Yahoo and Bing just to name the biggest of these. Well, criminals ensure that their victims have no other choice but to visit repeatedly.

How Spammers Force on Inexperienced Computer Users

Criminals get paid for each person that sees or clicks on a particular advertisement. To ensure that their victims are exposed to their advertisements as much as possible, spammers use browser hijackers. These are malware infections that basically take over an infected computer's web browser and then force it to carry out several tasks, for example: visiting a particular website, directing web traffic through a particular domain address or displaying pop-up windows.

Unfortunately, ESG security analysts have found that is associated with the most dangerous kinds of browser hijackers, those that take over an entire computer system and change how it goes online. Most redirects to will occur after carrying out a search on one of the popular search engines mentioned above. Then, the browser hijacker takes over the victim's web browser, changing search results so that they direct to instead of to their corresponding website. Not realizing how abnormal this situation is, iInexperienced computer users, not realizing how abnormal this situation is, will often fall for the scam and attempt their search again at the bogus search engine.

Aliases: a variant of Win32/InstallCore.BD [ESET-NOD32] and Suspicious.Cloud.7.L [PCTools].

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  • Use a removable media. Download SpyHunter on another clean computer, burn it to a USB flash drive, DVD/CD, or any preferred removable media, then install it on your infected computer and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.
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  • IE Users: Disable proxy server for Internet Explorer to browse the web with Internet Explorer or update your anti-spyware program. Malware modifies your Windows settings to use a proxy server to prevent you from browsing the web with IE.

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File System Details creates the following file(s):
# File Name Size MD5 Detection Count
1 %APPDATA%\Searchya 95
2 %WINDIR%\System32\Tasks\Searchya 94
3 %WINDIR%\Tasks\Searchya.job 93
4 %APPDATA%\Searchya\UpdateProc\UpdateTask.exe 124,416 ba2262e410ceac160c52b28d467c1c2e 2

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