Threat Scorecard

Ranking: 197
Threat Level: 50 % (Medium)
Infected Computers: 3,137
First Seen: February 6, 2024
Last Seen: March 15, 2024
OS(es) Affected: Windows

While examining deceptive websites, cybersecurity experts identified an installation package harboring a suspicious application that coerces users into visiting, a questionable search engine. Browser-hijacking programs usually manipulate browser settings to promote such sites, but in this particular instance, the application refrained from making any alterations to these settings. However, it does employ a persistence mechanism, which adds complexity to the removal process. This persistence mechanism likely ensures the application remains entrenched in the system, making it more challenging for users to eliminate the unwanted software effectively.

Be Careful When Interacting with Unproven Seach Engines Like

The questionable application that endorses redirects users to this address whenever they enter a search query into the URL bar, and notably, this redirection occurs through Upon analysis, is identified as a dubious search engine, warranting caution from users due to potential security and privacy risks. Shady search engines like often lack robust security measures, exposing users to threats such as malware, phishing attacks and other online risks.

In addition to the security concerns, these dubious search engines may neglect user privacy, potentially collecting and exploiting sensitive information for unauthorized purposes. Furthermore, utilizing such search engines can compromise the overall browsing experience, as users may encounter misleading or manipulated search results, leading to the dissemination of unreliable information or exposure to unsafe websites. It is advisable for users to opt for reputable and well-established search engines to ensure a safer online experience with enhanced security measures and a commitment to user privacy.

To complicate matters, the application promoting employs a persistence technique to hinder removal and prevent users from restoring their browsers. The redirections are orchestrated by processes named 'IdealWeightOperator' and 'IdealWeightService,' which prove challenging to eliminate.

Moreover, the application utilizes the legitimate Windows tool 'ServiceUI' to reactivate these processes even after termination through Task Manager and system restarts. This persistence mechanism adds a layer of complexity to the removal process, making it more challenging for users to effectively eliminate unwanted applications from their systems.

Pay Attention When Installing Applications from Dubious Sources

While installing browser hijackers and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) on their devices, users can adopt several preventive measures:

  • Be Mindful of Downloads: Only download software and applications from reputable and official sources. Avoid downloading cracked or pirated software, as it often comes bundled with unwanted programs.
  •  Custom Installation: When installing new software, choose the custom or advanced option. This way, PC users can review and deselect any additional software bundled with the desired application.
  •  Use Reliable Security Software: Install reputable anti-malware software. Regularly update and run scans to detect and remove any potential threats.
  •  Be Cautious with Email Attachments: Avoid opening email attachments from unknown or suspicious senders. Unsafe attachments can install browser hijackers and other unwanted programs.
  •  Exercise Caution with Links: Be cautious when clicking on links, especially in emails, pop-ups, or on unfamiliar websites. Corroborate the legitimacy of the source before clicking.
  •  Educate Yourself: Stay informed about common online threats and tactics used by harmful software. Awareness is crucial in recognizing potential risks and avoiding them.
  •  Use Browser Security Features: Enable browser security features, such as pop-up blockers and safe browsing settings, to reduce the likelihood of encountering unsafe content.

By incorporating these practices into their online habits, users can significantly reduce the risk of inadvertently installing browser hijackers and PUPs on their devices, thereby enhancing the overall security of their systems. Video

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