Threat Database Potentially Unwanted Programs SurfGuru Browser Extension

SurfGuru Browser Extension

SurfGuru is another dubious browser extension uncovered by infosec researchers. According to their analysis, SurfGuru is a browser hijacker disguised as a quick access tool for surfing-related content such as news, advice, and products. The extension alters browser settings and redirects users to the fake search engine. This is a typical characteristic of browser hijackers, as their main purpose is the promotion of shady web addresses. As a result, users could potentially be exposed to untrustworthy content, which could put their online security and privacy at risk. It is recommended that users remove SurfGuru immediately if they encounter it on their devices.

Browser Hijackers Like SurfGuru can Take Over Users' Browsers

After installation, the SurfGuru browser extension changes the new tab page, homepage, default search engine of the user's Web browser to This causes all web searches performed via the URL bar or new tabs opened by users to be redirected to the fake search engine. Fake search engines typically lack the capability to generate search results. Indeed, redirects users to and shows results taken from Bing (, which is a legitimate search engine. However, this may vary depending on the user's location.

It is worth noting that browser hijackers tend to use techniques that ensure persistence, which is the case with SurfGuru. Moreover, this browser extension is likely to collect browsing data and spy on users' browsing activity, including visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, IP addresses, cookies, usernames/passwords, personal details, finance-related information, and more. This data can be sold to third parties, making it a severe privacy concern.

PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Browser Hijackers Rely Heavily on Shady Distribution Tactics

PUPs and browser hijackers are typically distributed using shady tactics that aim to deceive users into installing them. Some common methods used in their distribution include bundling, misleading advertisements, and social engineering.

Bundling involves packaging the PUP or browser hijacker with legitimate software so that users install it unknowingly. These PUPs are often bundled with freeware or shareware applications, where users are given the option to accept or decline additional software during the installation process. Unfortunately, many users overlook these additional offers, and the PUP or browser hijacker gets installed alongside the intended software.

Misleading advertisements can also be used to trick users into installing PUPs or browser hijackers. Advertisements that claim to offer free downloads or software updates often have hidden PUPs or browser hijackers embedded in them. Users who click on these ads unknowingly download and install the PUP or browser hijacker onto their systems.

Social engineering tactics involve tricking users into downloading and installing the PUP or browser hijacker themselves. This can be done via phishing emails, fake software updates, or even by posing as legitimate technical support. The user is often lured into clicking on a link or downloading an attachment, which then installs the PUP or browser hijacker onto their system.

These tactics are designed to take advantage of users' lack of awareness and their trust in seemingly legitimate software and advertisements. PUPs and browser hijackers can be dangerous to users' privacy and security, so it is important to be cautious when downloading software from unfamiliar sources and to use reputable anti-malware software to protect against these unwanted applications.


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