Threat Database Adware TotalSearchConsole


Threat Scorecard

Threat Level: 20 % (Normal)
Infected Computers: 1
First Seen: July 13, 2022
Last Seen: September 26, 2022
OS(es) Affected: Windows

TotalSearchConsole is a questionable application that combines the functionalities of adware and browser hijackers. As such, it is extremely unlikely that Mac users, who are the application's primary targets, will be willing to download and install it intentionally. In fact, the opposite is true - in the vast majority of cases, TotalSearchConsole arrives on the Mac system unnoticed by the user due to the underhanded distribution tactics it employs. For example, the application has been observed by infosec researchers to spread itself via a fake installer for Adobe Flash player. This appalling behavior classifies TotalSearchConsole as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). 

Once inside the system, the presence of TotalSearchConsole would become obvious almost instantly. The application will start generating intrusive advertisements that could impact the browsing experience severely. The ads themselves should be regarded with caution as they could redirect to unsafe sites carrying out tactics, trying to obtain sensitive user information, or spreading more PUPs.

At the same time, TotalSearchConsole will take over certain browser settings (usually browser hijackers target the homepage, new tab page and the default search engine) to promote a sponsored link. Browser hijackers are oftentimes used as a vehicle to drive artificial traffic towards a fake search engine. Fake search engines cannot produce any search results on their own. Instead, they redirect the user to either a legitimate engine or a dubious one that will deliver unreliable results injected with sponsored advertisements. 

However, PUPs have another nasty surprise up their sleeve. Most of the applications that fall under this classification are capable of spying on the user's browsing habits. They obtain information such as the entire browsing history, search history, and all clicked URLs, package it, and then transmit the data to a remote server. It is strongly recommended to never keep PUPs on your Mac and to remove them with a professional security product as soon as you notice their presence. 


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