'Yahoo Search' Redirect Virus (Search.yahoo.com)
Yahoo Search is a legitimate search engine created by Yahoo!, so users who use it for their online searches deliberately should feel safe to keep doing it. However, if you have picked up a different default search engine, but your browser redirects you to yahoo.search.com constantly without your consent, then, most likely, you have a browser hijacker called "Yahoo Search Redirect" installed on your computer. This is a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) with some possibly threatening and harmful functionalities such as hijacking the computer user's Web browser. It has nothing to do with the Web-services company Yahoo!
Misleading software like the "Yahoo Search Redirect" infiltrates computers in many possible ways. Though, a common feature is that they get installed automatically. Very prominent distribution channels are corrupted online advertisements, spam email campaigns, and a method known as 'bundling.' When 'bundled,' PUPs are deployed as additional installations during another program's setup process.
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What Is the Purpose of the Yahoo Search Redirect Browser Hijacker?
The primary purpose of a browser hijacker like the 'Yahoo Search Redirect is to modify specific browser settings to redirect online traffic to partner websites or services, which generates advertising revenues for the malware owners. Typically, the affected browser homepage, new tab URL, and default search engine will be replaced with a fake search provider so that users are sent to this address each time they launch their browser. These unwanted tools also can inject intrusive banners and advertisements on legit websites or display such unsolicited content directly on the infected device.
Most browser hijackers also perform data-tracking activities in the background. Whereby their goal is to extract browsing and system data, stored information in applications, or even sensitive user data like login credentials and personal details.
How Does Yahoo Search Redirect Install and Where Does It Come From?
In most cases of a browser hijacker loading on a PC, they come from the installation of other software or add-on components. In such situations, the download and installation of freeware apps, bundled software, or third-party applications will often load components onto popular web browsers that modify Internet settings. The case of the Yahoo Redirect issue is a prime example of components being loaded into a web browser that modify Internet settings so that the Yahoo search page is set as a default home page or new tab page. It may only take an installed browser extension to cause the unwanted Yahoo redirect, such as shown in the following image.
Example of Google Chrome's list of extensions that may cause unwanted Yahoo Search redirects
Computer users looking to avoid the installation of Yahoo redirect components or other potentially unwanted programs will want to be mindful and cautious of downloading and installing random software. Most of the culprits come from freeware download sites and peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing networks, like BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, and others.
Obviously, the 'Yahoo Search Redirect' Virus has no added value for the user; on the contrary – it may lead to severe privacy issues and financial losses. Moreover, many PUPs like this one install 'helper objects,' which prevent users from reverting their browser settings to the initial state. This is possible only after the malware has been removed from the system. We recommend uninstalling the 'Yahoo Search Redirect' from your computer through an automated malware removal tool, as that would ensure the integrity of your device and your data.
Because the Yahoo Redirect issue is not an actual computer virus, more along the lines of an annoyance, there may not be a clear-cut method for removal. However, computer users may utilize the necessary resources to eliminate the Yahoo Redirect problem using antimalware applications, which are also designed to rid computers of viruses and malware.