The browser hijacker referred to as StartPageing123 is meant to mess around with one’s web surfing in pursuit of traffic monetization and malvertising.
When on startpageing123.com, victims are “welcomed” with the above-mentioned custom search box outsourcing all queries to a popular search engine. There may be a large ad underneath this component, plus all the pages with search results will contain sponsored links. This fact explains the whole gist of this stratagem. The more users get infected with the hijacker, the more hits the landing page receives. The more hits, the more ad views – consequently, the greater the pay-per-view and pay-per-click profit. This looks like a simple scheme, but it can only be viable as long as a piece of malicious code resides inside a specific computer. It is most likely a browser extension or plugin that ended up on one’s machine through social engineering. This add-on is different than regular browser helper objects in that it does not produce any conspicuous requests to authorize adverse changes. The range of permissions obtained by this aggressive extension allows it to replace browser preferences, such as the homepage, default search site and new tab page. Furthermore, it gets sufficient privileges to interfere with DNS server settings on the system so that the right URLs return the wrong sites.
StartPageing123 hits PCs by means of software bundling. This tactic allows cybercrooks to bring together normal applications and potentially unwanted ones, but the inclusion of the latter is deliberately concealed. The malefactors attain this effect due to specially crafted installation clients that promote a package of programs by default. The only way to prevent this from happening is to select the Custom setup option and then untick the wrong entries on the interface before proceeding. Unfortunately, not many people follow this recommendation, which is why adware is so widespread these days. If you are hit by StartPageing123 redirect malware, the right thing to do is get rid of the underlying rogue extension and rectifying the mutilated browser settings.
Automated removal of StartPageing123 virus
Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:
1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button
2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.
Use Control Panel to get rid of startpageing123.com redirect virus
• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows and select Uninstall a program
• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Look for unfamiliar entries under the Name column. When the likely crapware is found, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.
Restore web browser settings to their original defaults
In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by StartPageing123 virus.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter
• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it
• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings
• Restart the browser.
Reset Google Chrome
• Open Chrome, click the icon for Chrome menu and choose Settings
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Show advanced settings
• Click Reset settings
• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset on the warning message
• Restart Chrome.
Reset Internet Explorer
• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools
• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset
• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled
• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.
• Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences
• When on the Preferences screen, select the Privacy tab and hit the Remove All Website Data button if you are up to erasing all website data stored on your Mac. Otherwise, you can use a site-specific removal option described below
• A dialog will appear, asking you to validate your choice. Click the Remove Now button if you are sure. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc.
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, click the Details button under Privacy tab
• Select the websites for which you would like to erase data and click the Remove button
• Click the Done button to confirm and exit. You can also select the Remove All option to remove all data stored by the listed websites.
Revise your security status
Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.
- Petya ransomware removal and system recovery (upd. June 27)
- Sorebrect ransomware – fileless malware exploits PsExec utility
- Remove MOLE02 ransomware virus and decrypt .mole02 files (upd. June 15)
- Erebus ransomware infects Linux web servers in South Korea
- Decrypt .master ransomware files – BTCWare virus variant