This article highlights the chromesearch.win hijacker issue and provides an effective method to stop the annoying redirects in targeted web browsers.
Computer infections zeroing in on web browsers aren’t nearly as severe as phenomena like ransomware or banking Trojans. However, they are a heck of a nuisance. They are also amongst cybercriminals’ favorites, because they don’t cause critical damage to computers and their distribution is semi-legit, so there is negligible probability of legal prosecution for this type of activity. The impact of e-culprits like the chromesearch.win hijacker and its replica chromesearch.today is isolated to crippling the settings of a victim’s browsers. Specifically, said infection modifies the homepage, default search and new tab values without clearly asking for user consent. As a result, the victims find themselves in a redirect loop where they constantly visit chromesearch.win against their discretion.
Let’s have a look at the web page itself to try and understand the crooks’ motivation for spreading the underlying malicious program. Chromesearch.win claims to be ‘Chrome Search’ and looks just like your garden-variety search engine. It contains a search box that, when something is entered in it, returns Google results. There are also some additional attributes of a regular search provider, including shortcuts that point to image and video search as well as Gmail. In fact, there is nothing harmful in the landing page proper. However, the black hats benefit from every visit to chromesearch.win due to an integrated advertising model, such as pay-per-click or similar. There may be an ad banner showing up on the main page, plus the results pages contain sponsored links above the fold.
The way this potentially unwanted application infects Windows computers isn’t about reinventing the wheel. The perpetrators behind the campaign use an old school contamination technique known as bundling. When a user is installing some free software off of various download portals, they run the risk of being confronted with a scenario where something malicious hides behind the main app. Unless the custom setup option is selected and the bad item is unticked, the unwelcome code depositing takes place.
Once inside, the chromesearch.win virus adds a new extension to Chrome and other browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, that harnesses the privileges granted during installation to alter browsing settings. The browsers will henceforth default to the rogue page without a chance to switch back to correct settings manually. The infection also harvests the victim’s private information in order to display targeted ads on the landing page and deeper-level results pages. At the end of the day, this issue grows into a serious predicament not yielding to an easy fix. The tips below will do the trick, though.
Automated removal of chromesearch.win 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 chromesearch.win PUP
• 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. Find Chrome Search, Chromesearch.win, Chromesearch.today or some other unfamiliar entry under the Name column, 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 chromesearch.win.
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 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 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.