In case the home page or the new tab of your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer has been changed to home(.)searchpile(.)com you have an ad-supported browser hijacker on your computer. The potentially harmful software that is detected as a PUP.Optional has been reported numerously to significantly slow down affected computers. Furthermore, browser crashes and information aggregation from affected users are also present in reports by those who have come across this hijacker. Users are strongly advised to immediately remove the threat, instructions for which are provided after the article.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Symptoms||The user may have the page set as his homepage without his approval and witness heavy advertisement. Side effects are slow PC, web browser crashing, redirects etc.|
|Distribution Method||Via PUPs, installed by bundling (Browser Hijackers) or by visiting a suspicious third-party site that is advertising it.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by SearchPile|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss SearchPile.|
Search Pile Browser Hijacker – How Did I Get It
The ad-supported search engine that hijacks users` web browser is observed to distribute either via other unwanted programs or most commonly via bundled downloads. Bundled software is there for a reason – it aims to monetize the third-party sites from which it is downloaded by being embedded in the installers. In case you have come across any “Add this as a free extra” type of installation steps in the “Custom” installation option, there is a good chance this was a bundled application. Bottom line, it is strongly recommended to be very cautious from which sites you download software and always to look for the official providers.
Search Pile Browser Hijacker – What Does It Do
The collected data by the provider of the hijacker includes the following:
- Unique identifier.
- Hardware and Software information.
- User`s configuration settings.
- Information about the user`s operating system.
- Information about the web browsers used.
- Details about the actual location of the user PC.
- Information about other software that is being used.
This information is usually combined with other information, aggregated and then sold or shared with third parties. It might assist different interests. For example, on one affected PC with the browser hijacker we have discovered the following IP addresses to have active outbound connection after two months of usage:
Furthermore, it was established that the computer affected with Search Pile Browser Hijacker had other suspicious programs and browser extensions that were causing up to 5 redirects to third-party scamming or malicious websites:
- ChEapMe 5.1
- ExstraSavingaS 4.2
- iWebar V2.1 0.95.62
- ShopDrop 4.7
- Shopper-Pro 188.8.131.52
- Swift Record 1.0.1 1.0.1
There was also suspicious software installed directly in the Program Files of Windows as programs:
Here is how a relatively powerful computer system affected with such ad-supported software looks like after it has been affected with Search Pile and other Unwanted Software:
Furthermore, some third-party websites may lead the user to harmful hosts that may be of two types:
- Type 1: Scamming sites that use different social engineering techniques to deceive users into entering their personal or financial credentials and steal their funds.
- Type 2: Malicious URLs that may directly infect users with malware.
To administer its pop-ups and collect user information, Search Pile browser hijacker may use different tracking technologies:
- Web Beacons
- LSOs (Local Shared Objects)
- Unique Identifier Technologies
The web domain home(.)searchpile(.)com is, in fact, a hoax search engine and has been reported to redirect users to google(.)com with ad-supported search results. Furthermore, the search engine may display redirects to other sites and install even more ad-supported software. Users who see the search engine should immediately remove it.
Remove Search Pile Browser Hijacker Completely
To remove this hijacker, it is strongly advisable that you use a specific software since there is no guarantee that a manual removal of the program`s source file will eradicate it. This is because unwanted programs like Search Pile Browser Hijacker tend to change different settings that may either conceal their actual files or even make them reappear. This is why it is strongly recommended to use special anti-malware software that will detect and remove all associated files, registry objects and others associated with the Search Pile menace.
Step 1: Remove/Uninstall SearchPile in Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program. No matter if you are using Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall SearchPile.
Step 2: Remove SearchPile from your browser
Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu
Select SearchPile and click “Remove”
After SearchPile is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
Select SearchPile to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.
After SearchPile has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.
From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
In the new window select ‘Extensions’
Click once on SearchPile
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall SearchPile. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the SearchPile will be removed.