Users have reported that their Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox web browsers have been affected by a browser hijacker. The hijacker has been reported to be associated with an object, detected as “bloodhound.php”. Its main activities may be focused on collecting user data and displaying browser redirects as well as other forms of targeted advertisements. All users who have been affected by this cyber-threat are strongly advised to immediately perform a system scan of their computer.
|Short Description||The software may change the user’s home page to e third-party hoax website and may display various ads as well as collect user information.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness fake Java Update downloads as well as redirects to other potentially harmful domains.|
|Distribution Method||Via PUPs, installed by bundling 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 Searchforfree(.)info|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss Searchforfree(.)info.|
Searchforfree(.)info – How Did I Get It
Similar to Yes Searches Hijacker you may have unknowingly installed this browser hijacker onto your computer is via the installers of other programs. This is known as bundling, and it is a common practice by third-party websites which are dealing with free software downloads. This means that your favorite program’s installer may have contained this browser hijacker “as a free extra.” Users should always take their time during installation of new software and choose the official website of a program they wish to download online.
Searchforfree(.)info – More About It
Once this program has been installed on the user PC, it is reported to perform the following actions on the web browsers of the user, in case they are installed:
→ Creates registry keys for the following locations:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer,SearchURL = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://searchforfree(.)info/
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://searchforfree(.)info/
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://searchforfree(.)info/
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,CustomizeSearch = http://searchforfree(.)info/browser/
The software may perform the same action for other web browsers in case they are installed on the user PC.
Not only this but Searchforfree(.)info browser hijacker may collect different information using:
- LSOs (Local Shared Objects)
- Tracking Cookies.
The collected information via those technologies then may be used to display browser redirects and other forms of advertisement, based on what the user does online. It may be looking at several user activity areas:
- The user’s browsing history.
- Online clicks.
- Online searches.
Furthermore, the advertisements connected to this software may be several:
- Banners on websites.
- Ad-supported search results.
- Browser Redirects.
These very advertisements are the main reason some researchers may put Searchforfree(.)info browser hijacker in the “indirectly dangerous” category. Two main types of dangers exist that are associated with them:
- Scamming sites.
- Malicious URLs.
This is why users are advised to be particularly aware what type of software they download online and to always have the necessary anti-malware protection.
Remove Searchforfree(.)info Browser Hijacker Completely
To be rid of this browser hijacker, it is strongly advisable to follow the step-by-step removal instructions outlined after this article. They are methodologically arranged so that you could be able to erase fully all files as well as registry entries associated with this browser hijacker from your computer.