A browser hijacking software that has been associated with the suspicious search engine 22find(.)com has been reported to take over users’ web browsers and display adverts. The program is not a virus or malware. However it’s behavior makes it fall into the category of potentially unwanted programs. 22find(.)com browser hijacker may collect different information from users and collaborate with third-party services and websites to display targeted advertisements to users. Everyone who has seen the search engine in their address bar as their default engine for Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer are advised to read this article and learn how to be able to remove 22find(.)com browser hijacker fully.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Changes the default web page of your browsers and begins displaying advertisements and using cookies.|
|Symptoms||Changed browser settings, slow computer, PC freezes.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by 22find(.)com |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss 22find(.)com.|
22find(.)com Browser Hijacker – More Information
The browser hijacking software that may set 22find(.)com may be unknowingly installed on your computer, by being included in the installations of other programs which are available for free online. Such programs may be your favorite video player, music mixer, torrent engine and other software. Usually, besides their original websites, such programs are offered for free in websites that provide a lot of freeware in one place with the goal of generating traffic through downloads.
Some third-party websites, however, may use the so-called bundling marketing to make money. And since their policies may allow for them to advertise any programs that they wish to, these websites may not mind or not pay attention to what types of programs they advertise.
This is how users may see the browser hijacker behind 22find(.)com to be added “As a free extra” in one of the installation steps. To detect such programs being installed, it is a should to always check the “Advanced” also known as “Custom” Installation option. It gives the user opportunity to see opt-out boxes if he or she pays attention to the installation. Since some bundled programs may not even exist in the installation steps, malware analysts often recommend that users should only seek the official websites or recognized websites to download the free program they seek.
22find(.)com Browser Hijacker – In-Depth View
Once installed on your computer, the program may appear in several spots:
- As a browser extension or toolbar in Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or other web browser supporting add-ins.
- As a program installed in Programs & Features in Windows.
Upon install, it may immediately change the home page and the new tab page to 22find(.)com, which besides displaying adverts, has no HTTPs connection – something which is highly untypical for search engines.
The page may trick inexperienced users because it very much resembles Google and even displays Google results when you search for something while using it (at the time of writing this):
Not only this, but we have found approximately 13 cookies from third-party websites at the time of writing this research. What was more intriguing, however, were the websites to which the cookies were primarily focused on. They were all “404s” meaning they were not brought up:
Judging by this policy, an infamous company in the pay-per-click advertising sphere, called Elex is associated with the search engine 22find(.)com. It is associated with multiple browser hijackers, similar to another ad-supported network, known as Mindspark.
One of the indicators that this program is part of a pay-per-click scheme is that whenever you click on one of the icons on its main page, it conducts a browser redirect to a V9(.)com related webpage – another notorious and very widespread browser hijacker:
22find(.)com Browser Hijacker – Conclusion
As a bottom line, this web page is associated with software that may turn out to be potentially harmful to your computer. One very strong indicator for this is that it is associated with the name Elex. 22find(.)com browser hijacker may also display advertisements from the shady third-party websites it is related to and the adverts may lead users to various websites. Since such software developers that primarily make their money via ads and pay-per-click schemes are very widespread, they may become a good target for malware writers to “advertise” their malware. And this is how you, a user who does not suspect at all, may receive a browser redirect to a malicious URL that may infect your computer with a dangerous ransomware virus, like Cerber, for example.
This is why experts recommend removing this PUP via using an advanced anti-malware program which will make sure the program is gone for good and protect your computer in the future as well. If you want to delete 22find(.)com and clean up your browser from its ads permanently we advise you to guide yourself by the instructions below and quickly get rid of this potential harm.