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Remove CheetaSearch(.)com Browser Hijacker Entirely

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-main-page

CheetaSearch(.)com the main web page for a browser hijacker. The Imali Media Ltd. company is the creator of the unwanted program. Every search query you make will go through another hijacker named SafeFinder, as well. The hijacker will change your browser settings, such as the homepage, search engine, and new tab to Search.CheetaSearch(.)com and might even add a toolbar or a plug-in to your browsers. Advertisements can appear when you browse. To remove the hijacker and the files tied to it, you should read the article carefully.

Threat Summary

NameCheetaSearch(.)com
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionAll browsers on your computer could be affected. The hijacker can redirect you and filter each of your searches.
SymptomsBrowser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and new tab, browser plugins and a toolbar. You could see third party content and advertising.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by CheetaSearch(.)com

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss CheetaSearch(.)com.

CheetaSearch(.)com – Distribution Tactics

CheetaSearch(.)com can utilize several distribution tactics to get in your browsers. Usually, this happens with third-party installations. Software bundles, along with freeware installer setups, can put the hijacker inside your computer. This kind of setups might have additional components selected for installing, by default. Lots of settings could be modified without prior notice so the unwanted program could be in your computer and you might not know about it. To prevent such installations can happen if you find Custom or Advanced settings inside the setup to deselect the unwanted components.

CheetaSearch(.)com can be distributed to your computer system through the use of advertising content, like banners, pop-ups or similar advert types. The hijacker could also be distributed with the aid of suspicious websites hosting redirecting links. These websites could be partnered with CheetaSearch(.)com. Browsers that can be affected are: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.

CheetaSearch(.)com – Detailed Overview

CheetaSearch(.)com is the official web page and search engine of the browser hijacker with the same name – CheetaSearch. The company which made it is Imali Media Ltd., known for the production of other browser hijacker applications in the past. You can learn more about Imali Media Hijackers from our blog.

You can see a screenshot of the main page below:

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-main-page2

The CheetaSearch(.)com page is made of a search bar, and a couple of links redirecting to the EULA and Privacy Policy of the service. The page in the above screenshot is the one replacing the search engine of every browser you have, in addition to the new tab setting, and the home page. A toolbar is usually placed on top of the page.

If any extra applications connected to CheetaSearch(.)com enter your computer machine, like a browser extension or plug-in, then you will see more changes made to your browsers. More programs like that could install on your PC with bundled software setups. Add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions can generate advertisements, show up more third-party content and land you on suspicious web pages. These pages could be in a partnership with CheetaSearch(.)com.

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-coldplay-yahoo-search-results

From the above picture, you can see the search results page of CheetaSearch(.)com. Or at least the page it redirects to, which in this case is that of Yahoo. The page might redirect to other reputable search engines now or in the near future. This particular redirection tactic is triggered, so it can try to trick you into trusting the hijacker. Its effectiveness remains to this very day. A closer look reveals that with each of your search queries, the data goes through the following redirect:

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-hijacker-safe-finder-redirect

Through Safe Finder service, the browser hijacker CheetaSearch(.)com gathers and sends more information about you.

The search engines are intertwined and possibly exchange all information related to your searches and browser history. They might be partnered up or affiliated. You should be careful with their websites for rogue search engines and do not give any personal details about you on their platforms.

CheetaSearch(.)com – Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of the CheetaSearch(.)com is in actuality that of Imali Media Ltd. The policy of the Safe Finder website is also applied here if you must know. Both platforms make it clear that information is acquired from you as if you use their websites is considered as your approval of that. CheetaSearch(.)com gathers both personally and non-personally identifying information. Third parties can also obtain all of the information, too.

How the privacy policy of Imali Media looks:

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-privacy-policy

According to this Privacy Policy, there are particular types of information collected.

Information, collected by Imali Media from all victims of the hijacker:
  • Your IP (internet protocol) address
  • The type of browser you use
  • The time at which you visited the site
  • Which pages you visited throughout the site
Information you provide that can be collected:
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Country of origin
  • Your nickname
  • Telephone number
  • Website
  • Company
  • Job title
Information collected when you download and install the plugin:
  • Demographic information
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • Occupation
  • Household income
  • Zip code
  • Your country
  • Mobile telephone number
  • Your E-mail address

As stated in the policy, information may also be obtained if you complete or fill a questionnaire, subscription form or a contest entry form.

Information collected automatically from the plugin:
  • Searches you perform using Imali Media domains
  • The ways in which you use various features
  • Pages you view on those domains
  • Page view count
  • Impressions and clicks

The automatically gathered information will be sent to servers of Imali media and its partners when your web browser accesses the hijacker’s site and when you use its plug-in. Cookies accumulate that type of information.

Check out this interesting quote from the policy, which is about external links on the site:

Our Site includes links to other third party Web sites (such as Google, Facebook, Youtube etc.) whose privacy practices may differ from those of Browsing Product. Our service may also be linked to sites or services operated by the Browsing Product affiliates or third parties, and may carry advertisements or offer content, functionality, games, rewards programs, newsletters, contests or sweepstakes, or applications developed and maintained by third parties including, any online store.

Imali Media basically states that any link, redirect or additional content you come in contact with, through their hijacker software, is not their fault, and more privacy policies will be in place. Thus, other websites will be held responsible for that kind of content. Be wary of all these sites and do not click on anything showing from them. Also, be careful with what you enter in search engines, in general. Take note that the Safe Finder service gathers additional information about you.

Remove CheetaSearch(.)com Completely from Your PC

To remove CheetaSearch(.)com manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal guide given below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker and all of its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer safe in the future.

Manually delete CheetaSearch(.)com from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the CheetaSearch(.)com threat: Manual removal of CheetaSearch(.)com requires interference with system files and registries. Thus, it can cause damage to your PC. Even if your computer skills are not at a professional level, don’t worry. You can do the removal yourself just in 5 minutes, using a malware removal tool.

1. Remove or Uninstall CheetaSearch(.)com in Windows
2. Remove CheetaSearch(.)com from Your Browser
3. Fix registry entries created by CheetaSearch(.)com on your PC

Automatically remove CheetaSearch(.)com by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove CheetaSearch(.)com with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool
2. Back up your data to secure it against attacks related to CheetaSearch(.)com in the future
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is the Editor-in-Chief of SensorsTechForum. She is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space.

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