The article will aid you to remove GiffySocial completely. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions provided at the bottom of this article.
GiffySocial is a browser hijacker redirect developed by the MindSpark. Its website will redirect you to its search engine or another malicious site. While using its services, you can find yourself on pages with lots of adverts and sponsored content that go through this hijacker. The hijacker will change the start page, new tab, and search settings for the browser applications you have on your computer machine.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Each browser application on your computer could get affected. The hijacker can redirect you and will display lots of advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Browser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and the new tab.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss GiffySocial hijacker.|
GiffySocial Hijacker – Methods of Distribution
The GiffySocial browser hijacker infection can be acquired through various methods. One of the main ones is the use of SPAM email messages. They are designed to appear as legitimate notifications sent by well-known companies or services. In the body contents links to the hijacker can be sent alongside other web elements. Alternatively the file can directly be attached to the messages.
The criminals can also construct fake web pages which can be duplicates or hacker-created portals that resemble download sites or software presentation sites. Their aim is to coerce the users into thinking that they have accessed a real and saf to use site. To further make the sites belivable the developers can include security certificates, notices and forms that are widely used by companies as well.
A very popular method of spreading such threats is the use of infected payload carriers. There are two popular types that are widely used:
- Infected Documents — The criminals can embed virus delivery macros in all popular document types: presentations, rich text documents, databases and spreadsheets. Once they are opened by the users a notification prompt will be spawned which will request the execution of these scripts. If this is done the GiffySocial browser hijacker will be installed.
- Malicious Software Bundles — They are made by taking the legitimate setup files of popular software tools often downloaded by end users: creativity suites, utilities or productivity apps. When they are installed the hijacker will also be deployed to the system.
These files can also be spread through file sharing networks such as BitTorrent. They are used to spread both legitimate and pirate content. Often virus files are masked as counterfeit copies of expensive software or games.
We have detected that the GiffySocial Toolbar hijacker is uploaded to the repositories of the most popular web browsers. They are frequently positioned by adding fake user reviews and developer credentials. Once installed they will execute the built-in code which will lead to the infection. Upon installation the redirect will also request specific permissions. In the case of Google Chrome the prompt asks for privileges for the following:
- Read and change all your data on the website you visit
- Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
- Manage your downloads
- Manage your apps, extensions, and themes
GiffySocial Hijacker – In-Depth Description
The GiffySocial browser hijacker will start with the initial browser changes to the affected browsers. A primary aim is to change the settings in order to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page. The usual settings that are changed include the default home page, search engine and new tabs page. After this step is complete every time the users open up their browser they will see the specified page.
The fact that the hijacker page can return search results means that it can lead to sites that contain sponsored data, fake software downloads, intrusive ads or even virus infections. In some cases the site will lead to other instances that are powered by the same network. This is done in order to acquire more data by the tracking cookies. The collected information is saved down in databases which can then be sold for profit to interested parties or used in malicious context.
The reason why users are drawn to this page is that the hijacker will impose tracking cookies which are used to collect all kinds of data. The gathered information can be categorized into two main groups:
- Private User Data — Data that can expose the identity of the victim users is collected during the execution of this module. Information includes the person’s name, address, phone number, location, interests and any stored account credentials.
- System Information — The data harvesting module can also be used to create a complete profile of all installed hardware components, user settings and certain operating environment variables.
If configured like a virus the GiffySocial browser hijacker may also set itself as a persistent threat. This means that it will create registry entries, boot menu values and other settings that make it to automatically start once the computer is powered on. In some cases this makes it impossible to enter into the recovery boot menus.
Other related measures include the set up of the browser hijacker in a stealth manner. This means that the infection engine will look out for security software such as anti-virus engines, sandbox environments and virtual machine hosts. If any of them are found they can be disabled or completely removed.
A dangerous instance is the deployment of Trojan horse infections. They set up a local client instance which connects to a hacker-controlled server via a secure link. It allows the malicious operators to spy on the users in real time, as well as hijack user data. Using it the hackers can also overtake control of the target machines at any given time.
In some cases the operators behind the GiffySocial browser hijacker can program it to load malicious code such as cryptocurrency miners. A miner instance is a dangerous script which runs complex mathematical tasks and takes advantage of the available system resources. Whenever a task is reported the operators will receive digital cryptocurrency as an award. Another possibility is the deployment of ransomware viruses. They will encrypt target user data with a strong encryption algorithm and according to a built-in list of file type extensions.
- Your name
- Your address
- Email address
- Number of your page views
- What links you clicked
- Telephone number
- Your login times
Remove GiffySocial Browser Hijacker
To remove GiffySocial manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker redirect and its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer safe in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove GiffySocial hijacker from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of GiffySocial hijacker from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove GiffySocial hijacker from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase GiffySocial hijacker from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall GiffySocial hijacker from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove GiffySocial hijacker from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate GiffySocial hijacker from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove GiffySocial hijacker from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove GiffySocial hijacker
Step 2: Uninstall GiffySocial hijacker and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 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 are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by GiffySocial hijacker on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by GiffySocial hijacker there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of GiffySocial hijacker from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall GiffySocial hijacker and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove GiffySocial hijacker via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove GiffySocial hijacker files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as GiffySocial hijacker, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove GiffySocial hijacker from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase GiffySocial hijacker from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall GiffySocial hijacker from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove GiffySocial hijacker from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the GiffySocial hijacker will be removed.
Eliminate GiffySocial hijacker from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.