The article will aid you to remove Horoscope Zone completely. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions provided at the bottom of this article.
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|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Horoscope Zone |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Horoscope Zone.|
Horoscope Zone Hijacker – Methods of Distribution
Horoscope Zone is a typical browser hijacker which represents a hacker-made plugin made for the popular web browsers. They can be spread via different methods, it is presumed that the effective ones will be used in order to achieve a high number of infected hosts.
The main method is the upload of the associated extensions to browser’s respective repositories. Their descriptions will offer promises of feature additions or performance enhancements. They are often uploaded with fake developer credentials and user reviews — the accounts may be either hacker-made or hacked by the malicious actors.
An alternative to this is the creation of SPAM email messages that contain various phishing strategies designed to coerce the users into thinking that they have received a legitimate notification from a well-known site or service that they might be using. They will be directed into interacting with an element inside the messages, in most cases a link or image in the body contents. In the case where the files are directly attached the hackers may be using a payload carrier. Two of the popular examples are the following:
- Application Installers — The virus installation scripts can be embedded in software installers. The malicious actors will often choose popular examples such as system utilities, creativity suites and etc.
- Contaminated Documents — The malicious actors may embed the hijacker installation scripts in documents of all popular types: rich text documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations. The mechanism of intrusion is by presenting a prompt to the users when they are opened. The macros will automatically deploy the hijacker to the compromised machines.
Use of file-sharing networks like BitTorrent is also very commonplace as they are used to spread both legitimate content and pirate data.
Horoscope Zone Hijacker – In-Depth Description
The Horoscope Zone hijacker represents a classic case of a browser-based phishing threat. Security reports indicate that the associated extension redirects the users to a malicious landing page. While the site itself may not have criminal intentions the presence of the hijacker is alarming.
One of the most dangerous consequences of having this threat installed is the fact that it will hijack user data via the browser scripts and other technology that may be built into them. There are two main categories of data that is retrieved. The first one is related to the users themselves, the engine will harvest their name, address, location and even stored account details. As the browser hijackers usually are activated via a browser-based plugin the threat will also have access to all information contained in the web browsers. Each individual machine is also assigned an unique identifier (ID) which is generated by taking the input values of important system parameters: hardware components, user settings, regional preferences and etc.
The main goal of the threat is to redirect the users to a specific malicious landing page. It will look like a typical horoscope page displaying astrological information for the different signs. However interaction with any of the elements may lead to one or more of the following consequences:
- Trojan Component — Having such a threat installed can also deploy a local client connection to a hacker-controlled server. This will allow the malicious operators to take over control of the affected machines, spy on the victims and also hijack their data.
- Persistent Installation — The hijacker will be installed in a way which will make it very difficult to remove. The malicious components will be started every time the computer boots and important system areas may be affected: configuration files, boot options and operating system settings.
- Cryptocurrency Miners Deployment — They can take the form of small scripts or applications that will download resource-intensive tasks to the infected machines. As soon as they are run the performance and stability of the host computer will be affected as the tasks will take advantage of the available CPU, GPU, memory and hard disk space.
- Payload Delivery — Active infections can be used to deploy other threats to the infected machines. In this case the engine can be programmed to bypass any found security countermeasures that can block the Horoscope Zone hijacker. Such include anti-virus engines, firewalls and sandbox (debug) environments.
Most hijackers are programmed to provide redirects to the search queries entered by the users. Whenever the users engage any of the interactive elements of the Horoscope Zone hijacker landing page they may be redirected to third-party sites or download portals. This is used to display sponsored and ad content which leads to income generation for the operators.
Remove Horoscope Zone Browser Hijacker
To remove Horoscope Zone 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.