The article will help you to remove Search.sleepshadow.com fully. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions given at the end of the article.
The Search.sleepshadow.com redirect is a recently discovered browser plugin that can be used for hijacker purposes. Interaction with it can hijack personal data belonging to the victims. Our in-depth article explores some of the dangers associated with its presence on infected hosts.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||The hijacker redirect can alter the homepage, search engine and new tab on every browser application you have installed.|
|Symptoms||The homepage, new tab and search engine of all your browsers will be switched to Search.sleepshadow.com. You will be redirected and could see sponsored content.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by Search.sleepshadow.com |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Search.sleepshadow.com.|
Search.sleepshadow.com – Distribution Methods
The Search.sleepshadow.com redirect is being distributed using the most common infection methods. As a typical hijacker it seeks to use several different tactics at once in order to increase the number of affected users.
A primary method is the coordination of mass SPAM email campaigns. The messages themselves are designed with social engineering elements that feature design, text and graphics taken from well-known Internet portals and sites. Upon receiving them the targets may not know that they are hostile and interact with the elements contained within. The virus files can be either hyperlinked or attached directly to them. Along with the counterfeit download pages they are the main methods for distributing infected payloads of which there are two main types:
- Documents — The Search.sleepshadow.com redirect code can be inserted into files of different types: text documents, presentations, spreadsheets and databases. Once the documents are opened by the victims a notification message will appear on the screen asking them to enable the built-in code. When this is done the hijacker infection will begin.
- Application Installers — The browser redirect code can be installed via infected software setup packages. They are made by taking the legitimate installers from the official vendors and modifying them with the malicious code. The criminals usually choose popular applications such as system utilities, creativity apps and productivity solutions.
Another infection strategy used to distribute the Search.sleepshadow.com redirect is to spread the strains is the upload of numerous plugins to the web browser repositories. This tactic usually makes use of fake developer credentials and user reviews.
Search.sleepshadow.com – Detailed Description
The Search.sleepshadow.com redirect can perform a variety of actions depending on the prescribed behavior patterns. Usually one of the first modules that are executed is the browser manipulation one. It changes the default home page, search engine and new tabs page to point to a hacker-operated address.
The next time the users open up their browser they will be redirected to the respective page. Once the site is accessed for the first time various tracking technologies will be installed and enabled on their browsers – from cookies to tracking beacons.
Depending on the configuration of the strains they can also cause different operating system wide changes. An obvious start would be the manipulation of Windows Registry entries which can make running certain functions and services non-working – both for the operating system and the user-installed applications. An additional effect of such changes is the detrimental overall system performance which is one of the most important signs of virus infections.
As the Search.sleepshadow.com redirect practically infects the users through their browsers it gets access to all stored data: bookmarks, history, cookies, settings and accounts. If an additional data harvesting engine is enabled then it can scan the system for information that can be classified into one of these two groups:
- Private User Data — The hacker operators can instruct the malicious engine into looking for strings that can reveal information that can directly reveal the victim’s identity — their name, address, phone number, interests, location and stored account credentials.
- Campaign Optimization Metrics — The engine can hijack information that can be used to optimize the distribution campaigns. It is typically made up of certain operating system values, regional settings and a list of the installed hardware components.
In certain situations some of the hijackers that are modeled to carry a Trojan module . It connects to a hacker-controlled server which allows the operators to spy on the victims in real time, as well as overtake control of the affected hosts. It is also capable of spreading additional threats to the hosts.
The malicious site itself is designed to look like any legitimate web search engine. It incorporates all typical elements of such a service and is made up of the following main components:
- Top Menu Bar — The top menu bar is used between the various search type options.
- Search Engine Box — This is the main interactive element of the hijacker site which is modeled to make people interact with it.
We remind our readers that all users affected by the hijacker instance may be redirected to other hacker-controlled pages. The search engine is a customized version which may be programmed to deliver mainly sponsored links instead of the best possible results. In certain cases this can also led to various virus infections.
- Technical information — The type and version of your computer’s operating system, IE browser version and installed hardware, Java resource availability .NET resources availability and your C-Class IP address.
- Software Availability — The code can verify if the installed Software and Additional Software are compatible with your computer; by determining which Additional Software and what version should be offered to the users and installed.
- Personal Information — User name, email address, telephone etc.
- Installation Process Log Data — This includes data about the installation process: success/failure, duration, malfunctions, errors, etc.