A DNS modifying browser hijacker has been reported on security forums to intercept internet traffic and cause browser redirects to other websites. The hijacker is hosted by a reputable company which provides custom networks known as Level3. It automatically sets the Searchguide(dot)level3(dot)com search engine as a home page of the user and causes browser redirects every time a user types an invalid URL in the address bar. All users who have seen this and any other Level3 associated websites appearing without their approval should remove it and change the DNS, as illustrated in this article.
|Short Description||The domain may do various dangerous or unhealthy to the PC activities.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness redirects to other potentially harmful domains.|
|Distribution Method||Via PUPs, installed by bundling or by visiting a suspicious third-party site that is advertising it.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss Searchguide(.)level3(.)com.|
Searchguide(.)level3(.)com – Distribution
To spread onto user PCs, this potentially unwanted program (PUP) may use different practices. Yes, it can enter on your computer if you have a Trojan.Downloader. But it can also become a part of it in case you have downloaded a bundled installer. Such installers may include a Searchguide(.)level3(.)com product added: “as a free extra” to the installation. However, the user may “pay a hefty price” by unknowingly installing it.
Searchguide(.)level3(.)com In Detail
The software itself may not be dangerous to the user and may have nothing to do with Level3. However, the browser hijacker associated with the Searchguide(.)level3(.)com engine may perform various unwanted activities on your computer.
To begin with, the software may assume permissions over the management of the home page and the new tab page of your web browser. It then may create registry entries of your browser to perform different activities such as browser redirects. If you are using Google Chrome, for example, the Searchguide(.)level3(.)com browser hijacker may create custom keys with values and data in the following Windows Registry subkey:
The same principle may go for Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Such modified settings via registry keys are known as privilege escalation. It allows the software to perform different activities such as changing your DNS address:
When we researched the search engine itself it was established that it does not support HTTPs encryption which is highly untypical for a search engine:
Not only this but Searchguide(.)level3(.)com notifies users that they may see advertisements by third-party websites upon searching something.
Not only this but in this very policy, the developers claim that information may be used to display advertisements to users. One user on DSLReports has reported the following situation:
“In the last week I have noticed if I enter an invalid URL such as www.mauisun.orgf I AM DIRECTED TO
»searchguide.level3.com/s ··· sun.orgf
I used to get just a 404 error WHICH IS WHAT I WANT!!!! (I dont use the cable companies DNS servers because I DONT WANNA SEE THIS CRAP)
ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET RID OF THIS GARBAGE??”
Furthermore, the DNS servers used in relation to Searchguide(.)level3(.)com that may cause such browser redirects have been reported to be the following:
Such servers may not only intercept ALL internet traffic but they may also indirectly allow other activities not suitable for the user to be performed. The main indirect danger with the browser hijacker associated with searchguide(.)level3(.)com may be with suspicious third-party webistes:
- They may be sites part of pay-per-click schemes.
- They could be malicious websites that may infect the user with malware.
- They might be scamming sites that phish for your financial data.
The bottom line is that this search engine may not be created by Level3, but instead by a third-party looking forward to making profits by redirecting traffic to “custom” third-party sites. Since there may be dangerous third-party sites out there and it may collect certain information from the user, its removal is a should.
Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Your Browser and Restore Your DNS
Before restoring your DNS server back to normal, we strongly advise to remove the software first. You may do this manually by following the step-by-step instructions illustrated below. We strongly advise for the usage of an advanced anti-malware tool to scan for every object associated with this software and also check for other threats.
After removing the software you should follow these steps:
1. Open your Windows search and type “View Network Connections”.
2. Open it, right click on your current connection (Wireless or LAN) and click Properties.
3. Mark the Internet Protocol Version you are using (It is most likely IPV4 – Version 4) and click on Properties.
4. Go over at your DNS server box and click “Obtain DNS server automatically” then click Apply and then on Ok. Your network connection may reset which may take up to 30 40 seconds the most and then you may connect again with your original DNS.
Delete Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Windows and Your Browser
Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com
Step 2: Uninstall Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Searchguide(.)level3(.)com from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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 Searchguide(.)level3(.)com will be removed.
Eliminate Searchguide(.)level3(.)com 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.