Remove SearchLock.com Browser Hijacker

Remove SearchLock.com Browser Hijacker

STF-searchlock-search-lock-hijacker-main-page

This article will aid you to remove SearchLock effectively. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions at the end of the article.

Searchlock.com is the official domain of the browser hijacker SearchLock. Read the whole article carefully on why you should remove it. The hijacker can change the homepage, new tab setting, search engine of your browsers and set an add-on. The add-on is also available at Google’s Chrome Web Store. You might be redirected. Search results display adverts and could be incorrect or misleading.

Threat Summary

NameSearchLock.com
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionThe homepage, new tab setting, and search engine of your browsers are changed.
SymptomsYour browsers will have their homepage, new tab setting and search engine modified. A browser extension can be added. You will see ads and incorrect search results.
Distribution MethodRedirects, Ads, Chrome Web Store, Add-on
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by SearchLock.com

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss SearchLock.com.

SearchLock.com – Distribution Methods

You can get the related browser extension of SearchLock.com in a couple of ways. Users report that they get redirects which occur from third-party installations. Once a PUP (potentially unwanted application) is installed it could push redirects, such as:

  • results.searchlock.com
  • results.searchlock3.com

The first of those redirects leads to “https://www.searchlock.com/en/” while the second one doesn’t open and we get an official warning from Google in the Chrome browser:

The warning states the following:

Your connection is not private
Attackers might be trying to steal your information from results.searchlock3.com (for example, passwords, messages, or credit cards). Learn more
NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID
This server could not prove that it is results.searchlock3.com; its security certificate is from *.searchlock.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration or an attacker intercepting your connection.

A similar warning appears in Firefox and other browsers, but if you proceed to the page despite the warning, you will end up on a page with the URL “http://searchlock3.com/“. Entering any information there could be obtained from that SearchLock domain. To conclude, free installation setups and bundled packages could install some PUP that may redirect you to those domains. Additional components for installation are selected by default in such packages and you should deselect anything you do not want installed. Looking for a Custom or an Advanced option in a setup is a good way of preventing unneeded installations.

STF-searchlock-search-lock-hijacker-google-chrome-web-store-download-extension

Above you can observe that the browser extension related to SearchLock.com is offered at the Chrome Web Store and is helping it spread further. Users there state Another distribution method for the hijacker is via advertisements, like banners and pop-ups or from visiting sites that are unknown. Those sites could be partnered with the hijacker’s makers or current owners. Affected browsers are: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari and more.

SearchLock.com – More Information

SearchLock.com is the domain of the browser hijacker of the same name. If an add-on or a browser extension related to SearchLock is installed on your computer, you will see certain settings changed. Your browsers will have their homepage changed, as well as the search engine and new tab setting. It claims to be useful by making your searching private, but there is no evidence that is true. Instead, all information that you type in goes through the SearchLock domain.

A browser extension is available for installation. One of the locations is on the Chrome Web Store. It might also end up on your PC as a result of a PUP installation that redirects to it. The extension is also still branded as SearchLock and could redirect you to misleading search results. You might see targeted ad content from the redirects. The browser extension does the following:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
  • Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
  • Read your browsing history
  • Change your privacy related settings

All input typed in the SearchLock.com search engine could be filtered from it as we saw the browser warning in the above section regarding the distribution. So, if you type personal data, it may be collected by the hijacker. The search results delivered by the unwanted program can be misleading. Around the search results, there could be many adverts and links, unrelated to specific searches. This can be seen in the image here:

STF-searchlock-search-lock-search-results-brooklyn-decker-ads-adverts

Browser redirects can come from the new tab setting, the homepage, or from advertisements. Pop-ups, pop-unders, banners or even in-text links might show as part of the adverts content. Sometimes, the user experience is different and close to the one received from popular search engines in terms of results. The redirects may have the goal to generate more traffic to domains which get money by pay-per-click, but that is not proven.

SearchLock.com – Privacy Policy

From the Privacy Policy of SearchLock.com is understood that the hijacker performs information collection. There are a few pages about privacy on the site, but the policy looks like this:

The information that is clearly stated to be collected is the following:

  • Web browser (type and version)
  • Operating system
  • Numerical count of daily searches, ad and result clicks
  • Search terms
  • Date you installed SearchLock
  • Where you heard about SearchLock (example: Facebook)

If the hijacker makers know if you heard about their application through Facebook or other social media, they may know from which social account you ended up on their site. Typing in your social media account could make any information you have on that account gathered by the hijacker as well.

As search terms might be collected, using the services and site of SearchLock, you should consider removing this unwanted application and search engine.

Remove SearchLock.com Completely

To remove SearchLock.com and anything related to it manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. If the manual removal does not get rid of this hijacker completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware program. Such software can keep your computer secure in the future.

Manually delete SearchLock.com from Windows and your browser

Note! Substantial notification about the SearchLock.com threat: Manual removal of SearchLock.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 SearchLock.com in Windows
2. Remove SearchLock.com from Your Browser and Your Registry Editor

Automatically remove SearchLock.com by downloading an advanced anti-malware program

1. Remove SearchLock.com with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool and back up your data
Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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