The startssearch.com redirect is a dangerous new hijacker and redirect which is actively spread using a worldwide campaign. At the moment there is no information available about the group behind it. We anticipate that the most popular methods are being used. The hackers can send out email phishing messages and create numerous malware sites. They can be hosted on similar sounding domain names and include content and design that imitates well-known companies.
The startssearch.com redirect can also infect victims by embedding the installation code in file carriers. This can include documents across all popular formats and malware software installers which can be the most popular applications used by end users. Such threats are often installed via malicious browser plugins which are made compatible with all popular software. They are often uploaded to the relevant repositories using fake user reviews and developer credentials.
When the users are redirected to the site numerous tracking cookies will be deployed to the victims. This allows the operators to spy on the users and their browsing habits. The information is relayed to the hackers immediately. And due to the fact that most of the infections come from the browsers themselves the engine and/or malware scripts can acquire information about the victims and the computers. This effectively allow for various crimes to take place — financial abuse and identity theft.
The malware site itself can redirect to malware content or another hacker-controlled site. They can be set to intrusive ads which will generate income for the hackers.
The standalone scripts can also be set to install the redirect code as a persistent threat — it will run itself as soon as the computer is powered on. In some cases this will also disable access to the recovery options which renders most manual user removal guides non-working. If any Windows Registry values are changed then data loss and performance issues can occur. Depending on the local conditions or the ongoing hacker configuration other modules can be run.
|Short Description||startssearch.com is a web page, caused by a browser hijacker. It is unwanted, because it may lead you to dangerous sites.|
|Symptoms||Your web browser may start to behave in a strange way. You may receive redirects and other types of ads and your PC’s performance may sharply decline.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by startssearch.com |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss startssearch.com.|
startssearch.com – HOW Did I Get It
The startssearch.com redirect is a common web infection which is commonly found across Internet browser hijackers. They are malicious plugins which are made compatible with the most popular software. Another possible source of infections is the installation of PUPs which are potentially unwanted software. They are designed to appear as legitimate software however upon running them the redirect files will be placed in the victim’s computer and started.
Beware of phishing emails that may pose as legitimate services and attempt to coerce the victims into interacting with them which will eventually lead to a redirect installation.
Such redirects can be spread via malicious sites that aim to persuade the visitors into thinking that they have accessed a legitimate and safe web page. They are usually hosted on similar sounding domain names to well-known sites and may include forged or stolen security certificates.
Various payload delivery methods can be used to spread the startssearch.com redirect to the intended victims. There are two main types:
- Infected Documents — The hackers can embed the necessary scrips that will lead to the infection in the most common document file types: presentations, spreadsheets, text documents and databases. When they are opened by the victims a prompt will ask for permissions to run them. The quoted reason is that this is required in order to view the contents of the files.
- Malware Software Bundles — The criminals behind the startssearch.com redirect can place the installation code in application installers of popular software. They are spread using various methods and are very difficult to detect.
The redirect related files can be spread via file sharing networks of which BitTorrent is currently the most popular one. Another frequently used method is the integration of the relevant code into browser hijackers which are malicious extensions made for the most popular web browsers. They are posted with fake user reviews and developer credentials in order to coerce the visitors into downloading and installing them.
startssearch.com – What Does It DO
The startssearch.com is a classic browser-based redirect which will redirect the victims to this hacker-controlled page every time the web browser is run. This can lead to dangerous behavior as soon as the users start to interact with the site:
- Tracking of their Internet activity
- Advertising content such as pop-ups, banners, text links and etc
- Deployment of other malicious infections: Trojans, ransomware and etc
Such redirects are very useful for launching cryptocurrency miners which will take advantage of the available hardware resources in order to generate cryptocurrency for the hackers.
One of the most dangerous effects of having this redirect active is that it can automatically track the users and their web activity. Having access to the web browser means that the active malware will be able to hijack all stored data within: cookies, history, bookmarks, settings and even stored account credentials. All hijacked data will be automatically uploaded to the servers operated by the hackers.
How to REMOVE startssearch.com
The removal of startssearch.com may be a very tricky process, because of the fact that the unwanted program introducing this scam page may have files spread all of your hard drive. This is the main reason why we strongly advise you to follow the removal steps below. They are made so that if the problem persists after step 1 and 2, you can use a powerful anti-malware software(recommended). Be advised that security professionals often advise victims to remove this adware via an advanced anti-malware program. This will help save you significant time and will make sure that all of the persistent files and objects of startssearch.com are fully gone from your PC.