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.
- Guide 1: How to Remove startssearch.com from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of startssearch.com from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove startssearch.com from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase startssearch.com from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall startssearch.com from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove startssearch.com from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate startssearch.com from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove startssearch.com from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove startssearch.com
Step 2: Uninstall startssearch.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 startssearch.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 startssearch.com there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of startssearch.com from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall startssearch.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 startssearch.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 startssearch.com files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as startssearch.com, 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 startssearch.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 startssearch.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 startssearch.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 startssearch.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 startssearch.com will be removed.
Eliminate startssearch.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.