A new browser hijacking software has been reported to be setting the search engine topsearchlinks(.)net as a home page or a new tab page of user PCs. The suspicious software has a specific character of modifying the web browser of the user’s settings so that it may collect information or display targeted or ad-supported search results.
|Short Description||The software may perform various unwanted activities on the user PC.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness ad-supported search results plus PC slow-downs and freezes.|
|Distribution Method||Via other 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 Topsearchlinks(.)net|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss Topsearchlinks(.)net.|
Topsearchlinks(.)net Browser Hijacker – Distribution
To be spread across many users the browser modifying software linked to Topsearchlings(.)net may use a technique called bundling download. This may be the including of Topsearchlinks(.)net software in the free installer of a program users download on a daily basis. You may have encountered bundled software in the installer of a program downloaded from a software providing sites or torrent websites.
The PUP(Potentially Unwanted Program) is usually in one of the installation steps and is added “As a free extra” to the setup. Often users tend to disregard those steps by fast-clicking their way through the installers and sometimes some of those applications do not even have such steps. Instead, they have the install mentioned in the EULA agreement. This is why it is advisable to take caution when it comes to installing new software.
Topsearchlinks(.)net Browser Hijacker In Detail
Once installed on the computer, the program may situate its program files In some of the most often met application folders:
After this is done, this software may then begin to modify the browser by adding an extension to it. This may be observed in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari browsers. Some of the permissions of the extension may allow it to change the new tab page and the home page of the user to Topsearchlinks(.)net – a suspicious search engine which may be a hoax.
When the search engine itself was research, it did not take a long time to establish that it used cookies, and it did not have HTTPs – something highly uncommon for search engines.
Furthermore, it redirected to an Ask(.)com results page which was ad-supported, further suggesting that it could be hoax search engine, since it did not have its own search result database.
This detail may refer to a large number of third-party websites that this hoax search engine may advertise and drive traffic to. Such sites may be dangerous in different ways to the user. The dangers associated with third-party sites that may be advertised through hijackers such as the Topsearchlinks(.)net one may be classified in two subcategories:
- Sites that may phish for financial and personal information by scamming the user.
- URLs that may infect the user with malware.
Usually, such PUPs are undetected by conventional antivirus software, and this is why we strongly advise that they are removed using an advanced anti-malware software that detects indirect ad-supported risks such as Topsearchlinks(.)net browser hijacker.
Remove Topsearchlinks(.)net Browser Hijacker
To fully be rid of this software from your machine, we advise you to follow the removal instructions below, because they are arranged so that you try the most effective methods and save yourself money on IT experts that will fix your computer. Furthermore, it is advisable to download an anti-malware program that will protect you against future ad-supported applications and malware intrusions.