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safesearch-ru-homepage-sensorstechforumA hoax browser search engine has been detected by malware researchers several days ago. The search engine exhibits a strange behavior and has the ability to display advertisements, modify web browser settings and also display advertisements that may turn out to be harmful. Since is classified as a potentially unwanted program and is together with what many refer to a browser hijacker. Users who see the homepage of are advised to immediately take down this PUP using the information provided in this article.

Threat Summary hijacker
TypeBrowser Hijacker, PUP
Short DescriptionEach browser application on your computer can be affected. The hijacker will redirect you and show various advertisements.
SymptomsBrowser settings which could be modified are the homepage, the search engine and the new tab window.
Distribution MethodFreeware Installations, Bundle Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by hijacker


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss hijacker.

How Did I Get Hijacker

The most likely method that may have gotten the suspicious web page to open every time you start Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer is called bundling. Since it is very similar to another hijacker –, it involves the adding of indirectly dangerous programs like on the computer of the user disguised “as free extras”. These programs are also known as fake “helpers”, apps that aim to improve the online experience, like seemingly useful toolbars and other forms. Such bundled installers may be downloaded without the user realizing they are bundled. Usually this happens when third-party websites who provide widely downloaded freeware, like well-known media players, torrent programs and even antivirus programs, ironically enough. These websites make money by including the free installers of those fake helpers in the form of either an installation step having a convincing statement as if the app is a part of the installation process:

  • “Add to improve your browsing experience.”
  • “Insall Safesearch toolbar utility to help you find what you are looking for faster”.

Since these type of threats are classified as low-level, antivirus programs may do nothing to stop them, because of their sheer size in numbers. This is why users are advised to use advanced tools for removing them. Hijacker – More Information

When it has been successfully situated onto an affected computer, the hijacking software begins to modify Windows Registry Entries heavily. It may primarily target the subkeys of the web browsers that are installed on a given PC, for example:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\chrome.exe\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Clients\StartMenuInternet\Google Chrome\
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Google Chrome

The modifications of those subkeys and the values in them as well as some other tweaks may change the home page of the web browser to the default home page of


The page itself is nothing special. For starters, it is created to faintly resemble Google and includes Google Custom Search which is essentially a searching service by google, indicating the search engine does not have it’s original searching database. In addition to this, the search engine also does not possess it’s own custom HTTPs encryption which is a strong indicator that the software is a hoax search engine due to the fact that most official search engines are properly secured.

Another very suspicious behavior the suspicious hijacker connected with exhibited was that it uses cookies to collect different information, like:

  • Search history.
  • Online clicks.
  • Banners.
  • Possibly user information, if entered.


The software also does not have a privacy policy which increases the risk of using, because it may be the opposite of safe. Another indicator that the program is solely created for the interests of it’s owner is that it displays ad-supported search results that may be based on what you search, here is what we received when searching for something online:


In addition to that, also advertises third-party software with a suspicious character directly on it’s home page.

toolbar-start-ad-sensorstechforum – Conclusion and Removal Instructions

As a bottom line, the suspicious search engine is an indicator that your computer is at risk. It may display advertisements that lead to dangerous websites that may either be scamming or directly infect your computer with malware.

Not only this, but is primarily created for profit, this is why it may cause multiple redirects or advertisements in other forms to generate traffic to hoax websites or generate funds via pay-per click or other schemes.

This is why it is strongly advisable to remove hijacker from your computer in full. To do this, you should follow the instructions which we have posted below. They are carefully designed to guide you in removing this PUP manually and if you do not have the experience or the time, automatically with a specific anti-malware tool.


Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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