THREAT REMOVAL

Searchsmart.website Redirect Removal Guide

The article will help you to remove Searchsmart.website fully. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions given at the end of the article.

The Searchsmart.website redirect is a dangerous browser hijacker that has been uncovered in a recent attack campaign. It can be used to distribute virus payloads and cause various system changes to the infected hosts.

Threat Summary

Name Searchsmart.website
Type Browser Hijacker, PUP
Short Description The hijacker redirect can alter the homepage, search engine and new tab on every browser application you have installed.
Symptoms The homepage, new tab and search engine of all your browsers will be switched to Searchsmart.website. You will be redirected and could see sponsored content.
Distribution Method Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss Searchsmart.website.

Searchsmart.website – Distribution Methods

The Searchsmart.website is a dangerous browser hijacker that is promoted using the most popular spread tactics. As usual a preferred method is the coordination of spam email messages. They use social engineering content in order to manipulate the victims into interacting with the dangerous element. Depending on the case the malware files may be either attached to the messages directly or hyperlinked in their contents. Emails are also among the most common methods for delivering payloads. There are two main types:

  • Documents — Dangerous code can be embedded in files of different types: spreadsheets, presentations or rich text documents. Once they are opened a notification prompt may appear which asks them to enable the built-in macros. If this is done the virus will be installed on the victim machine.
  • Software Installers — In a similar way the computer users can infect themselves by installing malware apps. The hackers embed the hijacker code in applications such as computer games, system utilities and creativity suites.

Usually browser redirects like this one are also advertised on the official browser repositories. The hacker operators use elaborate descriptions and fake user reviews.

In certain cases the Searchsmart.website can also infect users via web scripts. Such tactics can be used to load the infection to legitimate sites as well.

Searchsmart.website – Detailed Description

Once the Searchsmart.website has been loaded onto the victim’s computers they will start to modify the default settings. Usually infections like this one are made compatible with the most popular web browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Opera. In the most common case the goals of the hackers are to redirect the victim to a specific hacker-controlled site. This is done by changing the default settings: home page, search engine and new tabs page.

Any follow-up steps can be used to reconfigure the victim computers according to the specific instructions of the current attack campaign. An example use case is the creation of new Windows Registry entries that are associated with the browser hijacker use. This means that it may be harder to remove it from the computer. If the engine affects user-installed apps or operating system services then certain functions may stop working altogether. Overall system performance may be affected.

Note that browser hijackers may also be used as an intermediate delivery tactics. In this case some anti-virus software may not be able to pick up the infections.

In a behavior pattern that is similar to the ransomware operations the engine may start an information gathering module that can harvest sensitive information about the users and their machines. There are two primary categories:

  • Private Data — Information that can reveal the users personal data such as their name, telephone number, location, interests, passwords and account credentials.
  • Anonymous Metrics — They are used to optimize the attack campaigns and its contents includes hardware information and certain values taken from the operating system.

Once the victims access the dangerous site they will be greeted by a search engine box that prompts the users to enter in their queries. it is powered by a customized Internet services (Yahoo or Google) that may present sponsored, fake or malware contents. This is the reason why users are advised to remove the infections as early as possible. Such infections are also known for causing serious privacy damage to the victims.

There are various marketing slogans and content that presents the site as a useful search engine. At the bottom of the home page are the links to the privacy policy and terms of use documents.

Searchsmart.website – Privacy Policy

The privacy policy reads that upon first use and installation of the searchsmart.website redirect the users automatically give their consent to the service operators to gain access to their private data. As a result of this the site will harvest the following types of data:

  • Information includes the web browser, their version and public IP address.
  • Details about the operating system.
  • E-mails and other communications with the service.
  • Cookies and Site Interactions.

The harvested information can be shared with third-party services a well.

Remove Searchsmart.website Browser Hijacker

To remove Searchsmart.website manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions given below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the browser hijacker entirely, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software helps keep your computer secure in the future. We remind our readers that certain hijackers (most likely this one as well) are configured to harvest the information to a database shared with other similar threats.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Searchsmart.website from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Searchsmart.website

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Searchsmart.website 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Searchsmart.website on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Searchsmart.website there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Searchsmart.website with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Searchsmart.website from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Searchsmart.website and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Searchsmart.website:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Searchsmart.website. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Searchsmart.website. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Searchsmart.website 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Searchsmart.website. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove Searchsmart.website files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Searchsmart.website, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for Searchsmart.website:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Searchsmart.website 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Searchsmart.website 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Searchsmart.website 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Searchsmart.website 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Searchsmart.website will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Searchsmart.website 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.


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