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.
|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 Searchsmart.website |
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.
- 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.