Signs of browser hijacker infection
Browser hijacker is one of the most widespread infections. The purpose of hijacker is to force people into visiting unwanted websites. Although such a malware doesn’t bring a destructive payload, it may lead people into downloading malwares or it may download malwares without user’s permission. Browser hijacker may also lead into losing money or personal information. Browser hijacker makes it difficult or impossible to browse the internet. It may also make it difficult to use a computer.
Changed homepage of a web browser is the most obvious and the most common symptom of residing browser hijacker. It modifies the homepage and it keeps changing it to the same predefined address if user attempts to change it into some regular website.
Web browser may keep redirecting people to certain websites. Browser hijackers usually open fraudulent websites or websites related to online sales. Some of these websites might be malicious and they might be able to infect computers.
Learn more: How to recognize a rogue website?
Browser hijacker may redirect victims to fake online search results. It may also mimic online search engine in order to trick people into visiting malicious websites.
Browser hijacker may prevent victims from visiting certain websites (i.e. websites related to cyber-security). It may also block all the websites and load a blank page or fake error page instead of certain website.
Browser hijacker may load annoying pop-ups trying to attract visitors to certain websites. Sometimes it may keep generating the pop-ups in large amounts so people can close neither the advertisements nor the browser.
Some of the browser hijackers are able to block security programs in order to prevent user from deleting the malware. This kind of hijackers usually promotes fake security tools or fraudulent applications.
Learn more: How to recognize a rogue security program?
Browser hijacker may add new entries on the Bookmarks or Favorites lists. This is usually done by hijackers that promote adult websites, drugs selling websites, fake online search engines and similar internet sources.
Some browser hijackers may modify the HOSTS file to make sure victim ends up visiting predefined website instead of certain address (i.e. it may redirect user to certain porn website every time the victim types google.com).