What is does not look like a threat, but it can be dangerous to your virtual security. This search tool is often perceived as a browser hijacker, and not just because it could attack browsers without users’ permission. In fact, in most cases, users will be tricked into downloading this search tool themselves. On top of that, many users might believe it to be a reliable and useful search provider. Our researchers at warn that if you find this search tool set as your homepage on any of the browsers, you need to stop whatever you are doing and take care of your virtual security. We do not advise using this hijacker as a regular search tool in the meantime, but if you do, make sure you do not interact with suspicious links or get involved with seemingly beneficial offers. If you read this report, you will understand why this could be dangerous and why removing is important.test

How does work?

It is not exactly clear who the creator of is. The Privacy Policy, EULA, and FAQ statements that are available from the home page of this hijacker point to SIEN, but it appears that these statements were created to represent 1stBrowser. 1stBrowser is a potentially unwanted program, a Chromium-based web browser that supposedly allows users to customize their online experience by adding icons and colorful themes. So, is associated with this suspicious web browser? Can you rely on the privacy statements to learn more about the hijacker itself? Or are these statements used only to conceal the real creator of this hijacker and mask its true nature? Unfortunately, this is still a mystery, and our malware experts are working hard to solve it. For now, we know that there are more questions than answers in regards to this search provider, and this is why it is considered unreliable. The fact that it shows ads and redirects to a third-party search engine does not help either.

When researching, we have found that it shows ads on its home page. These ads might range from links to online games to suspicious installers, and because there is little information about the advertising practices associated with the hijacker, it is possible that it is dangerous to interact with these ads. Are these ads particularly attractive? If they seem too good to be true, it is likely that they are misleading. If the ads correspond to your recent searches, it is possible that they were selected after analyzing your browsing behavior. Unfortunately, ads could cross over to search results as well. As you might have found already, the hijacker does not show original search results. Instead, it uses the Bing search engine as every single of your search queries is redirected to Is this legal? It is, but is it safe? The problem here is that when people see the interface of the Bing search engine, they forget that they are redirected from a browser hijacker. This means that, without even knowing it, users might interact with search results that are highly likely to be modified by the hijacker. Is this a reason to delete the hijacker from your browsers? We think it is.

How to delete

It is most likely that, at the moment, you will need to delete only if you live in France or Pakistan. Of course, this hijacker could spread across different regions, and it is difficult to say who are at risk and who are safe. In general, if your operating system is not protected, you are at risk of attracting some kind of malware. Browser hijackers are not incredibly malicious – although some of them use personal data-tracking cookies which could be dangerous – but there are much more critical threats that could exploit the holes in your virtual security. If you want to patch these holes, you need to employ trustworthy security software right now. Reliable anti-malware software can take all malware-related problems off your shoulders: It can erase malicious threats and reinforce your virtual security to prevent them from attacking in the future. If you choose the manual removal option, do not forget that your operating system is still vulnerable.

Removal Guide

N.B. If 1stBrowser is active on your operating system, we suggest you uninstall it via Control Panel first.

  1. Launch RUN by tapping Win+R keys together.
  2. Type in regedit.exe and click OK to launch the Registry Editor.
  3. Move to [HKCU/HKLM*]\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DOMStorage\.
  4. Delete these keys: and
  5. Move to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\.
  6. Click the {0633EE93-D776-472f-A0FF-E1416B8B2E3A} key.
  7. Modify these values (right-click the value and select Modify) to replace the URL of the hijacker:
    • (Default)
    • TopResultURLFallback
    • URL
  8. Navigate to HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\MAIN.
  9. Right-click the value called Start Page and select Modify.
  10. Overwrite the URL of the hijacker and click OK.
  11. Navigate to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs
  12. Right-click the value called Start Page and select Modify.
  13. Overwrite the URL of the hijacker and click OK.
  14. Exit Registry Editor and launch Explorer (tap Win+E keys).
  15. Enter %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\ (Windows XP users enter %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\) into the address bar.
  16. Open the Default folder (or {Profile name} folder).
  17. Delete these files: Preferences, Secure Preferences, and Web Data.
  18. Enter %AppData%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ into the address bar.
  19. Open the {Unique Mozilla profile ID} folder.
  20. Open the prefs.js file using Notepad.
  21. Delete this string: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "");.

* These keys can be found in HKCU (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) or HKLM (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE).

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