What is

A browser hijacker is a concealed security threat that can jeopardize your computer’s security. Therefore, we recommend that you remove from your computer because it falls into the category of browser hijackers due to its dishonest distribution methods. We want to inform you that, in most cases, this hijacker infects computers secretly. Its purpose is to replace your browser’s homepage address and search provider, and thus, redirect web traffic. As a result, you will become subjected to customized search results that contain promotional links of unverifiable legitimacy.testtesttest

Where does come from?

Our malware researchers at have found that this browser hijacker was published by a company named UpdateStar GmbH based in Berlin, Germany. This company specializes in developing ad-supported applications, so its products are undesirable by definition. You can find most of its software on its website at Nevertheless, it features many third-party freeware that is bundled with a custom downloader. While running, this downloader displays shady commercial advertisements. In our case, it advertised a potentially unwanted program called Reimage and opened an Internet Explorer window and loaded its webpage. We attempted to download Mozilla Firefox from, and as it turned out we got a legitimate version of this browser, and the installer did not contain any hidden software or browser hijackers.

Nevertheless, can come with other software such as UpdateStar Password Finder developed by UpdateStar GmbH. In this case, the installer does not inject this browser hijacker automatically but asks whether you want to use Google Custom Search. If you tick the appropriate checkbox, then the setup will inject it to Internet Explorer. However, would not be called a browser hijacker if it did not enter the computer without your consent. We have received information that this hijacker may come bundled with various third-party installers featured on freeware websites that inject it without your authorization. So there is no way you can opt out from installing it; therefore, we regard as malicious.

How does work?

You can use this browser hijacker as any legitimate search engine, but it has one major issue. Like most browser hijackers it is dedicated to displaying promotional links in its search results. The promotional links should be isolated from the rest of the search results and in most cases they should be rendered at the top of the page. This hijacker redirects all of its searches to Google Custom Search, but this does not mean that the ads are safe. Due to the fact that this alleged search engine is distributed using deceptive means we cannot rule out the possibility of it promoting malicious software and scam websites. Therefore, it is of vital importance that you delete it from your computer, because otherwise it might compromise its security.

Furthermore, you ought to get rid of it because it has the ability to gather information about you to be used for marketing and advertising purposes. Unfortunately, this hijacker does not have a privacy policy statement, but we suspect that it can collect information such as your geographical location, computer specifications, browser history, and search history. Nevertheless, this information is not limited only to that that has been mentioned above. Given the fact that this search comes from an unreliable developer and in some cases is distributed using dishonest bundling methods and that it can promote unreliable content we recommend that you remove it from your computer as soon as possible.

How to remove

As mentioned, this browser hijacker currently works on Internet Explorer only. However, it may be adapted for other web browsers as well since it all comes down to how an installer can interact with a given web browser. After analyzing this infection, we have found that it modifies Internet Explorer on the Windows Registry level and creates/changes several registry keys at HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer. So if this hijacker does not go away after resetting Internet Explorer's settings, then try deleting the registry keys and Value Data using the instructions below.

Reset Internet Explorer to default settings

  1. Launch Internet Explorer and simultaneously press Alt+T.
  2. Select Internet Options and click Advanced tab.
  3. Click Reset and mark the checkbox.
  4. Click Reset in the dialog box and click Close.

Delete the registry keys via Registry Editor

  1. Simultaneously press Windows+R keys.
  2. Type regedit in the dialog box and click OK.
  3. Go to HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  4. Double-click Start Page found on the right side of the window.
  5. Change Value data to your desired homepage address.
  6. Then, go to HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{randomly named CLSID}
  7. Locate all Strings that feature the address.
  8. Double-click on them and replace with your desired homepage address.
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