Cybercrime is becoming popular among the criminals as a way to scam the naïve. Internet is prone to multitude of threats that is harmful to anyone with an online connection. One parasite that has caused a lot of trouble is the browser hijacker, a malicious program that modifies user’s browser settings without their consent. The malice may appear relatively harmless yet can inflict damage comparable to a heinous virus. Last few years saw a remarkable uptick in this particularly nasty genre of system attack.
Initdex.com is a recently discovered devastating domain that runs as an extension to browser program. Deemed as a web browser hijacker, Initdex.com browser hijacker arrives with the payload of legitimate applications & free download programs. The infiltration of this pernicious program is followed by the replacement of browser’s home page, search engine & new tab with https://www.initdex.com/search/
The sole motive behind this browser add-on is to advertise affiliate products & services to generate unscrupulous revenue.
Threats posed by Initdex.com Browser Hijacker
Once this nasty program invades the system, victims fall prey to suspicious browsing activities that refrains them from surfing net appropriately. The list of dubious activities performed by Initdex.com browser hijacker includes:
- Keep an eye on user’s internet browsing activity: The malicious program is designed to pervasively track user’s online surfing habit & collect information like search queries, visited websites & personal data. This is a market strategy to increase online revenue. Moreover this information could be misused to extort users or sold to third- parties to mint money.
- Bombard browser screen with intrusive ads & pop-ups: The malefic program collects browser cookies & history which is used to inject sponsored ads & paid links based on user interest. Accidental or deliberate click on these ads may result in the installation of other malicious programs that lands users in an array of negatives.
- Inappropriate Search results: Initdex.com application when installed modifies browser settings. This ruins user browsing experience as all user searches are redirected to https://www.initdex.com/search/. Attempts to make any changes in the url goes in vain as users are reverted to this malicious domain.
- Sluggish System Behavior: The installation of this forged app may also cause other delusive apps to run in the background without user knowledge. This may render system sluggish and also may lead to malfunctioning of the system and installed application.
Initdex.com Browser Hijacker- Template Description
The template of this new search engine incorporates links to legitimate & renowned applications like Youtube, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, eBay etc. Click on these links redirects users to similar looking login pages with overlaid screens that aim to steel sensitive information such as usernames and passwords.
The hoax Webpage may appear legitimate; however they display forged links & ads based on user’s interest & allure them to click on it that further triggers malevolent acts.
Moreover, this search engine enables users to view search results in the following languages:
Initdex.com browser hijacker also enables users to change the theme of the search engine to dark or bright based on their interest and offers various other features.
However, the sole purpose of the search engine is to extort users & earn money by unethical means.
Users are therefore advised not to fall in the trap and get the dubious Initdex.com browser hijacker removed as soon as it is detected.
Browsers Affected: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari
Targeted Operating System: Windows & MAC
Category: Browser Hijacker
Symptoms: Homepage, new tab and search engine are replaced with https://www.initdex.com/search/.
Appearance of sponsored ads and pop-ups
Unnatural network activities & occasional sluggishness of the infected device.
How to Remove Initdex.com Browser Hijacker?
STEP A : Remove malicious extensions from your browser
- Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots ( ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
- Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.
- Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID is the folder name created by the extension at the location “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.
- Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is “Initdex.com Bowser Hijacker”
- Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned in step 3.
- Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
- Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “Initdex.com Browser Hijacker”. Delete the folder if present.
- Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.
- Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines ( ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.
- On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.
- Find the extensions related to Initdex.com Browser Hijacker and click on the remove button.
- In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.
- On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
- A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.
- The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.
- On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
- Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.
STEP B: Show Hidden Files and Folders
- Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
- On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
- On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck the option that reads “Hide protected operating system files“.
- Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and folders visible to you.
Windows 8 and 10
- On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
- In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
- Click on the options button.
- Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
- Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
- Click the “OK” button to save your changes.
STEP C: How To Reset Your Browser
- Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines () which are at the top right corner of the computer screen.
- A Drop down menu will be displayed. On this menu click on the “Help” () button as shown in the image below. The Help menu will be displayed on the screen.
- From this menu click the option that reads “Troubleshooting information“. A new tab will open up with the <strong”>Troubleshooting information.
- On the Troubleshooting Information page, click on the button that reads “Refresh Firefox” as shown in the image below.
- The “Refresh Firefox” message box will pop up on the screen. On this message box click on the “Refresh Firefox” button.
- After this Firefox will close itself and a new window will be displayed which will list the information that is imported. Click on the option that reads “Finish” to complete the task.
- Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots ( ) which is at the top right corner of the computer screen. A drop down menu will appear on the screen. From this menu choose the option that reads “Settings”.
- The Chrome’s settings window will be displayed on the screen. On this screen scroll through the bottom of the page and click on the option that reads “Advanced option” as shown below.
- The Advanced setting options will be displayed on the screen. Scroll through the list of options till you find the “ Reset browser settings” section. Click on the icon as shown below.
- The reset dialogue box will pop up on the screen. From this dialogue box click on the button that reads “Reset”.
- Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon ( ) which is at the top right corner of the browser screen. A drop down menu will be displayed on the screen. From this drop down menu, click on the option that reads “Internet options”.
- The “Internet options” dialogue box will be displayed. Click on the “Advanced” tab. In the Advanced tab click on the button that reads “Reset” as shown in the image below. The “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” section will be displayed on the screen. Now click on the button that reads “Reset” .Precautions: In this dialogue box make sure to uncheck the “Delete Personal settings” option to save your passwords and other important data.
- When it’s done, click on the button that reads “Close” to complete the task. Now close and reopen your browser.
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected from Babylon Browser Hijacker –
- Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
- Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
- Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
- Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
- Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Avira and Vipre so that it remains safe.
- Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.