Browser Hijacker | 04/11/2018

How to Remove ITheatre Search Plus Browser Hijacker from Your PC?

About: ITheatre Search Plus is a browser Hijacker that will hijack your browser, reset your essential browser settings and will install other malware on your PC without obtaining your consent. This Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) can be dan...  Read More  

| Browser Hijacker | How to Remove ITheatre Search Plus Browser Hijacker from Your PC?

What is ITheatre Search Plus Redirect?

Has the default search engine and home page of your browser been set to ITheatre Search Plus? Then, chances are that your browser has been hijacked by ITheatre Search Plus which is a browser hijacker and comes bundled with the free software and applications that you download of the internet.

ITheatre Search Plus Landing Page

 

Unfortunately most of the free downloads on the internet do not completely disclose the additional software that will downloaded along with them. Generally, users fail to properly review the installation process and browser hijackers such as ITheatre Search Plus get installed via the process of bundling.

 

Threat Summary

  • NameITheatre Search Plus Redirect
  • Browsers Affected – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge
  • CategoryBrowser Hijacker
  • Symptoms – Modifies the New Tab Page and Default Search Engine, hijacks home page of browser, redirects to ITheatre Search Plus website and other domains during browsing, infects the user’s PC with adware, keeps a track of the user’s online activity and collects user information and sensitive data.

 

Why is ITheatre Search Plus Redirect dangerous for your computer system?

ITheatre Search Plus is an unwanted browser extension or Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) that will bombard you with unwanted ads and promotions. The makers of this extension claims to provide the users, facility to watch free movies online.  ITheatre Search Plus browser hijacker is responsible for displaying all those malicious and deceptive advertisements that you see within your search results. Apart from redirecting the users to malicious websites which increases the risk to encounter the malware, this browser hijacker will place ads on the sites you visit and will earn revenue from Pay per Click (PPC) for the maker of the extension. Often those who are infected by such browser hijackers, get infected by the adware which displays lots of advertisements to the user, thereby making browsing very inconvenient for them. Clicking on these ads can increase the chance of encountering and installing additional malware on the PC for the user thereby increasing the chances of personal information like usernames, passwords and other critical information like your online transactions etc.  Most of the browser hijackers are made to gather sensitive user data like the browsing history, online activities, IP address etc. This gathered information is then passed on to the third parties in order to earn revenue.

You might also observe frequent system crash or your system becoming quite slower due to the browser hijacker utilizing your internet bandwidth to show advertisements to you. Therefore, we advise you to uninstall ITheatre Search Plus by following the simple guide to remove ITheatre Search Plus as given below. All you need to do is follow the simple steps to remove ITheatre Search Plus in the proper order so as to reset your browser settings to normal.

 

How did ITheatre Search Plus Extension get installed on your computer system?

The cybercriminals use various strategies for malware distribution which include –

  1. Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
  2. Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
  3. Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
  4. Malicious Websites or Malovalent Advertisments: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.

 

How to remove ITheatre Search Plus Extension from your computer system?

Note: Before we begin, try to remember how the extension got downloaded  on your computer system. Generally, these programs come bundled with free applications that we download off the internet. It is a good practice to locate and uninstall such programs while removing the Browser Hijacker/ Extensions.

Step A- Remove the malicious Program from the Control Panel

Windows XP

  1. Click on the “Start” button on the bottom left corner of your screen. A Start menu will be displayed as shown below. From this menu select the option that reads “Control Panel”.Windows XP start menu image
  2. In the window that will be displayed, click the option “Switch to classic view”.Control panel switch to classic view
  3. This will display all the options/icons available to you. From the displayed icons, click on the icon that reads “Add or Remove Programs”.Windows XP add or remove a program
  4. Select the “Uninstall a program” option from the “Programs” category. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.Uninstall a malicious program
  5. Select the programs related to ITheatre Search Plus Extension and click on the Uninstall button.Windows XP confirmation window

Windows 7/Vista

  1. Right click on the “Start” button located at the lower left corner of the screen. From the Start menu, click on “Control Panel”.Windows 7 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” Window will be displayed on the screen. Click on “Uninstall a Program” option from the “Programs” category.Uninstall a program from windows 7
  3. The “Programs and Features” window will be displayed on the screen. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.  
  4. Scroll though the list of programs and select the programs related to ITheatre Search Plus Extension and then click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in Windows 7

Windows 8/10

  1. Right click on the “Windows logo” on the lower left side of the computer screen. From the drop down menu, select and click on “Control Panel”.Windows 10 start menu
  2. The “Control Panel” window will be displayed. From this window select “Uninstall a program” option form the “Programs” category.Control panel
  3. A list will populate on the screen displaying all the programs.select programs and features option
  4. Select the programs related to ITheatre Search Plus Extension and click on the “Uninstall” button.uninstall a program in windows 8
  5. In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads “OK” to save changes.

Step B- Show Hidden files and folders

Windows 7

  1. Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
    Folder and search options in windows 7
  2. On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
  3. 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“.
    Windows view tab advanced settings
  4. 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

  1. On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
    windows 8 file explorer toolbar
  2. In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
  3. Click on the options button.Windows explorer options button
  4. Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
    Windows 8 - hide protected operating file system option
  5. Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
  6. Click the “OK” button to save your changes.

Step C- Remove the extensions installed by ITheatre Search Plus

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Google chrome menu icon ) i.e. Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
  2. 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.google chrome menu options
  3. 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”.ITheatre Search Plus Developer Mode
  4. Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of ITheatre Search Plus Extension  into a notepad file. In this case, the Folder name is “ID: dmfdjkfpljiniadicampijngdedfppfh”ITheatre Search Plus ID
  5. 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.ITheatre Search Plus Extension Removal
  6. Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
  7. Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\UserData\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “ID: dmfdjkfpljiniadicampijngdedfppfh”. Delete the folder if present.ITheatre Search Plus ID Folder
  8. Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines (Mozilla icon ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.Mozilla Firefox menu
  2. On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.FireFox manage Add-ons
  3. Find the extensions related to ITheatre Search Plus and click on the remove button.
  4. 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.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, Click on the Gear icon (IE menu icon ) which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.
  2. From the newly appeared dropdown menu, click on the option that reads Manage Add-ons.Internet explorer settings menu
  3. A new window will appear on the screen. On this window choose the option that reads Toolbar and Extensions. Under the Show option, select the option that reads “All add-ons”. This option will allow you to see all the browser extensions.Mozilla-manage add-ons toolbars and extensions page
  4. Select the Extension related to ITheatre Search Plus and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom right of the computer screen.

IE toolbar and extensions in Manage add-ons

Apple's Safari

  1. On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
  2. A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.Safari menu extension options
  3. The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.Safari extensions window
  4. On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.uninstall a program from Safari

Step D-Restore the browser settings changed by ITheatre Search Plus

Google Chrome

    1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) located on the top right corner of the Chrome Window.Settings-Chrome
    2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Settings”. A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the settings.Settings-Chrome
    3. Now, we will make changes to the appearance section. Under the “Appearances” section, we will enable the “Show Home Button” option. You can select New Tab page or can add Google or any of your preferred browsers under the “Show Home Button” option.Appearance- Chrome
    4. After this, we will go to the “Search Engine “section.
    5. Here, make Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the drop-down menu under the option “Search engine used in the address bar”. Disable the ITheatre Search Plus thereafter as shown in the image below:iTheatre Search Plus Search Engine
    6. After this click on Manage Search Engines. Now you can remove Other Search Engines that were added by the browser hijacker. Simply click the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) and select the option “Disable”ITheatre Search Plus Manage Search Engines
    7. You can make Google or any other preferred browser as your Default Search Engine by clicking the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon) and clicking on the “Make default” option.
      Manage Search Engines- Chrome
    8. At the end, we will go to the section “On Startup”. You can select the “Open the New Tab page” or can “Continue where you left off”.  If you want to open a specific page or set of pages, select the option “Open a specific page or set of pages”  and remove any pages added by the browser hijacker by clicking on the three vertical dots (Chrome menu icon ) and selecting “Remove”.On startup-Chrome
    9. Then, add Google or any of your desired URL in “Add a new page” option under the “Open a specific page or set of pages”.Add a New Page- Chrome
    10. This is a very important step and we would like you to pay very close attention here. This step has to be repeated with all the shortcuts to the browser that you can locate; like your desktop, start menu and the shortcut pinned to your taskbar. Right click on the shortcut and a context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
      Reset Chrome properties
    11. A Google Chrome Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.
      “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”
      Chrome target location
    12. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines (Mozilla Firefox menu icon ) i.e. Open Menu located on the top right corner of the Firefox Window.
  2. From the drop down menu that is displayed, we have to right click on the (IE Gear icon Options to open the window.Firefox menu options
  3. Now, we will click Search, under the given options that are displayed in the left corner of the screen.
  4. You can choose Google or any of your preferred browsers as your default search engine to use in the address bar and search bar.Search-Firefox
  5. Then, you have to go to the (IE menu icon General and under “startup” section to make sure that Firefox is your default browser.
  6. At the end, we have to add Google or your preferred URL in the box given under Home Page.Startup-Firefox
  7. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop, start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned. A context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Properties in Mozilla Firefox
  8. A Firefox Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe”
    Mozilla Firefox target location
  9. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon (Internet Explorer gear icon )which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.Manage Add-Ons -Internet Explorer
  2. From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Manage add-ons” A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the add-on types.Manage Add-Ons- Internet Explorer
  3. Now, we will click on the “Search Providers” option from the list of options displayed on the left hand side of the screen. Then we will click “Find more search providers” option given at the lower left corner of the Manage add-onsFind More Search providers-Internet Explorer
  4. This will open an Internet Explorer Gallery; from here you can add Google search or any of your preferred add-ons as your default browser.Internet Explorer Gallery
  5. Next, you are required to go to the “Manage add-ons” window and click on the “Search Providers” option under the Add-on Types.
  6. Here, you can enable Google Search or any of your preferred browsers as your default browser in the list of search providers.Search Providers- Internet Explorer
  7. At the end, we will click on the gear icon (IE gear icon )which is at the top right corner of the screen and select “Internet Options” from the drop-down menu.Internet Options- Internet Explorer
  8. A new window will open displaying the Internet options. In the “Internet Options” window, add Google or any of your desired URL under the Create Home Page option and click OK.Create Home Page- Internet Explorer
  9. After this, you have to right click on the browser shortcuts that you can locate like your desktop, start menu and taskbar to which the application is pinned.  A context menu will appear. On this menu select the last option that reads Properties.
    Settings for Internet Explorer
  10. An Internet Explorer Properties Dialogue box will appear as below. Replace whatever is there in the text box next to the label Target with the following: Make sure that inverted commas are included.“C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe”Target column in Internet Explorer
  11. Click OK at the end to save the changes.

 

Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Avira Antivirus Pro and 360 Total Security so that it remains safe.
  6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker of your adware removal tool in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

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