Guide to remove SmartEasyMaps Browser Hijacker
SmartEasyMaps is a malicious browser extension considered to be a browser hijacker. As the name suggests this malicious toolbar deceives user by claiming to provide:
- Search Maps: Free maps, driving directions, live satellite images and street view maps
- Get easy Directions: The domain alleges to find the fastest routes for to and fro movement. It also claims to help users to learn the mileage from city to city, traffic conditions, GPS maps, maps with street views, printable maps and much more.
- Turn-by-Turn Directions: To exhaustive riders tired of getting stuck in road congestion the malicious toolbar affirms to provide turn-by-turn driving directions, guide the riders with the fastest route for their destination, and much more.
The malicious extension undergoes stealth installation in the system and once infiltrated modifies browser settings. It replaces browser homepage, search engine and new tab with its own and redirects user searches to https://hp.myway.com/ and https://search.myway.com.
The malware is configured to steal user confidential information that comprise of Personal Identifiable Data and Campaign Metrics.
Personal Identifiable Data: This include username, passwords, address, phone number, areas of interests, credentials of online banking transactions and many more. This information can be used to expose user identity or extort them.
Hardware Information: This include information about the user operating system, installed software and hardware components, system settings of the victimized PC. This information is gathered to optimize ongoing attacks or any future attacks on the vulnerable system.
When the Browser Plugin is downloaded, the notification displayed seeks for the following permissions from the user:
- Read and Change all your data on the websites you visit.
- Replace the page you see when opening a new tab.
- Manage your Downloads
- Manage your apps, extensions and themes.
If the user agrees to these conditions, and clicks on ‘Add Extension’ button, it gives the malware full authority to spy on user online activities and make changes to browser settings. This may pose a threat to user privacy and security.
Other threats posed by SmartEasyMaps Browser Hijacker include:
- Browser Modifications: This nasty system infection modifies user preferred browser settings and keeps an eye on online activity performed by the users to collect sensitive information like credentials of online banking transactions.
Changes in browser settings may also ruin user’s online surfing routine as they are to sponsored websites that may be malicious. This makes the system susceptible to other system infections.
- Appearance of intrusive ads and pop-ups: Once infested the malware pervasively tracks browser cache and history to bombard the user browser screen with most appropriate ads that are malevolent. The purpose behind this malign act is to generate revenue with Pay-per-Clicks on those ads. Moreover the click on the ads may redirect users to suspicious websites that may result in the installation of other malware in the system.
- Modification of System Registry: This pernicious malware program modifies system registries to launch the infection automatically when the system is booted.
- System Sluggishness: This noxious system infection infects system files, duplicates shortcuts and installs unnecessary programs in the system. This affects system performance and render it sluggish.
SmartEasyMaps Browser Hijacker Spread Techniques:
Cyber miscreants adopt various techniques to distribute SmartEasyMaps Browser Hijacker in the system. One such way to install this malicious system infection is the malevolent website domain.
Other tricks include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: 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 and i Phones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
Browsers Affected: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox
Targeted Operating System: Windows
Category: Browser Hijacker
Symptoms: Homepage, new tab and search engine are replaced with https://hp.myway.com/ and https://search.myway.com domains.
Appearance of sponsored ads and pop-ups
Registry Modification, unnatural network activities, occasional sluggishness of the infected device.
How to remove SmartEasyMaps Browser Hijacker from the 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.
Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected –
- 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 Hitman Pro and BULL GUARD 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.