Guide to Remove Sports Addict Browser Hijacker
Have the default settings of your browser been modified without your consent? Do you observe Sports Addict as the new tab of your search engine? Well, there are positives your browser has fallen victim to nasty Sports Addict Browser Hijacker.
This rogue browser extension claims to keep the users updated with the latest sports news. Initially, it may appear a legitimate & useful application. However, myriad of computer users have reported of its malicious behavior.
Firstly, it stealthily installs on the system without the users’ permission. After installation, it modifies default browser settings & causes browser redirects to suspicious websites.
It is evident that Sports Addict is a (PUP) Potentially Unwanted Program that spreads via Software Bundling & its official download website.
Cyber-security analysts suspect that Sports Addict Browser Hijacker is capable of gathering important system & user information from the infected system.
Impacted users are looking for ways to remove sports addict extension from their browser. Read on to know what are the possible removal instructions for this nasty browser redirector?
Threat Summary of Sports Addict Browser Hijacker–
||It modifies default browser settings without your consent. It redirects the searches to search.mysearch.com.
||It monitors your browsing activities & gathers sensitive information such as IP Address, E-mail, browsing history & visited URLs.
||Download Removal Tool
Threat Behavior of Sports Addict Browser Hijacker-
Declared as a (PUP) Potentially Unwanted Program by the cyber-security analysts, the devious Sports Addict Browser Hijacker distributes via its official download website & Software Bundling.
The overview of Sports Addict asserts providing up-to-date sports news to its user from the New Tab page. It further states that adding the Sports Addict extension to Chrome will modify the functionality of New Tab page.
Research has found that this browser hijacker is capable of modifying the default search engine & home page settings & replacing it with search.mysearch.com. In addition to that, it prevents the users’ from restoring the old settings. Any attempt to change the modifications brought by the browser hijacker are automatically reassigned.
It redirects the searches to search.mysearch.com & diminishes web browsing experience of the users.
Common Symptoms that makes presence of Sports Addict Evident
- New Tab functionality has been replaced with Sports Addict
- Searches are redirected to https://search.mysearch.com rather than the default search engine.
Data Gathered by Sports Addict Browser Hijacker
Cyber-security researchers suspect that Sports Addict is capable of carrying out a plethora of malicious activities on the targeted system.
Some of these activities are mentioned below:
- Continuous Monitoring of Browsing Activity
- It gathers IP Addresses, visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries & Browsing History
- It collects Installed Browser type & Version
- It gathers System Operating System & Version
- It can gather Personally Identifiable Information such as Username, e-mail & contact information
- Gathered information can be shared with third-parties
It is evident that these malicious activities could pose a serious threat to user’s privacy & digital identity. Therefore, if you find this browser extension added to your browser, we recommend you to get rid of sports addict browser hijacker immediately.
Refer to the sports addict uninstall guide given below & remove this nasty browser redirector & protect your PC.
Distribution Techniques of Sports Addict Browser Hijacker
The cyber-criminals behind Sports Addict use various strategies for malware distribution which 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 an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.
Removal instruction for sports addict Browser Hijacker
STEP A: Remove unwanted & suspicious browser extension from Google Chrome
- 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 “hidmnkjeakpobdmccbjcokkjgdafjcal”.
- Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click on the “Remove” button 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. “hidmnkjeakpobdmccbjcokkjgdafjcal”. Delete the folder if present.
- Close and re-open the Chrome browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once the extension is removed.
Step 2: Restore the settings changed by Browser Hijacker
- Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots () located on the top right corner of the Chrome Window.
- From the Drop down menu that appears, click on the “Settings”. A new browser tab will open up, displaying all the settings.
- 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.
- After this, we will go to the “Search Engine “section.
- 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”.
- 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 () and select the option “Remove from list”.
- You can make Google or any other preferred browser as your Default Search Engine by clicking the three vertical dots () and clicking on the “Make default” option.
- 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 () and selecting “Remove”.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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”
- Click OK at the end to save the changes.
How to prevent Sports Addict Browser Hijacker from infecting your system
- 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 Vipre 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.