Browser Hijacker | 12/18/2019

How to remove Yahoo Search Redirect from your system?

About: Yahoo Search Engine is being used by the developers of certain browser hijackers to redirect traffic to affiliated sites, display dubious ads, sales offers & generate illicit money. Read on to know how Yahoo Search Redirect is being caused & ways to ...  Read More  

| Browser Hijacker | How to remove Yahoo Search Redirect from your system?

Guide to Remove Yahoo Search Redirect-

Cyber security analysts have recently discovered that Yahoo Search Engine is being utilized by the cyber-criminals to generate illicit revenue by driving searches to search.yahoo.com. While Yahoo Search is a legitimate search provider, cyber threat-actors are able to succeed in their deceitful motives with the help of nasty browser hijackers.

Yahoo Search Redirect Virus

These browser hijackers such as oursurfing, istartsurf & istart123 cause Yahoo Search Direct i.e. it diverts the web-searches to search.yahoo.com without user’s consent. Software Bundling is known to be the prime method of its distribution.

Once the system is infected, the browser hijacker changes the new tab functionality, home-page & default search engine settings without user’s permission. The altered settings are assigned to Yahoo Search Engine. In addition to that, the malware installs certain applications named as “helper objects” on the infected system that prevents the user from restoring the default settings.

Victims from around the world are looking for Yahoo search redirect removal tool & ways to completely uninstall yahoo search redirect from their systems.

Read on to know how to remove yahoo search redirect browser hijacker & restore the preferred browser settings.

Threat Summary-

Threat Summary
Name Yahoo Search Redirect Virus
Type Browser Hijacker
Category Malware
Targeted OS Windows
Symptoms Modified Browser Settings, questionable extensions added to browser, appearance of intrusive ads, sales offer on screen.
Damage Infuriating web-surfing experience. Sensitive information including IP Address, Username, Password, geographic location may be harvested by cyber-criminals.
Removal Download Removal Tool

Threat Behavior of Yahoo Search Redirect-

Yahoo search redirect browser hijacker may infect your system bundled with free-ware or other third-party applications. The presence of malicious browser redirector in your system can be identified if your browser’s default home-page & search engine settings have been modified & web searches are constantly redirected to search.yahoo.com.

Apart from redirecting the searches, yahoo search redirect virus display sponsored content & commercial messages rather than showing the actual search results.

The main motive behind rerouting the traffic to Yahoo Search Engine & displaying affiliated content is to mint illicit money by increasing the overall Pay Per Click income. It floods the screen will sponsored ads & thus makes web-surfing an infuriating experience.

Cyber Security analysts have seen tremendous increase in the use of applications like Yahoo Search Engine as online advertising tools by the hackers. They use these platforms to manipulate web traffic & divert it to sites that need an increase in their traffic. They further use them to display sponsored advertisements, promotional links, sales offer & discount coupons on the user’s screen.

Detailed analysis by cyber-security analysts has found several active versions of Yahoo Search Redirect. These are:

  • Yahoo Toolbar
  • Yahoo Mail Redirect Virus
  • yhs4.serach.yahoo.com Virus
  • Yahoo Community SmartBar Virus
  • yhs4.search.yahoo.com Virus
  • Yahoo Startnow Virus
  • InstallX Search Protect for Yahoo Virus
  • Yahoo Community SmartBar Virus

Common Symptoms that validate the presence of Yahoo Search Redirect:

Here is a list of some common symptoms that you may observe if your system is infected with Yahoo Search Redirect Virus:

  • Web Searches redirects to Yahoo Search Results.
  • Browser is loaded with questionable toolbars & extensions
  • Default browser settings are modified without your knowledge/consent.
  • Home-page & New Tab functionality are changed.
  • Home-page is set to an unknown search engine that delivers yahoo.com results.
  • Appearance of suspicious ads, push notifications & sales offers on the screen.
  • Disruptive browsing sessions as the required search results

Other threats posed by Yahoo Search Redirect Virus:

Research has found that Yahoo Search Redirect Virus is capable of extracting advantage of various tracking objects on the infected system after its installation & execution.

These objects include cookies, flash cookies (Locally Shared Objects), Tags, Pixels & Geo-locators. These are used to gather user’s sensitive information from the system.

User Information that Yahoo Search Redirect is capable of gathering includes:

  • IP Address
  • Nationality & local language
  • Network Information
  • Frequently visited sites
  • Browsing history
  • System’s Hardware Model
  • Installed Browser & its version
  • System OS & its version
  • Search Preferences
  • Geographic Location

In addition to that, advertisements & pop-ups displayed by In addition to that, advertisements & pop-ups displayed by Yahoo Search Redirect can lead the user to questionable & unreliable third-party websites, which can be highly destructive to the system.

It can:

  • Infect the system with other menacing malware such as Trojans, Spyware, Ransomware & Viruses.
  • Redirect the user to fake e-commerce sites such as PayPal, e-bay & Amazon. It tricks the user by making them believe that the product is being purchased from an authentic site. It gathers financial details such as username & password as soon as the user enters it.

Distribution Techniques of Yahoo Search Redirect Virus-

The cyber-criminals behind Yahoo Search Redirect use various strategies for the infection 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 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.

Download Vipre Malware Remover

How to remove Yahoo Search Redirect Virus-

Step A: Remove Yahoo Search Redirect Virus from system

A). From Mac

  1. Open “Finder” on Mac.Open Finder on Mac
  2. Click on “Applications”.Open Applications
  3. Find & remove the  malicious application: The Applications Page will display a list of apps & software installed on your Mac. Find the malicious application from the list, right click over the app icon & then click on “Move to Trash” from the options.Remove Yahoo Search Redirect
  4. Click “Empty Trash”: Find “Trash” on the dock. Right click on the trash icon & select “Empty Trash” from the options. Emptying the trash deletes trash content & malicious file that you just sent to trash.Empty the Trash

B). From Windows

Uninstall malicious program from Control Panel

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.

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 Yahoo Search Redirect Virus 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 Yahoo Search Redirect Virus 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 Yahoo Search Redirect Virus and click on the “Uninstall” button.Remove program from Windows
  5. In the confirmation box, click on the box that reads “OK” to save changes.

Step B: Remove unwanted & suspicious browser extension your browser

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.Step 2 - Extensions option in Chrome
  3. Locate the malicious & unwanted extension from the Chrome window.Check the Extension you wish to delete
  4. Now, un-check 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. Remove the Extension in Chrome
  5. Close and re-open the Chrome browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once the extension is removed.

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.
  3. Find the extensions related to Yahoo Search Redirect and click on the remove button.Remove Extension from Firefox
  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.

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 C: Reset your Browser to default settings

Safari:

  1. Open Safari Browser in your Mac system & go to Safari’s Preferences.Open Safari Preferences
  2. Check the extension mentioned in the “Homepage” section. Change the URL to your default home-page.2. Check Safari Home-page
  3. Now click on the “Extensions” tab. Check the home-page section & change the web-page URL to the default one.3. Check Extensions

Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome & click on the three dots at the upper right corner.
  2. Click on “Settings” Menu.Chrome setting1
  3. Find “Advanced” at the bottom of the page & click on it.Chrome setting2
  4. Locate the section “Reset Settings” & click on “Reset settings to their original defaults” button.Chrome setting3
  5. A pop-up window will appear. Click on “Reset” to confirm the modifications.Chrome setting4

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Firefox browser & click on the three dots at the upper right corner.
  2. From the list, click on “Help” displaying at the bottom of the pane.Firefox Settings 1
  3. Click on “Troubleshooting Information” from the options.Firefox Settings 2
  4. Now click on “Refresh Firefox” button.Firefox Settings 3
  5. To confirm the changes, click on “Refresh Firefox” button displayed on the pop-up window.
  6. Firefox Settings 4
  7. Click on “Finish” to revert default settings of Firefox.
  8. Select “Restore all windows & tabs” & click on “Let’s go!” button to proceed with the changes. Firefox Settings 5

How to prevent Yahoo Search Redirect from infecting your system-

  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 anti-virus protection/internet security in your PC like  BULL GUARD & Vipre so that it remains safe.
  6. 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.

Disclaimer: Users must understand that Yahoo is a legitimate search provider & has nothing to do with browser redirects & appearance of intrusive ads on the screen. It is being compromised by the developers of certain browser hijackers to divert web-traffic to affiliated sites, display pop-up adverts & generate illicit money in return.

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