social new pages
Browser Hijacker | 02/11/2019

Search and Newtab by SocialNewPages | Virus removal guide

About: Search and Newtab by SocialNewPages is a pernicious browser extension deemed as a browser hijacker. Believed to provide quick & easy access to all your social media needs, the nasty program is configured to advertise affiliate products & servi...  Read More  

| Browser Hijacker | Search and Newtab by SocialNewPages | Virus removal guide

Socail New Pages Removal Guide

Search and Newtab by SocialNewPages is a malicious browser extension developed by Imali N.I Media LTD for Google Chrome and other popular web browsers. The myriad of browser hijackers released by this felonious company are distributed via different names & offer similar functionalities. Programs like SocialNewPages are no exception & like other hijacking applications it hijacks user’s browser & customizes new tab page with social content from sponsored groups.

Social new pages

The pernicious program lures users to install the dodgy application by claiming to provide one click search to find friends, stores, websites & companies in popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. This widget also claims to help users to easily access social media accounts.

 

The UI of the domain http://socialnewpages.com/ appears pleasing & provides easy access to popular TV shows, Movies, Sports, Music, Health & Entertainment. However, it’s a mere trick to inveigle users to download the malicious application. The sole motive behind this browser add-on is to advertise affiliate products & services to generate unscrupulous revenue.

Social new pages

Social New Pages Template Description

The dubious search engine incorporates links that provides quick and easy access to all your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Gmail etc. When user clicks on these links, they are directed to login pages that appear legitimate. However the login screens are overlaid that aim to steal sensitive information such s username & passwords.

Social new pages

Moreover, the search engine also includes links to renowned channels & websites. These include:

 

  • News channels like Newstakers, CNN, BBC, Fox News & Sky News
  • Shopping channels like Amazon, Ebay, Ali Express, Deal Extreme.
  • Sports Channels like CBS, ESPN, NBC Sports, Sky Sports, Fox Sports
  • Innumerous Free games etc.

 

The sole purpose of the search engine however remains the same i.e. extort users & earn money by unethical means.

 

Users are therefore advised not to fall in the trap and get the dubious browser extension removed as soon as it is detected.

 

Threats posed by Social New Pages Browser Hijacker

Social New Pages Browser Hijacker exhibits multitude of pernicious traits that refrains users from surfing internet properly. These include:

  1. Hijacks user’s browser: Once the nasty program invades the system it modifies user’s browser settings & replaces the home page, search engine & new tab with socialnewpagessearch.com. This ruins user’s surfing experience as the search results are directed to sponsored web pages.

 

Sponsored results can point to hazardous sites, because usually developers of such browser hijackers are much more interested in generating pay-per-click revenue than keeping the computer user away from shady third-party links.

 

These affiliated websites may be devious & make system susceptible to other system infections that pose a threat to user privacy & security.

  1. Sieges browser screen with intrusive ads & pop-ups: The malicious program is designed to keep an eye on user browsing activities to display engaging ads & pop-ups to promote affiliated brands or websites & earn revenue.

 

Moreover, the information collected by the malice may include important user data like name, address, username, passwords, email address etc that may be leveraged to extort users or sold to third parties.

  1. 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.

 

The search engine generates Yahoo search results that appear safe to click on. However, these are altered and basically are Imali Yahoo search results that are filled with third-party links that point to Imali media’s affiliate websites.

 

Privacy Policies of Social New Pages Browser Hijacker

The privacy policies of Social New Pages browser hijacker states that the nasty re-director gathers following user information:

socila new pages privacy policy

  1. Type of browser, including your default browser
  2. Operating system
  3. Language preference
  4. The ways in which you use various features of the Browsing Product, your time of access and the domain name of the website from which you link to the Browsing Products
  5. Usage statistics from users that describe the frequency of use of each feature;
  6. Information about page views, impressions and clicks, as well as similar web usage information on their domains.
  7. Individually identifiable information like contact information, IP address
  8. Cookies

 

This is not all! The Social New Pages claims to include links to other third party content (e.g., Gmail, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube etc.), including Service Provider’s content whose privacy practices may differ from those of Browsing Product.

 

Users are therefore recommended to go through the privacy policies of any apps or browser extensions before installing them in their systems.

 

The information collected by the rogue search engine is highly sensitive and access to it can be used against the user to extort them. Hence users are strictly recommended to remove all the instances of Social New Pages Browser Hijacker as soon as it is detected in the system.

Threat Summary

Name: Search and Newtab by Social New Pages

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 search.socialnewpagessearch.com
  • Appearance of sponsored ads and pop-ups
  • Unnatural network activities & occasional sluggishness of the infected device

How to Remove Search and Newtab by Social New Pages?

STEP A : Remove malicious extensions from 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.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”.enable chrome developer mode
  4. 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 “oijegbeklhammfmpejeiclngameeaknfcopy the extension folder name in Chrome
  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.delete the malicious extension from Chrome
  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\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “oijegbeklhammfmpejeiclngameeaknf”. Delete the folder if present.show hidden files and 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 Social New Pages 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 drop-down 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 Social New Pages and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom right of the computer screen.

IE toolbar and extensions in Manage add-ons

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:  How To Reset Your Browser

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines (Mozilla Menu icon ) which are at the top right corner of the computer screen.
  2. A Drop down menu will be displayed. On this menu click on the “Help” (Mozilla help icon) button as shown in the image below. The Help menu will be displayed on the screen.Mozilla firefox menu screenshot
  3. From this menu click the option that reads “Troubleshooting information“. A new tab will open up with the <strong”>Troubleshooting information.
    Choose troubleshooting information from Mozilla Firefox menu
  4. On the Troubleshooting Information page, click on the button that reads “Refresh Firefox” as shown in the image below.Mozilla reset option
  5. The “Refresh Firefox” message box will pop up on the screen. On this message box click on the “Refresh Firefox” button.Refresh Firefox
  6. 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.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Menu Icon-Chrome ) 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”.Google Chrome menu
  2. 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.Google Chrome advance settings
  3. 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.Reset Chrome option
  4. The reset dialogue box will pop up on the screen. From this dialogue box click on the button that reads “Reset”.

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 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”.IE - internet options
  2. 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.Reset Internet Explorer settings
  3. When it’s done, click on the button that reads “Close” to complete the task. Now close and reopen your browser.Close Reset Internet Explorer

 

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 Kaspersky Labs Inc and Hitman Pro 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.

 

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