searchab.com Hijacker

By | January 27, 2013 | 0 Comment

searchab.com is a browser hijacker that trade your home page to unknown search page. It usually shows a white page containing strange search box. During our test, we found that searchab.com function just like any other search engine. However, there are ongoing debates about its identity. Some people claims that searchab.com is a virus that conquer their home page without asking for permission. If that is the case, then we can conclude that searchab.com is part of adware.

Tools and programs are classified by adware if they are installed on the PC without the full concern of user. Most of the time, adware are embedded on other programs that anyone can download from online servers. Installing adware such as searchab.com hijacker is discreet. You will never have a trace of it getting loaded into the computer. Signs and symptoms will be visible when your home page is set to use the unknown search engine from http://searchab.com.

Removing the add-ons or extension from your browser stop the redirects, still, we highly encourage you to run a scan of anti-malware program to make sure that no more deposits of searchab.com are left inside the computer.

Type Hijacker
Sub-Type Adware
OS Affected Windows

What are the Symptoms of searchab.com Hijacker?

searchab.com hijacker is identified with a program Privatized VPN. Once you install this product, there is a tendency that your home page will be redirect to searchab.com. Image of the unknown search box is shown in the image below.

searchab.com

Follow these Procedures to Remove searchab.com

Procedure 1: Uninstall searchab.com from Windows Control Panel

1. Click on Start button on bottom left corner of the screen. From the list, choose Control Panel to access settings of Windows and make the needed changes.

2. Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program. It will open a program and features window where-in you can uninstall, change, or repair installed software.

3. Look for the name searchab.com or any related term. Please note that the adware may change the title anytime. Once found, please select the item you wanted to remove.

NOTE: To represent searchab.com in the image below, we used the term 'Unknown'. Be aware that searchab.com may use other names or terms like Privatize VPN, Searchab.

If the given term is not present on the list of installed programs, look for item that was installed recently. To do this, you need to arrange the items chronologically. Click on 'Installed On' to display the latest program. Make sure the recent ones are on top of the list. Look for any dubious software that are not familiar or you didn't remember installing.

Uninstall Item

4. Click on Uninstall button to remove the program automatically.
5. If it prompts for confirmation, please click OK to proceed.

Procedure 2: Start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking

Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

- After turning On the power of the computer, just before Windows start, press F8.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.

SafeMode Networking

Procedure 3: Scan and remove searchab.com files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware

To remove searchab.com, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.

Download searchab.com Removal Tool

1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed. The tool will launch.
4. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all threats detected by this anti-malware program.

Procedure 4: Reset Affected Internet Browser

In order to fully remove all changes made by searchab.com that heavily affects your Internet browser; we need to restore it to the state when it was first installed. Follow the procedures below to execute these steps on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Firefox respectively.

Reset configuration of Google Chrome:

1. Open Google Chrome browser
2. Type this in the address bar chrome://settings/
3. Navigate at the end of the page and click on Show advanced settings
4. At the bottom of the page, click on Reset settings to remove all changes made by searchab.com. You need to confirm this action to apply the changes.

Reset Google Chrome

Reset Internet Explorer Settings:

1. Open Internet Explorer software
2. Navigate to top menu and click Tools > Internet Options
3. On Internet Options window, select Advanced tab
4. In order to reverse modifications caused by searchab.com, click on Reset button to bring back Internet Explorer's settings to their default condition.

Internet Explorer

Reset Firefox to its default state:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox program
2. Navigate to top menu and click on Help > Troubleshooting Information
3. Click on Reset Firefox button to erase the effect of searchab.com.

Reset Firefox

Procedure 5: Run Qualys Browser Check

Qualys Browser Check performs a security examination on your browser including installed plug-ins and add-ons. At the end of the scan, this tool will recommend on what to remove and give you steps to resolve any vulnerabilities found on the browser.

1. Open Internet browser application that is affected by searchab.com.
2. Click Here to visit Qualys Browser Check web site.
3. Next, click on "Install Plug-in" button. You must accept the Terms and Conditions to proceed.

Install Browser Check Plugin

4. After installing the plug-in, Qualys Browser Check will download the host application. This is required to check and remove searchab.com and any other malicious add-ons and extensions.
5. Once finished downloading, please Open or Run the file to install needed data.
6. Restart the browser after installing the tool.
7. Next, click on the Qualys Browser Check icon on the browser to begin the scan.

Run Browser Check

8. Once finished scanning your browser, the tool will display a recommendation. It will advise removing searchab.com extension. Also, there will be other programs and plug-ins that requires updating to make your online surfing secure.

Protect your PC from searchab.com or Similar Attack

Turn On Safe Browsing Features

Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter

Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious files online. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:

1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.

IE SmartScreen Filter

4. Please restart Internet Explorer.

SEE MORE : Comprehensive steps to activate SmartScreen Filter

Google Chrome's Enable Phishing and Malware Protection

With Google Chrome's Phishing and Malware Detection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious. To enable Phishing and Malware Protection, please do these steps:

1. Open Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (3-Bars Icon) located on top right corner of the browser.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
5. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Enable phishing and malware protection'.

Chrome Security Settings

6. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.

SEE MORE : Enable Phishing and Malware Protection on Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries

Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats on the computer. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Tools. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:

  • Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
  • Block reported attack sites
  • Block reported web forgeries

Firefox Security Settings

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