If you frequently download free applications from the Internet, you may have a great chance to download other malware which is bundled with the applications you want. A type of commonly seen malware should be browser hijackers. In this post, we are going to talk about a browser hijacker called “S.coldsearch.com” which has been rampant on the Internet for a while. Most users who come across this browser hijacker consider it as very annoying malware and want to remove it from their PCs immediately.
Let’s see how a victim of this browser hijacker describes his problem:
I may get this malware downloaded after I installed the update for my media player which was recommended in a pop-up window. Soon enough I found that my browser homepage was replaced by “S.coldsearch.com” without my permission. Whenever I launch my browser, this website keeps popping up. I also noticed that a search engine called “ColdSearch” was set as the default. I have tried reset Google as my default homepage and search engine, but failed. So, what is S.coldsearch.com and can I completely get rid of it out of my PC?
Basic Information of the Threat
S.coldsearch.com is classified a browser hijacker. You may want to ask what a browser hijacker is. A browser hijacker, accord to Wikipedia, is a form of unwanted software that may replace the existing homepage, error page, or search page with its own by modifying the browser settings. Besides, it may display advertisements, sponsored links as well as spurious paid search results, and even collect users’ browsing behaviors for business or marketing purpose. Examples of browser hijackers may include these: Binkiland.com, Esurf.biz, Dregol.com, Istartsurf.com, Trovi.com, Groovorio.com, etc.
Similar to these browser hijackers, S.coldsearch.com may change your browser homepage to its own domain page and make its own search engine the default. Why does the browser hijacker do these? You know, it is an important thing for a website owner to generate as more website traffic as possible. To some extent, more traffic may mean more money. So, this browser hijacker will alter its victims’ browser settings in order to get them to visit its own domain site whenever they launch their web browsers. Besides, to control how and what it displays when users are surfing the Internet, it may also set its own search engine as the default one.
If you try to reset the homepage and search engine to your favorite ones, you may only to find the unwanted homepage and search engine come back again. Why? In fact, after getting installed on your computer, this browser hijacker will put a reference to itself in your Startup folder or Registry Run key so as to ensure that it can run automatically each time your computer is started. As long as it runs on your computer, it can change your browser settings.
You may want to know how dangerous S.coldsearch.com is. This browser hijacker, although not as malicious as a Trojan horse, may infringe your privacy and make changes to your PC that could negatively impact your computing experience. While staying on your computer, this browser hijacker may spy on you, collect your online data as well as other information about your computer, and finally send the data & information to other third parties by using your network connection. Have a look at the screenshot below and you will know which type of information is collected by this browser hijacker:
Besides, S.coldsearch.com may display various ads or sponsored links on your pages while you are surfing online. All right, it is common to receive ads when you browse the web. However, some of these ads shown by this browser hijacker may not be safe for you to click. As we know that, cyber hackers probably hide malware download links under some advertising images. If you intentionally or unintentionally click on such malicious advertising links, you might directly download some malware on your PC. As a result, your computer will suffer from more problems due to the malware infection. So you see that it has some risks of having S.coldsearch.com on your PC. To protect your personal information and avoid malware attacks, please make sure that you get rid of the harmful browser hijacker from your PC as quickly as possible.
S.coldsearch.com Removal Instruction
Some browser hijackers are easily removed by restoring settings of the affected browsers; however, some other browser hijackers should be removed by uninstalling their related programs, removing all unwanted start-up items, and clearing all hijacking codes from the system. To remove S.coldsearch.com, you can first try restoring your browser settings. If this does not help completely remove it, then you can consider taking other steps mentioned above.
Step 1: Restore settings of the affected browsers.
Step 2: Uninstall the browser hijacker related programs.
Step 3: Remove all unwanted start-up items manually.
Step 4: Clear all hijacking codes from the system.
Open Internet Explorer, click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options from the dropdown list.
Under Advanced tab in the open window, find and click on the Reset button.
When a dialog box pops up, check the box labeled Delete personal settings and then click the Reset button.
Open Google Chrome, click on the Customize and control Google Chrome menu (3-bar icon) and click on Settings.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page, find and click on Show advanced settings.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page again, find and click on the Rest settings button.
When a dialog box appears, click on the Reset button.
Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the Open menu (3-bar icon) and click the question mark.
Then, click the Troubleshooting Information option in the pop-up window.
In the page that appears, find and click on the Refresh Firefox button.
When a dialog box pops up, click the Refresh Firefox button.
Look for any program related to S.coldsearch.com in the list of your installed programs. Select the program that you want to remove and then click on the Remove button.
Click on Yes when you are prompted to confirm removal of the program.
Search for any suspicious program in the list of your installed programs. If you find one, select it and then click on the Uninstall button.
Finally, follow the on-screen prompt to uninstall the program from your PC.
Right-click the Start button in desktop mode and select Programs and Features.
In the open window, look for any program associated with the browser hijacker, select it and click on the Uninstall button.
If you are prompted to confirm that you really want to uninstall the program, please click Yes.
Open the Run command box by pressing the Windows key+ R key together. Type MSCONFIG into the Open field and click OK.
Click on the Startup tab, uncheck items you want to disable and click Apply.
Then, open the Run command box again, enter regedit, and click OK button. This will open the Registry Editor.
Open HKEY_Current_UserSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion, check Run and RunOnce. If you find any startup keys of S.coldsearch.com in these folders, delete them immediately.
Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion, check Run and RunOnce. Find and delete the unwanted registry startup keys.
Warm tips: This is a rather complicated step that is hard to depend simply on manual work, so it is highly recommended that you use a specialized tool to accomplish it.
Here are three tools for you to opt:
SpyHunter (Download Now)
Malwarebyte (Download Now)
Max Spyware Detector (Download Now)
You may confuse which tool you should choose. Acutually, all tools above are capable of detecting and clearing malicous codes from your system and they have other characteristics. You can check the chart below and choose the tool you prefer.
Personally, I recommend SpyHunter, since this tool has many advanced features and can fix your malware problems in a more flexible way. In the following, I will emphatically introduces how to install and use Spyhunter to clear all malicious codes from your system. Follow the instruction below:
» Download SpyHunter installer.exe by clicking the download button below.
» Locate the file you have downloaded, double click the icon and click Run when a dialog box pops up.
» Select your prefer language and then click OK.
» Click CONTINUE to proceed.
» Wait for a while until the installation finishes.
» Once you are prompted that the setup is successful, please click EXIT.
» When SpyHunter is launched, click Scan Computer Now button to do a full system scan.
» As long as the scan is over, remove all found threats from your computer by clicking Fix Threats (You need to make sure that you have upgraded SpyHunter to the registered version before you can successfully fix all threats).
Note: If you choose Malwarebytes or Max Spyware Detector, you can read this post which gives detailed information about these two tools as well as instruction on how to install them on your PC.
After you accomplish the steps above, you should have completely removed S.coldsearch.com from your PC. But don’t think that everything is all right now and you can do something else. There is still something important you need to do – learn what you can do to prevent future infection. Although some powerful tools can effectively help block and remove malware, they may not be able to deal with all threats, especially those newly-created. Therefore, it is necessary that you understand how malware gets into your PC and how you can avoid it.
Usually, malware gets into the your computer via these channels: freeware or shareware, malicious websites, email attachments, fake pop-up security alert windows, suspicious links, and P2P file sharing networks. Now we will explain them in details.
Freeware or shareware: Cyber hackers inject installer of the malware into some freeware or shareware in advance. When you download and install such infected software, the malware gets downloaded and installed on your PC as well. For example, Media Play-VLC Media Player contains installer of a browser hijacker called “Omiga-Plus.com”. A good idea to avoid getting malware in this way should be only downloading software from reliable sources, and always install software in the Custom installation mode.
Malicious websites: There are numerous malicious websites on the Internet which are either created or hacked by cyber hackers in order to infect your computer with malware. If you visit such dangerous websites, you are likely to download malware on your PC unwittingly. Hence, you should avoid visiting unfamiliar websites when browsing the web. If you accidentally access a suspicious website, leave it immediately.
Email attachments: Cyber hackers may randomly send spam emails with infected attachments to users. Those email attachments look legitimate but actually contain malicious codes. If you receive such email attachments and click to download or open them, you will probably get your computer infected by malware. A wise way is to ignore the spam emails or delete them from your email box directly.
Fake security alert windows: Cyber hackers also like to entice users to download malware by showing them fake security alert windows. These windows often pop up all of a sudden, warning users that their computers have been infected by viruses and they need to clean the threats with the security software recommended immediately. However, once users click the link to download the said software, they may sadly find that they download malware on their PCs instead. Therefore, don’t trust pop-ups that appear out of nowhere and only download security software from the official sites or well-known download sites.
Suspicious links: Cyber hackers may send suspicious links to users via spam emails or instant messaging applications. These links are usually shortened and don’t point to clear website addresses. By clicking on these links, users might be redirected to some malicious websites or directly download malware on their computers. To be safe, you should only click on link with “https”; if a link is shown to you in the form of anchor text, then you can first move the cursor over the text and check its address in the bottom left corner of the browser window. If the link looks suspicious, then don’t click on it.
P2P file sharing networks: P2P file sharing networks allow users to free download files from other users located anywhere on the Internet. However, cyber hackers will deliberately offer some files containing malware for users to download. Since it is hard for user to know whether the files they are downloading are safe or not, it has a great possibility for them to download malicious files on their PCs. A good way to avoid being infected by malware in this way is to use legitimate file sharing applications and don’t download pirated software.
Have problems with S.coldsearch.com or other types of malware? Cannot remove malicious codes in your system? Want to effectively block malicious attacks from the online world? You need a powerful tool! Click the button below to download it now!
The following video offers a complete guide for S.coldsearch.com redirect virus removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!