Remove Searchult.com from Chrome, Firefox and IE

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This page is here to help infected users with Searchult.com hijacker removal. These instructions are thoroughly tested and they are working at a 100%. Suitable for all Windows versions.

In a scenario, which countless Internet users are forced into on a daily routine, you have tried launching each of your browsers only to realize they all automatically bring you onto a website you have never ever heard of before. This is the first and most evident symptom of a malware strain which is uniquely designed to attack browsers in order to redirect them to specific Web locations and inject them with excessive amounts of advertising items. These increasingly popular computer contaminants are referred to as browser hijackers, and Searchult.com is a textbook example for how they work.

A Chinese company, Troy Technology Co.,Limited, is the operator of Searchult.com, atajitos.com and navegaki.com – the three websites associated with the Searchult.com browser hijacker. The first serves as the flagship page, since its design is very clean and simple, featuring mainly only a search field, obviously meant to create a false sense of credibility. The second website, atajitos.com, is completely swarmed with suspicious advertisements, its main purpose being to generate massive Pay-Per-Click revenue. In a similar manner, navegaki.com is comparably overstuffed with risky adverts, however, it is the page where searches are actually redirected to and processed. Unfortunately, the results it returns are completely compromised, fabricated to bring profit, and potentially extremely dangerous to click on.

remove searchult.com
Searchult.com Hijacked Homepage

Following a what has become a tradition for browser hijackers, the malware which is responsible for the continuous forceful redirects to Searchult.com is known by the website’s name. The malicious program propagates employing a set of deceptive techniques, and its victims are usually unaware of its invasion until it is successfully and fully completed. As its primary goal is to boost the traffic to its homepage, the unwanted application modifies the default start-up page, new tab and search engine provider settings of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, assigning them to its URL. Besides manipulating browsers’ configuration and functionality, Searchult.com is known to demonstrate adware-like behavior, loading numerous intrusive advertising items such as banners, video ads and pop-ups during each online session. Furthermore, as its creators obviously prefer to enjoy a few alternative monetization sources, the unwanted application is set to track users’ Internet habits, extract system-related information and steal sensitive data such credit cards numbers.

How Is Searchult.com Distributed?

Software Bundling

Info: Software bundling is the practice of packaging together and distributing as one installable unit a few (usually) freeware programs.

It is by far not surprising software bundling is the most typical means of distributing Searchult.com. Because of its legally debatable nature and the huge corporate interests involved, many computer security companies don’t directly identify browser hijacking programs as malicious. Furthermore, tempted by the considerable financial opportunity, popular freeware download portals such as Download.com, Brothersoft.com and even Sourceforge.net (once meant to only feature open source code) deliberately and massively foist offensive software by wrapping browser hijackers, adware and fake system optimizers with most of the programs they list. Absurdly, quite a few free antivirus programs don’t shy from bundling with browser hijackers either.

As users are not very likely to opt in for installing sometimes a whole series of additional software features while only looking for a video player, taken as an example, developers and freeware vendors cunningly design and re-design the customized installers used for setting up software bundles. Extra applications are presented as hard-to-visually-detect preselected bonus offers. Even if you choose the custom (or advanced) installation method – which we strictly and strongly recommend you – installation menus and confirmation buttons appear in a graphically and sequentially misleading manner. Therefore, each time you are deal with freeware, please use commonsense and great caution, taking the time to follow each step of the setup process and read through the diverse User Agreements.

Spam E-Mails

There haven’t been reports yet that Searchult.com is spread via spam e-mails. Nevertheless, considering spam e-mail campaigns are one of cybercriminals’ most preferred penetration methods, it won’t be surprising if Troy Technology Co.,Limited decided to launch one as an expansion to their browser hijacker distribution strategy. The best way to protect yourself against such attacks is to handle unsolicited e-mail responsibly, never opening files or hyperlinks attached by not fully trusted senders. An e-mail subject line promising you something for free is usually a valid warning sign you should take into consideration.

Why Do You Need to Remove Searchult.com at Once?

This extremely aggressive browser hijacker has the malicious potential to endanger and damage your online experience, your data and your privacy in many ways. From “kidnapping” you onto its websites to stealing your most valuable information, Searchult.com constitutes a solid threat which you need to deal with quickly and decisively.

  • Hijacked Browser Settings

After sneaking onto your computer Searchult.com will attack all your browsers, altering their original start-up page, new tab and search engine provider settings’ values to its own. Consequently, regardless of whether you launch Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, you will be inevitably and without your consent led onto a useless and risky website you never intended to visit. This means the malware will limit your control over your software and (partially) dictate your online behavior.

  • Compromised Online Search Results

As the search engine which it imposes on affected users is a fake, manufactured solely to generate additional advertising profit, it will be showing you compromised results (offers for useless products, malvertisements for dangerous programs, phishing scams), thus rending your online searches simultaneously futile and dangerous.

  • Excessive Display of Risky Ads

Similarly to adware, Searchult.com browser hijacker also modifies the content you are displayed while browsing, injecting myriads of frustrating advertising items such as banners, video ads, in-text ads, interstitials, pop-ups and pop-unders. Besides tremendously annoying and navigation-impeding, these ads are also significantly dangerous as they are of mostly shady origin and are devised to lure you onto malicious websites which distribute malware or conduct online fraud.

  • Data Collection and Theft

Data brokering market is a large one, therefore it is absolutely unsurprising that Searchult.com is set to collect various information ranging from IP and geographic location to login credentials for websites and bank account details.

  • Impaired Computer and Internet Connection Peformance

Because it is programmed to auto-launch on Windows start-up and constantly loads impossible amounts of mostly dynamic advertising content, Searchult.com heavily eats up important computing resources and bandwidth. As a result, it will most probably quickly render your system less stable and less effective while your Internet connection will be notably slowed down.

Searchult.com Homepage Hijacker Removal Instructions

Navigation:
1: Enter Safe Mode.
2: Remove Searchult.com from Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Edge.
3: Remove malicious attachments to browser shortcuts.
4: Uninstall the malware from your Add/Remove Programs.
5: Permanently delete the virus from Task Manager’s processes.
6: Uninstall the threat from Regedit and Msconfig.

In order to get rid of Searchult.com, please refer to the following step-by-step removal instructions for each of your browsers. Please note that you also have to manually restore their desktop shortcuts to their original state.

STEP-1 Before starting the real removal process, you must reboot in Safe Mode. If you are familiar with this task, skip the instructions below and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, here is how to reboot in Safe mode:

For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7:
Reboot your computer. When the first screen of information appears, start repeatedly pressing F8 key. Then choose Safe Mode With Networking from the options.
Safe Mode with Networking
For Windows 8/8.1
Click the Start button, next click Control Panel —> System and Security —> Administrative Tools —> System Configuration.‌
Windows 8 Safe Mode with Network
Check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart when asked.
For Windows 10
Open the Start menu and click or tap on the Power button.
win10 safemode 1
While keeping the Shift key pressed, click or tap on Restart.
win10 safemode 2

STEP-2Searchult.com hijacks the homepage of Chrome, Firefox and IE. Please, follow the guide precisely. If you miss some of the steps below, there is a chance that Searchult.com will come back at a later moment. Here are the steps you must follow to remove the hijacker from the browser:

Remove Searchult.com From Mozilla Firefox:

Open Firefox, click on top-right corner , click Add-ons, hit Extensions next.
firefox extensions
Look for suspicious or unknown extensions, remove them all.

Remove Searchult.com From Chrome:

Open Chrome, click chrome menu icon at the top-right corner —>More Tools —> Extensions. There, identify the malware and select chrome-trash-icon(Remove).
chrome extensions

Remove the Hijacker From Internet Explorer:
Open IE, then click IE gear icon on the top-right corner —> Manage Add-ons.
ie gear
Find the malicious add-on. Remove it by pressing Disable.

STEP-3

Right click on the browser’s shortcut, then click Properties. Remove everything after the .exe” in the Target box.

ff shortcut

STEP-4

Open Control Panel by holding the Win Key and R together. Write appwiz.cpl in the field, then click OK.

appwiz

Here, find any program you had no intention to install and uninstall it.

STEP-5

Run the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.

task manager

Look carefully at the file names and descriptions of the running processes. If you find any suspicious one, search on Google for its name, or contact me directly to identify it. If you find a malware process, right-click on it and choose End task.

STEP-6

Open MS Config by holding the Win Key and R together. Type msconfig and hit Enter.

msconfig

Go in the Startup tab and Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.

Still can not remove Searchult.com from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer in the comments below.

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Daniel Stoyanov
Daniel Stoyanov has a Master's degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional. Daniel provides top cyber security news with in-depth coverage of malware, vulnerabilities, PC and Network security, online safety.If you have any questions feel free to ask him right now.

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