Remove Secure-surf.net (Chrome/Edge/Firefox) | Updated

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I wrote this article to help you remove Secure-surf.net. This Secure-surf.net removal guide works for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Secure-surf.net is a search provider with convenient functions. The engine has extended options for image and video searches. It provides quick access to Gmail, as well as a selection of websites. In the far right corner, there is a button for accessing a links bar. The featured websites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Booking.com, Ebay, YouTube, and multiple Google platforms: Maps, Gmail, Drive, Play, Photos, Translate, News, and Docs. The slogan of Secure-surf.net is “the search engine that respects your privacy”. This statement is in contradiction to some of the activities it is involved in. Security researchers have discovered that Secure-surf.net is associated to a hijacker.

Hijackers are a type of malware which targets the web browser. The rogue program will attack all browsing clients you have installed to your system. It can affect Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and other established programs. The hijacker makes changes to the web browser’s DNS settings. It will reset your homepage and default search provider to Secure-surf.net. It will be impossible to edit the custom settings. The covert tool has the ability to detect attempts and change back to the designated values. By having Secure-surf.net as the default search provider, the hijacker gets the ability to manipulate the search results.

To elaborate, the clandestine program is ad-supported. It makes profit for its creators by supporting third party content. The owners of the Secure-surf.net hijacker receive payments for taking users to sponsored websites. The amount they receive depends on the success rate. There are two techniques when it comes to supporting third party content. The first, as mentioned earlier, is adding sponsored search results amid the regular. The other is more straightforward. The hijacker runs campaigns by displaying advertisements. The ads will appear in different formats, including pop-ups, pop-unders, coupon boxes, in-text links, banners, freebies, contextual, interstitial, floating, transitional, and inline windows. They will list bargain deals for a wide variety of commodities. As enticing as the proposed offers may be, you should not follow the ads.

Keep in mind that the Secure-surf.net hijacker brings sponsored content. It is not credited for finding the shopping listings is shows. The shady tool only acts as a mediator. The actual sources for the ads are undisclosed third parties. Some advertisers may be online vendors who are looking to popularize their platforms, but others could turn out to be cyber criminals. Clicking on an ad could lead you to dangerous websites, spreading malware. This is why we advise against following the ads. The other threat around the hijacker is personal data leakage. The insidious program can record various details from the web browser and pack them into catalogs. This encapsulates browsing history, keystrokes, tracking cookies, IP address, email account, geographic location, telephone number, residency, user names, passwords, and financial details. The owners of the hijacker sell the gathered information on darknet markets.

You may not be aware how the Secure-surf.net hijacker entered your system. This is normal. If you knew what was happening, you would have tried to prevent it. To help you improve your protection mechanisms, we will explain how the furtive program can gain entry into your machine. There are several techniques for spreading malware. Experts refer to them as dark patterns. If the surrounding events have occurred, you can identify the entry point of the rogue tool. The first we will address is bundling. The Secure-surf.net hijacker can travel in a merged executable with another tool. Pirated applications, freeware, and shareware are the possible hosts. The hijacker will be included with the main software as a bonus. To prohibit its install, you will have to find the option and deselect it.

The other propagation vectors the Secure-surf.net hijacker is known to utilize are spam emails and drive-by installations. A misleading email would have the program secluded behind an attached file. The attachment will be presented as an important document on an urgent matter. To make the bogus message seem the genuine, the sender can write on behalf of a legitimate company or organization. Before following instructions from an email, make sure to check the sender’s contacts. The drive-by method is the easiest way to spread malware. The concealed program is transferred when entering a corrupted website or clicking on a compromised link. You should be selective of your online sources and do your research whenever you have doubts.

Secure-surf.net Uninstall

STEP-1 Before starting the real removal process, you must reboot in Safe Mode. If you know how to do this, 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-2Please, follow the steps precisely to remove Secure-surf.net from the browser:

Remove 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 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 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 Secure-surf.net from your browser? Please, leave a comment below, describing what steps you performed. I will answer promptly.

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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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