- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
We have recently analyzed a reportedly questionable search engine called Maniihome.com. Our analysis concluded that it is a browser hijacker that you ought to remove because it enters computers in a clandestine manner and modifies certain browser settings such as homepage and search provider. We find this search engine untrustworthy not only because it modifies browser settings without your consent, but because it can inject links to third-party websites in its search results. As well as collect information about you to tailor the promoted links that correspond to your browsing preferences and make more money as a result. We stress that this malicious search engine is of no use to you and can only cause major problems.
Most browser hijackers belong to some kind of family of hijackers because their developers produce many clones. We have found that Maniihome.com belongs to the Elex family of browser hijackers that also includes hijackers such as Ooxxsearch.com, Didisearch.com, and several others. Elex is not a major browser hijacker distributer, but occasionally it releases new hijackers that come bundled with malicious software installers.
While doing our research, we found that this particular hijacker is distributed using malicious software bundles that inject it automatically to Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. We have yet to find a sample of this hijacker being injected along with a browser extension, but given that it is supported by the three most popular web browsers assume that it would be uneconomical for the developers to release a dedicated extension for each browser. Thus, we conclude that a malicious software installer is utilized to inject this hijacker to all three browsers without providing you with the means to deselect its installation. The installers are configured not allow you to opt out from setting Maniihome.com as the homepage and search provider.
It may not be apparent, but Maniihome.com’s purpose is to redirect web traffic and subject you to search results that feature promotional links to third-party websites. In full disclosure, all legitimate search engines feature promotional links as well, but they can filter out malicious websites, and they are in complete control of the promotional campaigns. Maniihome.com’s promotions, however, can be unreliable, and this becomes evident by looking at the license agreement, which states the following:
The soft language used to say that the content can be unreliable and that they do not care as long as they get paid to promote it proves how dishonest Maniihome.com’s owners are. Based on our experience with similar browser hijackers we want to stress that it can promote malicious software and potentially unwanted programs as well as phishing and scam websites, so none of its promoted contend should be taken at face value.
We advise that you delete Maniihome.com to avoid jeopardizing your computer with shady promotional links that might redirect to malicious websites. Furthermore, the basic fact that it can modify your browser’s settings without your authorization is just unacceptable. To get rid of this infection you can try changing the homepage and search provider addresses via browser settings, but if that does not work, then use the manual removal instructions we have included below.
Manual Removal Guide
Microsoft Internet Explorer