- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
You might think that Toptvtabsearch.com is a legitimate search engine, but nothing could be farther from the truth. After an extensive analysis, we concluded that it is a browser hijacker and that you have to remove it (if you have it) in order to reestablish your computer’s security. Hence, as a browser hijacker it will not improve your browsing experience, but hinder it and but your PC at risk because its sole purpose is to generate advertising revenue. Indeed, it is used to promote third-party content, and its owners make a profit off it. Please continue reading to learn more.
Let us begin with Toptvtabsearch.com's functions and features because they are of major importance to us. Our research has revealed that it comes with a dedicated browser extension called NewTabTV for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. If you install this extension, then, depending on the distribution method, it will ask you whether you want it to replace your homepage and new tab addresses or replace them automatically. Also, we want to point out that it affects these two browsers differently. Testing has shown that NewTabTV replaces the new tab page of Firefox only and leaves the homepage as it is, but it is set to replace both the new tab page and homepage in the case of Chrome.
The purpose of replacing the homepage and new tab page is to make you use Toptvtabsearch.com for processing your online searches. In short, NewTabTV redirects web traffic to it, and when you enter a search query in its search box, then it will redirect that query to http://extsearch.maxwebsearch.com that, in turn, will redirect it to a customized Yahoo search engine. As a result, you get Yahoo’s search results with unwelcome and even dangerous promotional links among them. We fear that some of the links can be of malicious nature and redirect you to infected websites that could get your PC infected with more malware or redirect to scam websites that try to extract personal information, banking credentials, and so on. Furthermore, some links may redirect you to shady websites that feature surveys and also require you to fill in some personal details. Without a doubt, this fake search engine is bound to subject you to questionable content, but that may not happen at first.
Toptvtabsearch.com is quite similar to Topsafetabsearch.com, Socialnewpagesearch.com, Search.internetquickaccess.com, and Search.newtabtvsearch.com because all of them come from a developer known as Imali Media Ltd, a company that offers online advertising and web monetization services to “clients” around the world. The problem is, however, that there is no way of knowing whether these clients are trying to promote unreliable content. Imali Media is a highly unreliable company, and all of its software and search engines are as well. Indeed, apart from publishing browser hijackers, it also releases software such as FunTVTab, FunMediaTab, SocialNewPage, and so on. Now, let us discuss the distribution channels of NewTabTV.
While gathering information about it, we found that you can download NewTabTV from its main website at http://newtabtv.com. This site is not malicious as you can choose whether you want to install this program but it does not inform you about changing the new tab address when you install it on Firefox. If you install it on Chrome, however, it the information provided will tell you about changing the homepage and new tab page. Note that when installing NewTabTV on Chrome, the website redirects to the Chrome Web Store. The second distribution channel is by far the most efficient as it is designed to install this extension without your knowledge or consent and then it will automatically change the homepage and new tab page. Of course, this method involves bundling the extension with freeware installers featured on dedicated free software distributing websites. If you install such a bundle, then you will also install NewTabTV because, as far as we know, you cannot deselect it.
So there you have it, it seems that Toptvtabsearch.com not as useful as its promotional campaign claims it to be. It is a browser hijacker distributed using both legitimate and illegitimate means, and if you got it on your PC accidentally or not, you should remove it because its ads could jeopardize your computer’s security.
How to remove the malicious extension