- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
Has your browser’s homepage been changed to search2016-ping.com? If so, then you might want to read this short article and consult the removal guide at the end of it. We have classified this low-grade search engine as a browser hijacker due to its dishonest and outright malicious dissemination strategy. Once it has secretly replaced your browser’s homepage address and you start using it, it will show modified search results that include promotional links to unknown shady websites. Also, according to the information we have received, this hijacker should gather some information about you and use it for advertising-related purposes. To find out more about this malicious search engine, we invite you to read this whole article.
While gathering information about this browser hijacker, we found that it comes from a newly emerged family of browser hijackers. This family also includes hijackers such as Mefuli-search2016.com, Doni2016-search.com, Bestsearch2016.com, and Daiksearch2016.com. All of them originate from the same source — an unknown, secretive developer that does not digitally sign its search engines and does not provide user support. There is no way to contact the developer, so it is clear as day that the people behind this family of hijackers purposefully hide in the shadows.
As far as this hijacker’s dissemination methods are concerned, we want to inform you that, like its clones, it is most likely disseminated through malicious bundled software installers. Such installers can only be found on questionable freeware distributing websites because legitimate sites just would not feature such bundles. Now, we do not know on which sites or with what software search2016-ping.com is currently being bundled, since this is subject to constant change. However, the important thing is that the malicious installers are configured to modify your browser’s settings while performing the installation and place this hijacker as your browser’s homepage address.
The information we have received suggests that the malicious installers search2016-ping.com comes with are designed to modify Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer and replace their homepage addresses. If successful, then it will become the search engine to go to when you want to search for something online and that is the whole point of this hijacker — to make you use it as a regular search engine. The good news is that this hijacker is currently down and even if it was online, we found that its search engine does not work, so it would not process any entered search queries.
However, if search2016-ping.com did work, then we want to inform you that its search results should feature questionable promotional links coming from unknown sources. Indeed, this browser hijacker is all about generating advertising income by subjecting you to promotional content in its search results. Now, there is no telling whether the promoted links are legitimate and safe to click and given that this hijacker is distributed in a malicious manner and comes from an unknown developer the chances of the promoted content being unsafe are rather high.
We also want to inform you that this malicious search engine/browser hijacker is designed to collect some anonymous browsing-related information about you. For example, this hijacker should collect information such as your browsing history, search queries, links clicked, Internet Service Provider name, Internet Protocol address, and approximate geographical location, among other things. All of this information is stored and used for tailoring and customizing the advertising campaign for each unique user to maximize profits.
In closing, search2016-ping.com is as shady as a search engine can get. It is a good thing that it does not work, but it can come back online at any time, so we recommend that you remove it from your browser as soon as possible. In any case, keeping a non-working site as your homepage address is pointless. We have made a manual removal guide that will help you change the homepage address, so feel free to make use of it and do not forget to scan your PC with an antimalware program just to make sure that your PC is secure.
Change your browser’s homepage address
Microsoft Internet Explorer