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Danger level 7
Type: Browser Hijackers
Common infection symptoms:
  • Hijacks homepage
  • Changes default search engine

If your browser’s homepage address was suddenly changed to, then you should know that your web browser has been infected with a browser hijacker. Therefore, you should remove and replace it. However, apart from hijacking your browser, this malicious search engine will also keep tabs on you and show promotional links in the search results to generate revenue. However, the links are supplied by unknown advertisers, and we think that some of them can feature unreliable content. We invite you to read this article and see what is all about, but from the outset, we can assure you that there is nothing good about it.

Let us begin our analysis with this hijacker’s origins. We believe that it is part of the Elex browser hijacker family because it is in many ways similar to,, and Note the URLs that feature “123” in them. This is strong indication that all of them come from the same source. Also, all of them have the same page design consisting of a white background with a black bar at the top.

Our research has revealed that is distributed through malicious software bundles. These software bundles feature free programs and also additional applications that are installed along with the main program. These bundles are featured on free software distributing sites whose owners make money off each install. They help distribute otherwise undesirable software that can include’s browser extension called Initialpage that is compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The bundled installers can be configured to hide this extension and install it secretly.

If Initialpage gets on your browser, then it will replace your browser’s homepage address automatically. The fact that it does that without authorization is a big deal because performing this action without permission is a malicious action. Its creators want to force you to use it for searching the web because they want to subject you to shady commercial advertisements. The ads come in the form of links that are included in regular search results. However, we want to note that redirects all search queries to a modified Yahoo search engine to show you the promoted links. However, due to the fact that’s advertising partners are unknown, there is no way of knowing whether the links are safe.

Note that this hijacker can collect personal and non-personal information about you. The personal information can include your name, gender, date of birth, and country. This information is not collected directly, but through online forms for ordering products and services and other cases when you are required to provide personal information voluntarily. The non-personal information includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and the number of clicks. Both of these kinds of information are used to present you with personalized search results and promotional links. You should not allow this hijacker to collect this information, however, because it uses it to tailor shady ads.

Our research makes it clear that is not a reliable search engine but a browser hijacker whose objective is to hijack your browser’s homepage and force you to view ads that come from unknown sources. While you can use it as a regular search engine, we urge you that you do not because it might compromise your computer’s security. To remove the browser extension and replace the homepage address, please consult the guide below.

Uninstall the browser extension (Internet Explorer only)

Windows 10 and 8.1/8

  1. Right-click the Start menu/Start screen.
  2. Click Control Panel and go to Uninstall a program.
  3. Find Initialpage – Uninstall and double-click it.
  4. Click Uninstall.

Windows 7 and Vista

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Click Control Panel and select Uninstall a program.
  3. Locate Initialpage – Uninstall and right-click it.
  4. Click Uninstall.

Windows XP

  1. Open the Start menu and go to Control Panel.
  2. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Find Initialpage – Uninstall and click the Remove button.

Change the homepage address

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Pres Alt+T keys.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Enter a new address in the home page line.
  4. Click OK.

Google Chrome

  1. Press Alt+F.
  2. Open More tools.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Click Remove the extension.
  5. Press Alt+F keys.
  6. Locate New Tab page.
  7. Click Change and enter a new one.
  8. Then, go to Manage search engines to select a new one.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+A.
  2. Open Extensions.
  3. Click Remove the unwanted extension.
  4. Press Alt+T keys.
  5. Select Options.
  6. Go to the General tab.
  7. Change the homepage address.
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