Click on screenshot to zoom
Danger level 6
Type: Browser Hijackers
Common infection symptoms:
  • Changes default search engine
  • Hijacks homepage is a search tool that provides a bonus feature. As you probably can tell it from the title the application not only allows users to surf the Internet but also convert PDF files to other document formats or the other way around. Nonetheless, we still believe it is not worth neither your attention nor your trust. Provided, you will continue reading the article, we will tell you more details about the threat and explain to you the reason it is considered to be untrustworthy. Just before we begin, we should explain that while testing the search engine our researchers noticed the application might act as a browser hijacker, and so we will call it a browser hijacker in the text. Lastly, we would like users to know there will be deletion instructions located just below the text, to help erase it faster. might modify user’s browser preferences, for example, default search engine, new tab page, or homepage. The settings it changes might differ on different browsers; at the moment it works on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The application provides a search box in the middle, and below it, you can find two buttons: “Convert PDF Files to other Formats” and “Convert Files to PDF.” Both of these buttons appear to be working as they open an additional window to upload the file one wishes to convert and allows to download it once the process is complete. However, despite these handy tools, our researchers do not think the search engine to be trustworthy, and there are several reasons for it.

First of all, we have read the browser hijacker’s End User License Agreement statements. One of them says: “Hopebest Products may be exposed to various security issues through misuse, unauthorized access, corruption, and interception and should be considered insecure.” Hopebest Products are products created by a company called Hopebest Inc., which is developer. The statements we quoted lets us understand the application’s developers do not even consider it as reliable themselves. They disclaim any warranties and take no responsibility for the search engine or third-party content that could appear while surfing the Internet with this browser hijacker.

Furthermore, our researchers have also studied the software’s Privacy Policy statements. While doing so, they learned the search engine and its third-party partners could gather information about user’s device, browsing habits, etc. For example, “IP address, data about the pages you access, mobile network information, search history,” and so on. It would seem such data might be used for several reasons like deliver customer support or other usual services that do not raise any suspicion. Unfortunately, among these reasons the Privacy Policy states could “perform target marketing and advertising that is tailored to your interests.” In other words, the search engine might show you targeted advertisements from its third-party partners.

Since the application’s creators claim they take no responsibility we doubt they check third-party advertisements to see if they will not be malicious or possibly dangerous to the user or his computer, for example, the ads may redirect to sites containing viruses, Trojans, ransomware, or other malware. Of course, we cannot be one hundred percent sure about this and do not say it will necessarily happen to you. What we mean is that there is such a possibility as it is unknown where the ads might come from or what they may promote. Therefore, we urge you not to take any chances, especially when you can employ a safer and more reliable search tool. As for document converters, there are plenty online tools you could use instead of too.

If you choose to get rid of the browser hijacker you have two main option for its removal. The first one is to delete it manually. This task might be slightly difficult for some users since it requires to locate and modify particular data belonging to the browser to restore the settings that could have been altered by the threat. Those who would like to try this option should have a look at the instructions located below first. In case, they appear to be too complicated we would suggest the second option, which is removal with a reliable antimalware tool. Pick a tool from trustworthy developers and install it on the computer. Then set it to complete a system scan and wait for the results. Lastly, once the results appear, click the deletion button and the identified threats should be eliminated.


Internet Explorer

  1. Press Win+R.
  2. Type Regedit and click OK.
  3. Search for the following path: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  4. Search for value name titled Start Page.
  5. Right-Click Start Page and select Modify.
  6. Replace value data (, for example, with
  7. Click OK.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Win+E.
  2. Get to: C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{Unique Mozilla ID}
  3. Locate file Prefs.js and open it with Notepad.
  4. Identify this specific line: user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "").
  5. Replace the hijacker’s link.
  6. Save the changes (Ctrl+S).
  7. Close Prefs.js.

Google Chrome

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Locate the following location: C:\Users\{Username}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
  3. Find and erase these listed files: Preferences, Secure Preferences, and Web Data.
  4. Close the Explorer.
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