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


Searchcyborg.com is yet another browser hijacker whose objective is to replace your browser’s homepage and show you potentially malicious advertisements. Therefore, it is recommended that you remove it as soon as you can because the longer you keep it, the higher the chances are for your computer to become infected with more malware. Make no mistake, Searchcyborg.com is part of a web monetization scheme, so its purpose it to make money for its developers — not provide you with a reliable service. In this short description we will take a look at what this hijacker does, how it is disseminated, and how you can get rid of it.

We have found that Searchcyborg.com as the ability to hijack the homepages of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, the sample that we have tested only affects Internet Explorer, so it seems that this hijacker is able to hijack the homepages of Chrome and Firefox, but does not. It may have something to do with its configuration. In any case, its developers will most likely configure it to hijack the homepages of other web browsers further down the line.

As mentioned, this hijacker’s job is to hijack your browser’s homepage with the intention to subject you to commercial content. The sample we have tested indicates how irritating this hijacker can be. When you start typing something in its search box it will force open a pop-up window and load a promoted website. Further testing has shown that the advertisements are subject to the region where the user is located.

However, the bulk of advertisements are presented in the search results. Searchcyborg.com uses Google Custom Search to process the search queries. Google Custom Search enables its users to add additional adverting which in this hijacker’s case is located above the main list of the search results. Usually, the box of promotional links includes three links, but can be reduced to two. You should not click on those promotional links, because their origin is unknown and we suspect that cybercriminals might use this hijacker’s advertising service to promote scam websites and malware downloads. Thus, your computer’s security might become compromised. It might start having errors and performance issues, as well as system crashes.

Like any browser hijacker, Searchcyborg.com also has the ability to gather information about you to be used for commercial purposes. Note that this particular hijacker does not have the ability to collect personally identifiable information, but it can collect non-personally identifiable information which includes your IP address, browser type, device-related information, search history, and browsing history. Search and browsing history is of particular importance because it used to tailor the advertisements to increase the click count which contributes to making more money. So, as far as Searchcyborg.com’s functionality is concerned, it is utterly useless and can do more harm than good. Its promote content can come from unreliable sources, and its information collection practices are nothing short of spying.

This raises the question: who is responsible to making this browser hijacker? Unfortunately, there is not information about this hijacker’s developers which we do not find surprising since its developers would have big problems that involve litigation because this hijacker can open the floodgates to other malicious content. Even the method used to distribute it is illicit. We have found that Searchcyborg.com can be injected into your web browser by a Trojan-type infection that you can get by downloading pirated material or opening a malicious email attachment. This Trojan's files are usually placed in %LOCALAPPDATA%\kirmada and %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\kirmada, so make sure to delete them after removing this browser hijacker.

In conclusion, Searchcyborg.com is a fake search engine that we have classified as a browser hijacker due to its malicious distribution method which involves hijacking your browser’s homepage without your knowledge or consent. Our research suggests that it can promote potentially dangerous content via its search results. So if you want to keep your computer malware-free we invite you to use our removal guide.

How to delete the distributing Trojan

  1. Press Windows+E keys to open an Explore window.
  2. In the address box enter the following addresses.
    • %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\kirmada
    • %LOCALAPPDATA%\kirmada
  3. Delete all files in these folders.

How to reset browser settings to default

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Launch Internet Explorer.
  2. Press the Alt+T keys and select Internet Options.
  3. Open the Advanced tab and click Reset.
  4. Tick the checkbox.
  5. Click Reset and click Close.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Launch Firefox.
  2. Press Alt+H and click Troubleshooting Information.
  3. Click Refresh Firefox.
  4. In the dialog box, click Refresh Firefox and click Finish.

Google Chrome

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Press Alt+F and click Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings.
  4. Click Reset settings.
  5. In the resulting box, click Reset.
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