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


Search.Moccini.com is a strange search engine that some users are quick to categorize as a browser hijacker. The reality is that many users install this search tool by accident, and they mistakenly believe that it has corrupted their browsers illegally. Once installed, this search tool takes over the homepage, the search engine, and even the new tab tools on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer providers, which might seem quite aggressive to some users. Needless to say, those who install this search tool willingly will not even think about it being malicious or unreliable. After testing this search tool in our internal lab, we have found a few things that require further discussion. We advise reading this report to learn more about this search tool because our findings might lead you to believe that it is best to remove Search.Moccini.com.

Moccini.com is a website promoting an app called “Moccini.” It is installed as an extension onto the Google Chrome browser and as an application onto the PC for Internet Explorer users. Our research has revealed that this extension is also available from the Chrome web store, and it comes in two parts. The first one is capable of recording the data on the websites you visit, and the second one is also capable of changing your search settings to Search.Moccini.com. If you do not install extensions blindly, you will notice the permissions of these extensions, and you will know about the changes made to your browsers. Now, if you are careless, you might agree to the modifications without realizing it. The search tool and the extension both belong to Codeset; however, it is possible that this name has been made up just for this occasion. Our research has revealed that this software is related to Snap.do, Linkury, and Search.Safefinder.com, and it is likely that the developer of these threats is also the developer of the extension and the search tool.

Officially, Moccini is introduced to users as a widget that can help search and share content in an easier way. In reality, this app has two functions, and one of them is providing you with a different search tool, and that is not a beneficial service, especially considering that Search.Moccini.com isn’t all that great. This search tool can employ a third-party search engine (e.g., infospace.com) to deliver search results, and it has been found to show ads. These ads are displayed as sponsored links in the search results, and they represent unknown parties. Another service that Moccini provides users with is a Desktop widget that enables easy-access links to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular services that you can easily access via your own browser. Is this extension malicious? It is not considered malicious; however, it is not very beneficial either, and you should not clutter your operating system with useless software.

Although Search.Moccini.com can take over your browsers when you download Moccini from an official source (e.g., the main download page or the Chrome web store), our research team warns that this software could also be introduced to you by suspicious third-party installers. Although not all third-party installers are considered malicious, some of them might introduce users to attractive programs just to infiltrate threats. When downloading software, you have to be extremely careful about the unfamiliar additions. If you are not willing to research them, you should reject them right away. Unfortunately, some installers bundle attractive software with silent malware installers, which is the reason why we do not recommend trusting third-party installers altogether.

Have you decided to keep Search.Moccini.com installed on your browsers? If you have, you should think if you want to see ads every time you browse the web. In this case, it is crucial that you implement reliable anti-malware software to keep your virtual security guarded against all virtual dangers. Implementing this software is also crucial if you decide to clean your operating system from potentially unwanted programs. You can delete Search.Moccini.com from your browsers manually as well, but you should not skip the installation of reliable security software because you want reliable tools protecting you whenever you are using your PC, browsing the web, interacting with content, or downloading new software.

Removal Step I (for IE users)

Delete from Windows XP:

  1. Click the Start menu on the Taskbar and open the Control Panel menu.
  2. Double-click the Add or Remove Programs icon to access a menu.
  3. Locate the app you want to get rid of, select it, and choose Remove.

Delete from Windows Vista and Windows 7:

  1. Click the Windows logo on the Taskbar and open Control Panel.
  2. Select Uninstall a program (in Programs/Programs and Features menu).
  3. Right-click the program you wish to eliminate and choose Uninstall.

Delete from Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10:

  1. Simultaneously tap Win+R (launches RUN) and enter Control Panel.
  2. Navigate to Uninstall a program (in Programs/Programs and Features menu).
  3. Identify the program you wish to erase, right-click it, and choose Uninstall.

Removal Step II (for Chrome users)

  1. Launch Google Chrome and tap Alt+F keys together to launch a menu.
  2. Select More tools and then Extensions to find the list of active add-ons.
  3. Click the recycle bin next to the unwanted add-on and select Remove.
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