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Danger level 7
Type: Browser Hijackers
Common infection symptoms:
  • Hijacks homepage
  • Can't be uninstalled via Control Panel may look like an ordinary search engine, but it is much more than that and not in a good way. We have analyzed it and concluded that it is just another browser hijacker because it is distributed in a dishonest manner and is set to replace your web browser’s homepage. Therefore, we advise that you remove it from your PC as soon as the opportunity arises. Also, we want to warn you that it is set to show modified search results that are apt to feature shady promotional links. These promotional links might jeopardize your computer’s security as there is no way of knowing whether they are legitimate.

This newly released hijacker comes from our old foe — Imali Media, company dedicated to developing and releasing dozens of malicious browser extensions featuring a search engine that also set up by this same company. This company is in the web monetization business, but its business practices are less than legitimate as its browser extensions are disseminated in a dishonest and outright deceitful manner. Apart from creating, this company has also released,, and many others.

Usually, Imali Media’s hijackers have a dedicated website that features the download of their browser extension in addition to being bundled with third-party applications and being put up for download. However, browser extension TopsSecurityTab does not have a dedicated distribution website. Since this hijacker is relatively new, the website might still be in the making or down for some unexpected reason. In any case, like previously released extensions, TopsSecurityTab is known to be bundled with shady installers that install it secretly. In some cases, you might not be able to go to advanced settings to deselect its installation. This is the nature of freeware, so we encourage you to avoid shady software hosting websites as they are bound to bundle the free software with the likes of TopsSecurityTab to make more money.

Once this extension is secretly installed on your computer, it will automatically change the homepage address to This particular extension has versions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, but not for Microsoft Internet Explorer. The purpose of changing the homepage address is obviously to make you use for searching online. In short, this hijacker redirects web traffic to itself for the purpose of gaining users that otherwise would not use it. redirects the entered search queries to its server at which redirects them to a modified search engine. The “modified” part is of utmost relevance because that means that the search results have been modified to include additional promotional links. Links that, if they come from unreliable entities, can redirect you to infected and malicious websites and get your computer infected with dangerous malware. Other websites might try to extract personal information from you, such as fake online shopping websites that want to get your online banking credentials.

As far as privacy is concerned, this hijacker is set to collect information about you. This information includes your IP address, browser type, time at which you visited the site, and the pages visited thought this site/hijacker. The privacy policy states that “We may collect personal information at various times when you use our website or plugin.” This information is used to “customize your experience,” which means that it is used to customize the promotional campaign so that Imali Media could make more money. However, the collection of personal information is voluntary, and you can reveal it only when you contact the company via email.

In conclusion, is a fake search engine that masquerades as legitimate. Yet, it is distributed in a most deceptive dishonest manner. To avoid undesirable consequences that may arise as a result of using it, we invite you to remove its extension from the browser’s list of extensions and manually remove all of it remnants. Please follow the detailed instructions found below.

Remove the browser extension

Google Chrome

  1. Hold down Alt+F.
  2. Open More tools.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Find TopsSecurityTab.
  5. Click the Remove button.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Hold down Ctrl+Shift+A.
  2. Open Extensions.
  3. Find TopsSecurityTab.
  4. Click the Remove button.

Delete the remnants

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Hold down Windows+E keys.
  2. Enter C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
  3. Enter uniquely named Mozilla’s ID folder.
  4. Find prefs.js and open it with Notepad.
  5. Remove in user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "");

Google Chrome

  1. Hold down Windows+E keys.
  2. Enter C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
  3. Delete Preferences, Secure Preferences and Web Data files or open them with Notepad.
  4. Replace to your desired homepage address.
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