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


You might think that 4yendex.com is a legitimate search engine, but you would be mistaken. It is a browser hijacker, and it is designed to replace your browser’s homepage address and make you use it for conducting your online searches. However, its search results can feature malicious links and it is set to collect personal and anonymous information about you. So we recommend that you remove it as soon as the opportunity arises. If you are not convinced that this search engine is a threat to your computer’s security, then we invite you to read this whole description.

Before we go any further, it is important to know where 4yendex.com comes from and, truth be told, there is no way of knowing where it does because it features no information that could link it to any IT company. The lack of background information about it is suspicious, to say the least, and only leads us to believe that it comes from a shady developer that has opted to stay in the shadows intentionally to avoid the responsibility that arises when promoting content that can be malicious.

As far as 4yendex.com’s distribution methods are concerned, it seems that, like so many other browser hijackers, this one is also distributed via malicious software bundles, bundles that consist of a several applications, in many cases that are malicious, and an installer that is configured to install all of the contents at once. We have found that when 4yendex.com is a part of such a bundle, it is also installed automatically. Hence, you cannot deselect its installation, and it is the installer that does all of the hijackings. The installer is set to inject this particular search engine into your browser.

The malicious installers are configured to replace the homepages of web browsers that include Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. In the case of Google Chrome, however, they are set to replace not only the homepage address but the new tab page as well. The reason for doing so is forcing you to use it for searching the web. For example, if you enter a search term into this hijacker’s search box, then it will run it through its search algorithm and present you with the search results. We take issue with the fact that it uses Google custom search to process the search queries, so it does not have its own search algorithm, and this beats the purpose of using it if you have had Google.com as your homepage before. However, that is not all, the search results are set to be customized and our research shows that 4yendex.com is capable of altering the results to include promoted links. That may not seem that bad but consider the fact that the promoted links are among the regular search results, so they can be indistinguishable from the regular results.

What matters most is this case is the possibility that this fake search engine can show you malicious links to infected websites. Sites that could feature malware downloads or try to obtain your personal information such as your banking credentials, logins, and passwords. Therefore you have to take this potential risk seriously and act accordingly. 4yendex.com will not shield you from malicious content like other search engines do. Moreover, it can make the situation even worse by promoting questionable content.

When looking at this hijacker’s official privacy policy, we found that it is set to collect both personal and anonymous information about you and use it to advance the agenda of its developers which is, of course, to make more money. As far as non-personal information is concerned, this hijacker is bound to gather information such as your URLs, IP Address, your preferred language, browser type and so on and it is collected automatically. Now, as far as personal information collected on a voluntary basis is concerned, when you contact the developers via this hijacker’s Feedback feature, and reveal information such as your name or email address, home address or whatever it may be, all of this information will be used to customize the advertising campaign in an effort to make more money.

In closing, 4yendex.com is a highly malicious search engine that falls into the category of browser hijackers due to its invasive and deceitful distribution method. However, apart from that, it is also configured to show custom search results with shady promotional links and collect information about you to customize and tailor the advertising campaign and increase advertising revenue. Nothing good can come from such as search engine, so we recommend that you remove it using the guide featured below.

How to get rid of this hijacker

Google Chrome

  1. Press Windows+E keys.
  2. Enter C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default in the address line and hit Enter.
  3. Find Preferences, Secure Preferences and Web Data files.
  4. Right-click each of them and click Delete.
  5. Empty the Recycle Bin.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Windows+E keys.
  2. In the File Explorer’s address bar, type C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles and hit Enter.
  3. Go to {Unique ID} folder.
  4. Locate prefs.js and open it with Notepad.
  5. Find and replace http://www.4yendex.com in the user_pref("browser.startup.homepage", "http://www.4yendex.com"); string.
  6. Save and Close.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Press Windows+R keys.
  2. Type regedit in the dialog box and hit Enter.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  4. Find the Start Page registry string.
  5. Right-click it and click Modify.
  6. In the Value data line, enter a new homepage address.
  7. Click OK and close the Registry Editor.
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