- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
If your browser’s homepage address was suddenly changed to Initialpage123.com, then you should know that your web browser has been infected with a browser hijacker. Therefore, you should remove and replace it. However, apart from hijacking your browser, this malicious search engine will also keep tabs on you and show promotional links in the search results to generate revenue. However, the links are supplied by unknown advertisers, and we think that some of them can feature unreliable content. We invite you to read this article and see what Initialpage123.com is all about, but from the outset, we can assure you that there is nothing good about it.
Let us begin our analysis with this hijacker’s origins. We believe that it is part of the Elex browser hijacker family because it is in many ways similar to Myhomepage123.com, Luckypage123.com, and LuckySearch123.com. Note the URLs that feature “123” in them. This is strong indication that all of them come from the same source. Also, all of them have the same page design consisting of a white background with a black bar at the top.
Our research has revealed that Initialpage123.com is distributed through malicious software bundles. These software bundles feature free programs and also additional applications that are installed along with the main program. These bundles are featured on free software distributing sites whose owners make money off each install. They help distribute otherwise undesirable software that can include Initialpage123.com’s browser extension called Initialpage that is compatible with Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The bundled installers can be configured to hide this extension and install it secretly.
If Initialpage gets on your browser, then it will replace your browser’s homepage address automatically. The fact that it does that without authorization is a big deal because performing this action without permission is a malicious action. Its creators want to force you to use it for searching the web because they want to subject you to shady commercial advertisements. The ads come in the form of links that are included in regular search results. However, we want to note that Initialpage123.com redirects all search queries to a modified Yahoo search engine to show you the promoted links. However, due to the fact that Initialpage123.com’s advertising partners are unknown, there is no way of knowing whether the links are safe.
Note that this hijacker can collect personal and non-personal information about you. The personal information can include your name, gender, date of birth, and country. This information is not collected directly, but through online forms for ordering products and services and other cases when you are required to provide personal information voluntarily. The non-personal information includes internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and the number of clicks. Both of these kinds of information are used to present you with personalized search results and promotional links. You should not allow this hijacker to collect this information, however, because it uses it to tailor shady ads.
Our research makes it clear that Initialpage123.com is not a reliable search engine but a browser hijacker whose objective is to hijack your browser’s homepage and force you to view ads that come from unknown sources. While you can use it as a regular search engine, we urge you that you do not because it might compromise your computer’s security. To remove the browser extension and replace the homepage address, please consult the guide below.
Uninstall the browser extension (Internet Explorer only)
Windows 10 and 8.1/8
Windows 7 and Vista
Change the homepage address
Microsoft Internet Explorer