Click on screenshot to zoom
Danger level 6
Type: Browser Hijackers
Common infection symptoms:
  • Hijacks homepage
  • Changes default search engine

Sometimes we do not even notice how potential security threats enter our systems. For example, might not look like something nasty, but this application could easily lead you to unreliable website, and it could result in further infections. It is not hard to terminate browser hijackers, and you can remove following the instructions you will find below this description. However, it is very important that you avoid similar intruders in the future. Please take note that prevention is just as important as fighting the infection itself. Why waste your time and resources on battling something you can easily prevent?

Perhaps at first, some users would not even understand that there is something wrong with their browser. looks like a decent search engine, and they might think that it is just an update to their usual search engine (unless, of course, you have some other site set as your homepage). When we take a look at the hijacker’s interface, it has a search bar, a few shortcuts to popular websites (like Amazon, Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo!, and others), and it even adds a toolbar to your browser, too. Perhaps you will also notice that the main homepage is full of advertising space that can promote third-party content.

So how does this browser hijacker enter your system? It is probably obvious that such programs do not have direct distribution sources. After all, who would want to have them? So it is very common for browser hijackers to come bundled with freeware when users download it from file-sharing websites. There are a lot of websites out there that host freeware and other unreliable software. Our research team says that such software pages like,, or are very likely to be part of the browser hijacker distribution network.

And this is where the prevention thing comes into the picture. It is always possible to avoid and other browser hijackers if you remain attentive when you install software and if you download it only from official homepages. The risk of getting unfamiliar and perhaps even dangerous programs significantly decreases if users use only official channels to get new or updated software. Also, reading the steps in the installation wizard should also help you avoid unwanted features because you often have a choice to deselect unwanted programs, but users tend to be too hasty to notice that.

Eventually, if the browser hijacker does get installed on the system, it affects all the main web browsers. During our tests, we have found that works on Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. What’s more, when it comes to the Firefox and Chrome browsers, the infection also adds an extension that is closely associated with it. Aside from that, the hijacker does the regular “hijacker stuff.” It functions almost just like,,, and many other similar intruders from the same group. It will change your homepage, search engine, and the new tab settings, and then it will continuously expose you to modified search results.

The reason does this is that it needs to generate a financial profit for its creators. Every single time you interact with this commercial content the hijacker promotes, you help the program make money via the pay-per-click system. However, the problem is that the hijacker is not responsible for the security of this commercial content. In other words, that is beyond the jurisdiction of its privacy policy, and the third parties that make use of this program to promote their content might as well exploit the hijacker beyond its capabilities.

Although it is very unlikely to happen, there is also a possibility that could be used as a medium for malware distribution. In general, this potential risk just tops the huge cake that is security risks associated with the hijacker. Hence, the sooner you get rid of, the better.

The good thing is that the manual removal is not complicated and you can easily do that on your own. The bad news is that you may have many more unwanted applications on your computer, and it might be quite tedious to remove them all on your own. Therefore, in such situation, computer security experts recommend using powerful antispyware tools.

How to Remove

Internet Explorer

  1. Press Win+R and type regedit. Click OK.
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.
  3. On the right side, right-click the Start Page value.
  4. Select Modify and change your homepage address. Click OK.


  1. Press Alt+T and go to Add-ons.
  2. Open Extensions and delete Instant News Now.


  1. Press Alt+F and click More tools.
  2. Select Extensions and remove Instant News Now.
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