What is fxsmash.xyz?
Fxsmash.xyz is the URL (address) of a fake search engine. Web searchers classified as illegitimate are usually unable to provide search results and collect browsing-related information.
Search engines of this type are typically promoted by browser hijackers - through modifications this software to browser settings. The fxsmash.xyz web searcher has been observed being promoted by Make changes, Show Tabs, Newtab, GillCom, SysKey, and other browser hijackers.
Furthermore, software within this category tends to have data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing habits. Since most users download/install browser hijackers inadvertently, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Browser hijackers assign illegitimate web searcher addresses (e.g., fxsmash.xyz) as browsers' default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs. Hence, with a browser hijacker promoting fxsmash.xyz installed, users are forced to visit this search engine - every time they search a query via the URL bar and/or open a new browser tab/window.
As mentioned in the introduction, most fake web searchers cannot generate search results, so they tend to redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other legitimate search engines. This applies to fxsmash.xyz as well; it has been noted redirecting either to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) or to websearches.club.
The latter is illegitimate, and while the websearches.club search engine can provide search results - they are not accurate and can promote untrustworthy and malicious content/websites. Browser hijackers can restrict or deny access to the browser settings.
In other cases, this software is able to undo any changes users try to make to their browsers. Therefore, it is impossible to restore a hijacked browser without eliminating the software affecting it.
What is more, browser hijackers can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable data extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and personally identifiable details).
The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the presence of data tracking content on browsers/systems - can lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
To protect device integrity and user privacy, all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.
|Name||fxsmash.xyz browser hijacker|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Detection Names||Fortinet (Malware), alphaMountain.ai (Suspicious), Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address||188.8.131.52|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser(s) settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). User's are forced to visit hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Janextupd.com, s3redirect.com, smashapps.net, mybrowser-search.com - are some examples of fake search engines, and IncognitoSearchly, SearchConverterApp, PDFSearchTip - of browser hijackers. This software appears legitimate and harmless.
Users are lured into download/installation with a broad range of "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, the promised features are rarely operational.
This is true of nearly all PUAs. The sole goal of unwanted apps is to generate profit for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant.
PUAs operate by hijacking browsers, force-opening untrustworthy and dangerous sites, running intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and gathering sensitive information.
How did fxsmash.xyz install on my computer?
Select PUAs (e.g., Make changes, which promotes fxsmash.xyz) have "official" promotional/download webpages. These applications can also be downloaded/installed alongside other programs.
This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". By rushing through download/installation processes (e.g., by skipping steps and sections, using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) - users risk allowing bundled content into their devices.
Intrusive adverts are used to spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is important to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources.
Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer harmful and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, and other additions. Intrusive advertisements appear ordinary and innocuous; however, they redirect to various questionable sites (e.g., adult-dating, pornography, gambling, and so forth).
Should users experience adverts and/or redirects of this kind, they must check their devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate it.
Screenshot of a website endorsing the Make changes browser hijacker that promotes fxsmash.xyz fake search engine:
Appearance of fxsmash.xyz redirecting to the Yahoo search engine (GIF):
Appearance of fxsmash.xyz redirecting to the websearches.club fake search engine (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is fxsmash.xyz?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove fxsmash.xyz browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove fxsmash.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove fxsmash.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove fxsmash.xyz redirect from Internet Explorer.
fxsmash.xyz redirect removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the fxsmash.xyz website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
fxsmash.xyz redirect removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.fxsmash.xyz) below the “Open a specific or set of pages” option. If present click on the three vertical dots icon and select “Remove”.
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "fxsmash.xyz" when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Remove from list".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the fxsmash.xyz browser hijacker, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove all recently installed browser plug-ins.
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://fxsmash.xyz and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "fxsmash.xyz"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.
Computer users who have problems with fxsmash.xyz browser hijacker removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the fxsmash.xyz browser hijacker, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove hxxp://fxsmash.xyz and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter about: blank to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.
Change your default search engine:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window, select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing", or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "fxsmash.xyz".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the fxsmash.xyz browser hijacker, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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