What is Snowy Tab?
Discovered by our research team while inspecting dubious software-endorsing webpages, Snowy Tab is a browser extension. It is advertised as a tool that allows users to change their browser background/wallpaper and use other handy features.
Having analyzed Snowy Tab, we can conclude that it is a browser hijacker. This extension modifies browser settings, promotes the search.snowytab.com illegitimate search engine, and spies on users' browsing activity.
Snowy Tab browser hijacker overview
Once installed onto our test system, Snowy Tab reassigned the browser's homepage, new tab/window, and default search engine URLs - to search.snowytab.com. These modifications are made to cause redirects to this fake search engine any time the user opens a new browser tab/window or searches the Web via the URL bar.
Illegitimate search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they land on genuine ones. In the case of search.snowytab.com, it redirects to Google (google.com). It might land elsewhere, as the redirects can depend on certain factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
Furthermore, browser-hijacking software tends to use persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent browser recovery. What is more, they typically have data tracking abilities, and Snowy Tab is not an exception. Information of interest can include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, personally identifiable details, log-in credentials, financial/banking data, etc. The gathered information is shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of software like Snowy Tab on devices can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Snowy Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Browser appearance customization (wallpapers/backgrounds) and various widgets|
|Detection Names (search.snowytab.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the 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 browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Browser hijacker examples
Daily Tab, Spin Dark, TopMoviesLinks Default Search, and Quick Pro are merely a few examples of the browser hijackers we have analyzed. They seldom appear suspicious; typically, this software looks genuine and offers "useful" functionalities. However, these functions rarely work as advertised, and in most cases - they are utterly nonoperational.
How did Snowy Tab install on my computer?
We obtained Snowy Tab from a dubious download webpage, which we discovered while inspecting spam browser notifications. However, such pages can be accessed variously. Most users enter them through mistyped URLs or redirects caused by notification spam, intrusive ads, sites that use rogue advertising networks, or installed adware.
"Bundling" - packing ordinary programs with unwanted/malicious additions - is also used to proliferate browser hijackers. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements are employed to spread browser-hijacking software as well. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly advise researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Additionally, when installing, we recommend - reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplements.
It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing - since fraudulent and malicious content tends to look legitimate. For example, intrusive adverts appear harmless, yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you experience advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Snowy Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Snowy Tab browser hijacker:
Website promoting Snowy Tab browser hijacker:
Appearance of search.snowytab.com redirecting to the Google 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 Snowy Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Snowy Tab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Snowy Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.snowytab.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.snowytab.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Snowy Tab browser hijacker 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 (for example, "Snowy Tab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the search.snowytab.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Snowy Tab browser hijacker 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 "Snowy Tab" and other 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, disable "Snowy Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.snowytab.com) 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 "search.snowytab.com", 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 search.snowytab.com redirect, 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 "Snowy Tab", as well as all other 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 disable "Snowy Tab", remove hxxp://search.snowytab.com 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: "extensionControlled"
Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with search.snowytab.com redirect 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 search.snowytab.com redirect, 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.
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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit search.snowytab.com website?
The developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines generate revenue through such redirects.
Is visiting search.snowytab.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like search.snowytab.com usually collect (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily proliferated via deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and third-party download websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, software bundling, online scams, fake updates, spam browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, and so on.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Snowy Tab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate existing browser-hijacking apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution when multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system. Since in some cases, when one browser hijacker is removed - the others re-install it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may deny access to removal-related settings and/or reset user-made changes. Therefore, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.