Removing Plus Darker browser-hijacking extension and the redirects it causes
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is Plus Darker?
Plus Darker is a browser extension advertised as a tool capable of enabling dark mode for simple websites. We have determined that this piece of software operates as a browser hijacker. Plus Darker changes browser settings to promote the getsins.com fake search engine, and it spies on users' browsing activity.
Plus Darker browser hijacker overview
With Plus Darker installed onto our test system, every new browser tab/window we opened and search query we typed into the URL bar - resulted in a redirect to the getsins.com site. These redirects were achieved through modifications made to browser settings, and it is noteworthy that browser-hijacking software typically uses persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent browser recovery.
While most fraudulent search engines redirect to legitimate ones (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) due to their inability to provide search results, we've observed getsins.com redirecting to websearches.club website. This search engine is likewise fake, yet it can provide search results - although they are inaccurate and may promote unreliable/malicious content.
It is possible that getsins.com will redirect elsewhere since where these search engines land may depend on various factors (e.g., IP address/ geolocation, etc.).
Furthermore, Plus Darker monitors browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and may collect sensitive information extracted from it (personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, banking data, etc.). Browser hijacker developers monetize vulnerable data through sale to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like Plus Darker on a browser/system may lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Plus Darker|
|Supposed Functionality||Dark mode for simple design websites|
|Detection Names (getsins.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
Forest Start Tabs, Snowy Tab, Neptun Tab, and Film Links Now | Digital Content Online are merely some examples from the thousands of browser hijackers we have analyzed. Browser-hijacking software tends to look legitimate and offers "handy" features. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they are utterly nonoperational.
How did Plus Darker install on my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using various questionable and deceptive techniques. They can be bundled with (packed into the installers of) regular programs. Download from untrustworthy channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements are also used to spread browser-hijacking software. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
Browser hijackers can have "official" promotional/download pages; in fact, we obtained Plus Darker from such a webpage. Users rarely access these sites intentionally. Most visitors enter them via mistyped URLs or redirects caused by spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, websites that use rogue advertising networks, or installed adware.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software products prior to download/installation. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official/verified sources. When installing, it is important to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additions.
Another recommendation is exercising caution when browsing - since fraudulent and malicious content usually looks harmless. For example, intrusive ads appear innocuous yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., adult-dating, pornography, gambling, etc.).
If you encounter such advertisements and/or redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Plus Darker, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Websites promoting Plus Darker browser hijacker:
Appearance of getsins.com 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 Plus Darker?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Plus Darker application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Plus Darker browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove getsins.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove getsins.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Plus Darker 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, "Plus Darker"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the getsins.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Plus Darker 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 "Plus Darker" 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 "Plus Darker", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.getsins.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 "getsins.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 getsins.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 "Plus Darker", 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 "Plus Darker", remove hxxp://getsins.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 getsins.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 getsins.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 getsins.com website?
Redirects to sites like getsins.com generate revenue for the developers of said fake search engines and the browser hijackers promoting them.
Is visiting getsins.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Fraudulent search engines (e.g., getsins.com) and similar websites typically collect and sell information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily spread through deceptive promotional webpages, online scams, freeware and third-party download sites, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) sharing networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, fake updates, and so on.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Plus Darker browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning computers and eliminating detected browser-hijacking applications. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective, especially in cases when multiple browser hijackers are present. In some instances, when one browser hijacker is removed - the others simply re-install it. Additionally, removal-related settings might be inaccessible with this software installed. Therefore, it is strongly advised to remove browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.
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