What is SearchZubi?
SearchZubi is a browser extension, which we determined to be a browser hijacker. This piece of software modifies browser settings to promote the searchzubi.com fake search engine.
SearchZubi browser hijacker overview
When we installed SearchZubi onto our test system, it assigned searchzubi.com as the browser's default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs. Hence, whenever we opened a new browser tab/window or made a Web search via the URL bar - it resulted in a redirect to the searchzubi.com site.
Fraudulent search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. In the case of searchzubi.com, we observed it redirecting to Google (goole.com). However, it might land elsewhere - as redirects can be determined by various factors like user geolocation.
Furthermore, most browser hijackers user persistence-ensuring techniques and track data. The former is intended to prevent users from recovering their browsers. The latter is used to collect vulnerable information, e.g., URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, finance-related data, etc. - with the goal of selling it to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of browser-hijacking software like SearchZubi on devices can result in serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (searchzubi.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (searchzubi.com)||126.96.36.199|
|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
We have analyzed thousands of browser hijackers; SearchMok, Clear Search, and StreamTopSearch are just a couple of examples. This software typically appears legitimate and offers "handy" features. However, these functionalities rarely work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.
How did SearchZubi install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can have "official" promotional webpages, and they are spread through scam sites. Most users enter these pages via redirects caused by websites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, intrusive advertisements, or installed adware.
Browser-hijacking software can also be bundled - packed together - with ordinary programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) - increase the risk of permitting bundled content into the system.
Intrusive adverts are used to proliferate browser hijackers as well. Some of these ads can infiltrate software into systems upon being clicked.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading from official and verified channels. When installing, it is just as important to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all supplements.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing - since illegitimate and malicious content typically appears harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements look innocuous yet redirect to questionable websites (e.g., adult-dating, pornography, gambling, etc.).
If you experience such advertisements/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with SearchZubi, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of searchzubi.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 IT 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 SearchZubi?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SearchZubi application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SearchZubi browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove searchzubi.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove searchzubi.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SearchZubi 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, "SearchZubi"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the searchzubi.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SearchZubi 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 "SearchZubi" 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 "SearchZubi", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.searchzubi.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 "searchzubi.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 searchzubi.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 "SearchZubi", 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 "SearchZubi", remove hxxp://searchzubi.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 searchzubi.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 searchzubi.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 searchzubi.com website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue via redirects to searchzubi.com and similar websites.
Is visiting searchzubi.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Fake search engines (e.g., searchzubi.com) usually collect information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are mainly proliferated through software bundling, deceptive promotional webpages, unofficial and freeware download websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive adverts.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove SearchZubi browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate all the browser-hijacking applications detected. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective - in cases when multiple browser hijackers are present. In some instances, after one browser hijacker is removed - the others simply re-install it. What is more, removal-related settings might be inaccessible with browser-hijacking software installed. Hence, browser hijackers must be eliminated thoroughly and all at once.