What is Trippy Circles?
While inspecting rogue websites, our researchers discovered one endorsing the Trippy Circles browser extension. It promises to display animations on new browser tabs. However, this software also operates as a browser hijacker. Trippy Circles alters browser settings to promote the trippycircles.net fake search engine. Additionally, this extension collects sensitive browsing-related data.
Trippy Circles browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers assign the addresses of illegitimate search engines as the targeted browser's default, as well as its homepage and new tab/window URLs. These modifications were made by Trippy Circles on our test machine. Therefore, when we opened a new browser tab/window or entered a search query into the URL bar - it resulted in redirects to the trippycircles.net site.
Fake search engines typically cannot provide search results, so they redirect to genuine ones. During our analysis, trippycircles.net redirected to the Bing search engine (bing.com). It is noteworthy that where such websites land may vary based on certain factors, such as user geolocation.
Furthermore, browser-hijacking software tends to employ persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Trippy Circles has data-tracking functionalities. Information of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, bookmarks, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, finance-related data, and so on. The collected information can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Trippy Circles on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Trippy Circles|
|Supposed Functionality||Displaying animations on new browser tabs|
|Detection Names (trippycircles.net)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (trippycircles.net)||22.214.171.124|
|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
Browser-hijacking software usually appears legitimate and offers "handy" functionalities. However, these features seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. Even if a browser hijacker is functional - that does not mean that having it on a browser or system is safe.
How did Trippy Circles install on my computer?
We downloaded Trippy Circles from its "official" promotional page and found a deceptive website endorsing it. Users typically access such sites through redirects caused by pages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, or installed adware.
Additionally, browser hijackers can be bundled with (packed alongside) ordinary software. Download from dubious channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently permitting bundled content to infiltrate the device.
Intrusive advertisements are also used to distribute browser hijackers. When clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading it from official/trustworthy sources. Installation must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting available options, and using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings to opt-out of all additional apps, extensions, etc.
We advise being careful when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, intrusive adverts may look harmless yet redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Trippy Circles, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Trippy Circles browser hijacker:
Trippy Circles browser hijacker's "official" promotional website:
Deceptive website promoting Trippy Circles browser hijacker:
Appearance of trippycircles.net redirecting to the Bing 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 Trippy Circles?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Trippy Circles application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Trippy Circles browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove trippycircles.net homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove trippycircles.net redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Trippy Circles 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, "Trippy Circles"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the trippycircles.net website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Trippy Circles 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 "Trippy Circles" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Trippy Circles", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.trippycircles.net) 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 "trippycircles.net", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".
- If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the trippycircles.net 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 extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Trippy Circles", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable "Trippy Circles", remove hxxp://trippycircles.net 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 "Accept the Risk and Continue".
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 trippycircles.net 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 trippycircles.net 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 trippycircles.net website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through redirects to sites like trippycircles.net.
Is visiting trippycircles.net a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like trippycircles.net typically gather information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily spread via bundled software installers, online scams, deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Trippy Circles browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate detected browser-hijacking apps. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution, especially in cases when multiple browser hijackers are present. Since if one is removed - the others may simply re-install it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software might restrict access to removal-related settings or undo user-made changes. Hence, it is paramount to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.