What is Emoji Copy Paste?
During a routine investigation of suspicious websites, our researchers discovered the Emoji Copy Paste browser extension. It is endorsed as a tool that enables users to copy and paste any emoji.
However, our inspection of this extension revealed that it operates as a browser hijacker promoting the thecopyemoji.com fake search engine. Furthermore, Emoji Copy Paste spies on users' browsing activity.
Emoji Copy Paste browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs - to the addresses of fake search engines. However, our analysis revealed that in some instances, Emoji Copy Paste modifies these settings, while in others - it does not.
Due to the aforementioned alterations, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - result in redirects to the promoted site (e.g., thecopyemoji.com).
Additionally, browser-hijacking software tends to use persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Fake search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones, and this applies to the thecopyemoji.com site. While researching Emoji Copy Paste, we observed it causing various redirection chains. The ones we noted include: thecopyemoji.com redirecting to Bing (bing.com) via devisedata.com or surfisnow.com, and this site redirecting via search.ads.xyz to accelervte.com and finally to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com).
Note that other redirection chains are possible, and where a webpage like thecopyemoji.com lands may depend on various factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
What is more, Emoji Copy Paste has data-tracking functionalities. Browser hijackers usually collect the following information: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so on. The gathered information can be shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Emoji Copy Paste on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Emoji Copy Paste|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Emoji Copy Paste|
|Supposed Functionality||Emoji copy/paste tool|
|Detection Names (thecopyemoji.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (thecopyemoji.com)||188.8.131.52|
|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 looks ordinary and innocuous; it also offers "handy" functionalities. However, the functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. Even if they do operate as advertised, that is not an indication of the software's legitimacy.
How did Emoji Copy Paste install on my computer?
We acquired Emoji Copy Paste from its "official" download webpage. In addition to such pages, browser hijackers are pushed through scam websites. Users typically enter sites of this kind via redirects caused by webpages that use rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Browser-hijacking software is also distributed using the "bundling" marketing method - packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements. Downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing installation processes (e.g., using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.
Intrusive adverts proliferate browser hijackers as well. 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 highly recommend researching software and downloading it from official/verified channels. Furthermore, installation must be treated with care, e.g., by reading terms, studying available options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplements.
We advise being cautious when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually looks harmless. For example, intrusive adverts may appear ordinary yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with ads/redirects of this kind, check the device and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Emoji Copy Paste, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Website promoting Emoji Copy Paste browser hijacker:
Appearance of thecopyemoji.com redirecting (via devisedata.com) to the Bing 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 Emoji Copy Paste?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Emoji Copy Paste application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Emoji Copy Paste browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove thecopyemoji.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove thecopyemoji.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Emoji Copy Paste 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, "Emoji Copy Paste"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the thecopyemoji.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Emoji Copy Paste 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 "Emoji Copy Paste" 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 "Emoji Copy Paste", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.thecopyemoji.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 "thecopyemoji.com", 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 thecopyemoji.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 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 "Emoji Copy Paste", 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 "Emoji Copy Paste", remove hxxp://thecopyemoji.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 "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 thecopyemoji.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 thecopyemoji.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 thecopyemoji.com website?
Redirects to websites like thecopyemoji.com are caused since cyber criminals (i.e., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines) generate profit through them.
Is visiting thecopyemoji.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like thecopyemoji.com typically gather (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are distributed using various dubious and deceptive techniques. This software is primarily proliferated via bundled program installers, untrustworthy download sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.), online scams, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Emoji Copy Paste browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate all the browser-hijacking apps present. Note that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal, especially in cases where multiple browser hijackers are present. Since when one is removed - the others may re-install it. Additionally, browser-hijacking software can restrict access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Hence, it is crucial to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.