What is ComedyTab?
During a routine investigation of websites that use rogue advertising networks, our research team found a page endorsing the ComedyTab browser extension. It promises to display jokes from famous comedians on every new browser tab. However, our analysis revealed that in addition to working as advertised, ComedyTab operates as a browser hijacker. This extension alters browser settings and causes redirects.
ComedyTab browser hijacker overview
Typically, browser hijackers modify browsers to promote fake search engines. However, that was not the case with ComedyTab during our inspection. Browser-hijacking software assigns the URL of an endorsed website as browsers' default search engines, homepages, and new tabs/windows.
At the time of research, ComedyTab caused Web searches performed via the URL bar and new browser tabs/windows opened - to redirect to the legitimate Bing search engine (bing.com). It is noteworthy that the promotion of genuine content is unlikely to be undertaken by the actual developers. Scammers often abuse affiliate programs in order to acquire illegitimate commissions for the endorsement.
Furthermore, while the previously described actions redirected to Bing, when the search icon was clicked - it caused a redirect to the find.wsrc-now.com site. It is pertinent to mention that where rogue redirects land can vary based on certain factors, such as user geolocation.
Browser hijackers typically use persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent their removal, and this is true of ComedyTab as well.
What is more, ComedyTab likely has data-tracking functionalities. Targeted information may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. The gathered information can be monetized via sale to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like ComedyTab on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Supposed Functionality||Displaying comedian quotes on new browser tabs|
|Promoted URL||bing.com; find.wsrc-now.com|
|Detection Names (find.wsrc-now.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (find.wsrc-now.com)||184.108.40.206|
|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
They typically appear legitimate and offer "handy" functions. However, these features are seldom functional. Keep in mind that even if the functionalities promised by rogue software are operational - that does not serve as proof of its legitimacy.
How did ComedyTab install on my computer?
We acquired ComedyTab from its "official" promotional webpage. Additionally, this extension is endorsed on a deceptive website. Most users enter these pages through redirects caused by mistyped URLs, sites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Browser hijackers are also proliferated using the "bundling" marketing tactic - packing ordinary installers with unwanted/malicious supplements. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installation increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements are used to distribute browser-hijacking software as well. Once clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We advise researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Installation must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting possible options, and using the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out of additional apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.
It is just as important to be vigilant when browsing since fake and malicious content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive ads may look harmless yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
If you keep experiencing such advertisements/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with ComedyTab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by ComedyTab browser hijacker:
ComedyTab browser hijacker's "official" promotional website:
Deceptive website promoting ComedyTab browser hijacker:
Appearance of ComedyTab browser hijacker causing a redirect to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Appearance of ComedyTab causing a redirect to find.wsrc-now.com when the "search" icon is clicked (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 ComedyTab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ComedyTab application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove ComedyTab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove ComedyTab homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove ComedyTab redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ComedyTab 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, "ComedyTab"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the bing.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
ComedyTab 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 "ComedyTab" 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 "ComedyTab", look for the promoted URL (hxxp://www.bing.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 "bing.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 comedytab 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 "ComedyTab", 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 "ComedyTab", remove hxxp://bing.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 comedytab 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 comedytab 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 bing.com website?
Redirects to various websites are caused since developers of browser hijackers generate revenue through them.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily distributed via deceptive promotional sites, bundled software installers, online scams, malvertising, untrustworthy download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), and spam browser notifications.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove ComedyTab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate all the browser-hijacking apps present. Keep in mind that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. In cases where multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system, after one is removed - the others might simply re-install it. Additionally, browser-hijacking software can deny access to removal-related settings. Therefore, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.