What is Browser-Security?
While investigating sites that use rogue advertising networks, our researchers found one endorsing the Browser-Security browser extension.
After inspecting it, we determined that this piece of software operates as a browser hijacker. Browser-Security makes changes to browser settings in order to promote the browser-security.xyz fake search engine. Additionally, this extension spies on users' browsing activity.
Browser-Security browser hijacker overview
On our test machine, Browser-Security modified the browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window – by settings their URLs to the browser-security.xyz website. Therefore, when we opened a new browser tab/window or entered a search query into the URL bar – it resulted in a redirect to the browser-security.xyz page.
Illegitimate search engines are rarely able to provide search results – so they redirect to genuine ones. At the time of research, browser-security.xyz redirected to the Google search engine. Note that it might land elsewhere since it can depend on factors like user geolocation.
Browser-hijacking software tends to use persistence-ensuring techniques, and Browser-Security is not an exception. As previously mentioned, this extension also collects private data.
Browser hijackers typically gather: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, and so forth. The collected data can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Browser-Security on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (browser-security.xyz)||Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (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
Crypto Currency Converter, Sticky Notes, and National Parks Tab are just a couple of browser hijackers that we have inspected recently. Browser-hijacking software usually appears ordinary and useful. However, the functionalities it promises are rarely operational.
How did Browser-Security install on my computer?
We acquired Browser-Security from a dubious software-promoting page. In addition to such sites, browser hijackers are pushed through scam webpages. Users primarily enter such websites via redirects caused by misspelled URLs, pages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive adverts, spam browser notifications, and installed adware.
Browser-hijacking software is also proliferated by using the "bundling" technique – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Furthermore, once clicked on, some intrusive advertisements are capable of performing downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software prior to download/installation. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. When installing, it is important to read terms, inspect available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out of additional applications, extensions, etc.
Another recommendation is to be cautious 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, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you keep experiencing such adverts/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect apps and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Browser-Security, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Browser-Security browser hijacker:
Website promoting Browser-Security browser hijacker:
Appearance of browser-security.xyz redirecting to the Google 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 Browser-Security?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Browser-Security browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove browser-security.xyz homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove browser-security.xyz redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Browser-Security 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Browser-Security 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 "Browser-Security" 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 "Browser-Security", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.browser-security.xyz) 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 "browser-security.xyz", 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 browser-security.xyz 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 "Browser-Security", 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 "Browser-Security", remove hxxp://browser-security.xyz 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 browser-security.xyz 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 browser-security.xyz 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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on browser-security.xyz redirect or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit browser-security.xyz website?
Rogue redirects to various websites are caused because through them – cyber criminals (i.e., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines) generate revenue.
Is visiting browser-security.xyz a threat to my privacy?
To some extent, yes. Websites like browser-security.xyz usually collect (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is mainly spread through bundled installers, deceptive promotional pages, freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, online scams, fake updates, spam browsing notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Browser-Security browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning computers and eliminating installed browser-hijacking applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. Especially in cases where multiple browser hijackers are present, as after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. Additionally, the software might deny access to removal-related settings. Hence, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.