What is Worldwide Clock Extension?
While investigating suspicious websites, our research team discovered the Worldwide Clock Extension. This browser extension promises the functionality of displaying clocks from user-chosen timezones on the browser's homepage.
After inspecting Worldwide Clock Extension, we determined that it is a browser hijacker promoting the search.worldwideclockextension.com fake search engine.
Worldwide Clock Extension browser hijacker overview
Following installation onto our test machine, Worldwide Clock Extension changed the browser's default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs – to the search.worldwideclockextension.com website. It is pertinent to mention that browser hijackers often employ various persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent browser recovery, and Worldwide Clock Extension is not an exception.
Due to these changes, whenever we opened a new browser tab/window or entered a search query into the URL bar – it resulted in redirects to said site.
Fake search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. At the time of research, search.worldwideclockextension.com landed on Bing (bing.com); however, it might redirect elsewhere since that can depend on various factors (e.g., user geolocation, etc.).
Furthermore, browser-hijacking software typically spies on users' browsing activity, and this may apply to Worldwide Clock Extension. Targeted data can include: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, finance-related information, and so forth. The collected data can be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of software like Worldwide Clock Extension on browsers/systems can result in serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Worldwide Clock Extension|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Worldwide Clock Extension|
|Supposed Functionality||Displaying different timezone clocks of user choice.|
|Detection Names (search.worldwideclockextension.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (search.worldwideclockextension.com)||18.104.22.168|
|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 tends to appear legitimate and offers "handy" features. However, these functionalities seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. Even if the functions work as advertised – that is not a guarantee of the software's legitimacy or safety.
How did Worldwide Clock Extension install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can have "official" promotional webpages, and they are pushed through deceptive/scam sites. Most users enter such pages via redirects caused by websites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
"Bundling" – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious additions – is used to distribute browser hijackers as well. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., skipped steps, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive adverts also proliferate browser-hijacking software. Once clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Furthermore, when installing, it is essential to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out of supplementary apps, extensions, tools, etc.
We advise being careful when browsing since fake and malicious content usually appears harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements look legitimate yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Worldwide Clock Extension, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Worldwide Clock Extension browser hijacker:
Appearance of search.worldwideclockextension.com redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Screenshot of a deceptive site used to promote Worldwide Clock Extension browser hijacker:
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 Worldwide Clock Extension?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Worldwide Clock Extension browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.worldwideclockextension.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.worldwideclockextension.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Worldwide Clock Extension 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.
Worldwide Clock Extension 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 "Worldwide Clock Extension" 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 "Worldwide Clock Extension", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.worldwideclockextension.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 "search.worldwideclockextension.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 search.worldwideclockextension.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 "Worldwide Clock Extension", 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 "Worldwide Clock Extension", remove hxxp://search.worldwideclockextension.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 search.worldwideclockextension.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 search.worldwideclockextension.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 search.worldwideclockextension.com website?
Rogue redirects to sites like search.worldwideclockextension.com are caused because cyber criminals (e.g., fake search engine and browser hijacker developers) generate revenue through them.
Is visiting search.worldwideclockextension.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like search.worldwideclockextension.com usually gather visitor data. The collected information is typically sold to third-parties.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is primarily spread via untrustworthy download channels (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), online scams, bundled program installers, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Worldwide Clock Extension browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. Therefore, after one is removed – the others might simply reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may be capable of denying access to removal-related settings and/or undoing user-made changes. Hence, all browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.