What is Airplanes - New Tab?
Our researchers discovered the Airplanes - New Tab browser extension during a routine inspection of deceptive websites. It promises to provide airplane-themed backgrounds for browsers.
Our analysis revealed that this extension modifies browser settings in order to cause redirects to the mbextension.com fake search engine. Due to this behavior, Airplanes - New Tab is classed as a browser hijacker.
Airplanes - New Tab browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers reassign browsers' default search engines, homepages, and new tab/window URLs to the addresses of promoted sites. Airplanes - New Tab alters browser settings in this manner as well. Hence, with it installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar – result in redirects to the mbextension.com website.
Browser-hijacking software typically uses persistence-ensuring techniques to complicate its removal, and Airplanes - New Tab is not an exception.
In most cases, fake search engines cannot generate search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. At the time of research, mbextension.com caused various redirects – including to Bing (bing.com) and Google (google.com). It must be mentioned that it might land elsewhere since redirects may depend on factors like user geolocation.
Furthermore, Airplanes - New Tab has data-tracking abilities. Information of interest may include: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so forth. The collected information can be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of browser-hijacking software like Airplanes - New Tab on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Airplanes - New Tab
|Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
|Airplanes - New Tab
|Airplane-themed browser backgrounds/wallpapers
|Detection Names (mbextension.com)
|Serving IP Address (mbextension.com)
|Affected Browser Settings
|Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
|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.
|Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling).
|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 harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of various features, which are rarely operational. Keep in mind that even if a piece of software works as advertised – that is not proof of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Airplanes - New Tab install on my computer?
We obtained Airplanes - New Tab from its "official" promotional page, and we found a scam site promoting this extension. Most users access these deceptive webpages via redirects caused by misspelled URLs, websites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Additionally, intrusive advertisements are used to distribute browser-hijacking software. Once clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
"Bundling" – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements – is also used to proliferate browser hijackers. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of inadvertently permitting bundled content into the device.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly advise researching software and downloading only from official/verified sources. Furthermore, installation must be treated with care, e.g., by reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting out of all additional apps, extensions, etc.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing since fake and malicious online content usually appears harmless. For example, intrusive adverts may look legitimate yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this type, check the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Airplanes - New Tab, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Airplanes - New Tab browser hijacker:
Airplanes - New Tab browser hijacker's "official" promotional website:
Deceptive website promoting Airplanes - New Tab browser hijacker:
Appearance of mbextension.com redirecting 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 Airplanes - New Tab?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Airplanes - New Tab browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove mbextension.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove mbextension.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Airplanes - New Tab 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.
Airplanes - New Tab 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 "Airplanes - New Tab" 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 "Airplanes - New Tab", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.mbextension.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 "mbextension.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 mbextension.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 "Airplanes - New Tab", 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 "Airplanes - New Tab", remove hxxp://mbextension.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 mbextension.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 mbextension.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 mbextension.com website?
Cyber criminals (e.g., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers, etc.) generate revenue through redirects to websites like mbextension.com.
Is visiting mbextension.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like mbextension.com usually collect visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily spread through deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installation setups, freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Airplanes - New Tab browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. Since after one browser hijacker is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. Furthermore, this software might deny access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Therefore, browser hijackers must be eliminated thoroughly and all at once.