What is SAI assistant?
While examining the SAI assistant browser extension, we noticed that it modifies the settings of a web browser to promote a fake search engine (search.extjourney.com). Thus, we classified AI assistant as browser hijacker. Additionally, AI assistant can read various data. Users should not download this app.
SAI assistant browser hijacker overview
SAI assistant is a type of app that hijacks a user's web browser and modifies its settings to promote search.extjourney.com, a fake search engine. The search results shown by search.extjourney.com are actually generated by Bing, but they may be modified or filtered to promote certain websites or products.
Also, search.extjourney.com may be designed to generate revenue for its creators by displaying sponsored search results, ads, and other unwanted content to users. Once added, SAI assistant makes search.extjourney.com the default search engine, homepage, and new tab page. Search.extjourney.com redirects users to bing.com via distinct-searches.com.
In addition to promoting search.extjourney.com, SAI assistant can read and change all data on all websites. It means that it may have the ability to access and modify any information that a user enters or sees on any website that is visited. This level of access may pose a significant risk to users' online privacy and security.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||SAI assistant|
|Supposed Functionality||Accurate search results|
|Detection Names (search.extjourney.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (distinct-searches.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (search.extjourney.com)||220.127.116.11|
|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 hijackers in general
Browser hijackers modify the settings of a user's web browser such as the homepage, search engine, and (or) new tab page to promote their own services or products. Many browser hijackers promote fake or unwanted search engines that may display misleading or irrelevant search results to users.
Also, browser hijackers often collect user data and can interfere with the normal functioning of a web browser, causing it to crash or slow down. Examples of different browser hijackers are Volt, Beach Browser, and Online Video Platforms.
How did SAI assistant install on my computer?
Browser hijackers are often included with free software or applications that users download online. Users who do not carefully review the terms and conditions during installation may unintentionally install unwanted software, such as browser hijackers.
In addition, some browser hijackers are distributed through deceptive pop-up ads that can appear on websites. Clicking on these ads may result in the accidental download and installation of the hijacker on the user's system.
Furthermore, malicious links that are disguised as legitimate websites or pages can also distribute browser hijackers. If users click these links, they may be redirected to a harmful website that installs the hijacker on their system.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
Be sure to download software from reputable sources and avoid downloading from unfamiliar websites or file-sharing networks. When installing software, take the time to read the terms and conditions carefully. Doing so helps to avoid inadvertently installing unwanted software, such as browser hijackers.
Also, be cautious when clicking on pop-up ads, especially those that appear on unfamiliar websites. If your computer is already infected with SAI assistant, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Search.extjourney.com redirects to bing.com via distinct-searches.com (GIF):
Permissions asked by SAI assistant browser hijacker:
Shady website promoting SAI assistant browser hijacker:
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 SAI assistant?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SAI assistant application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SAI assistant browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.extjourney.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.extjourney.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SAI assistant 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 (which cause browser redirects to the search.extjourney.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
SAI assistant 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 "SAI assistant" 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 "SAI assistant", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.extjourney.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.extjourney.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.extjourney.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 "SAI assistant", 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 "SAI assistant", remove hxxp://search.extjourney.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.extjourney.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.extjourney.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 visit search.extjourney.com website?
As the number of visitors to the site increases, the creators of search.extjourney.com generate more revenue.
Is visiting search.extjourney.com a threat to my privacy?
Yes, your privacy may be at risk by visiting search.extjourney.com, a fraudulent search engine that can gather your personal information, search history, browsing activity, and other sensitive data without your knowledge or consent.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
There are various ways in which browser hijackers are typically disseminated, such as software bundling, deceptive software updates, unreliable websites, free software, links from unfamiliar sources, etc.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove SAI assistant browser hijacker?
Combo Cleaner will eliminate applications that have hijacked your browser. It is important to note that manual removal may not always be successful, especially when there are multiple hijackers that can reinstall each other, making their removal difficult.