What is Active Land?
Our research team found the Active Land browser extension while inspecting dubious websites. It is endorsed as an easy-access tool for sports-related content. After analyzing Active Land, we determined that it is a browser hijacker. This extension changes browser settings and promotes (through redirects) the finddbest.co fake search engine.
Active Land browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers modify browsers by assigning the addresses of promoted websites as browsers' default search engines, homepages, and new browser tab/window URLs. Therefore, with Active Land installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries entered into the URL bar – result in redirects to the finddbest.co site.
Fake search engines are rarely able to generate search results, so they redirect to legitimate ones. In the case of finddbest.co, it redirected to the Bing search engine (bing.com) at the time of research. It must be mentioned that this website could land elsewhere as factors like user geolocation may impact redirects.
Furthermore, browser-hijacking software often employs persistence-ensuring techniques, and Active Land is not an exception to this.
What is more, this rogue browser extension likely spies on users' browsing activity. Browser hijackers usually collect the following information: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, IP addresses, Internet cookies, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, finance-related data, etc. The gathered information can then be shared with or sold to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of software like Active Land on devices may lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Active Land|
|Supposed Functionality||Quick access to sports-related content.|
|Detection Names (finddbest.co)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (finddbest.co)||22.214.171.124|
|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).|
|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
This software usually appears legitimate and offers various functionalities. However, these functions are rarely operational. Note that even if a piece of software works as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Active Land install on my computer?
We obtained Active Land from its "official" promotional webpage. In addition to such pages, browser hijackers are commonly pushed through scam sites. Most visitors to these pages enter them via redirects caused by websites employing rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Browser-hijacking software can also be bundled with ordinary programs. Downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., using "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of unintentionally permitting bundled content into the system.
Additionally, browser hijackers are spread by intrusive advertisements. When clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software before downloading or purchasing it. Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. When installing, it is essential to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplementary apps, extensions, and so on.
We advise caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content typically appears legitimate and harmless. For example, while intrusive ads may look innocuous – they redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., pornography, gambling, adult dating, etc.).
In case of continuous encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Active Land, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Active Land browser hijacker:
Website promoting Active Land browser hijacker:
Appearance of finddbest.co 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 Active Land?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Active Land browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove finddbest.co homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove finddbest.co redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Active Land 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.
Active Land 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 "Active Land" 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 "Active Land", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.finddbest.co) 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 "finddbest.co", 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 finddbest.co 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 "Active Land", 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 "Active Land", remove hxxp://finddbest.co 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 finddbest.co 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 finddbest.co 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 finddbest.co website?
Cyber criminals (e.g., developers of browser hijackers and fake search engines, etc.) generate revenue via redirects to websites like finddbest.co.
Is visiting finddbest.co a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Sites like finddbest.co usually collect visitor data with the purpose of selling it to third-parties.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
The most popular distribution techniques include: deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installation setups, freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, online scams, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Active Land browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate all the browser-hijacking applications detected. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. In these instances, after one is removed – the others might simply reinstall it. Furthermore, this software may be able to deny access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Hence, all browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.