What kind of software is Swift Searcher?
Our research team discovered the Swift Searcher browser extension while checking out deceptive sites. After inspecting this extension, we determined that it is browser-hijacking software. Swift Searcher makes changes to browser settings in order to promote (through redirects) the search.swiftsearcher.com fake search engine.
Swift Searcher browser hijacker overview
On our test machine, Swift Searcher reassigned the browser's default search engine, homepage, and new browser tab/window URL to the search.swiftsearcher.com website. Therefore, Web searches performed via the URL bar and new browser tabs/windows opened – resulted in redirects to the search.swiftsearcher.com site.
Illegitimate search engines typically cannot provide search results, so they redirect to genuine Internet search websites. Search.swiftsearcher.com is not an exception, and it redirects to the Bing search engine (bing.com). Note that this webpage could lead elsewhere, as factors like user geolocation may impact redirects.
In many cases, browser-hijacking software utilizes persistence-ensuring techniques, such as denying access to removal-related settings or undoing user-made changes – to prevent browser recovery.
Furthermore, Swift Searcher likely has data-tracking capabilities. Information of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so forth. The collected information can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like Swift Searcher on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Swift Searcher|
|Detection Names (search.swiftsearcher.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (search.swiftsearcher.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).|
|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 usually appears legitimate and innocuous. It entices users into download/installation by promising various handy functionalities. However, these features seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.
It must be stressed that even if a piece of software operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not definitive proof of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Swift Searcher install on my computer?
We acquired Swift Searcher from its "official" promotional webpage. Aside from legitimate-looking pages that endorse browser hijackers, they are also pushed by scam sites.
The "bundling" marketing method – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious additions – is used to proliferate browser hijackers as well.
Downloading from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Additionally, intrusive advertisements spread browser-hijacking software as well. When clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified sources. Installation processes must be approached with caution, e.g., by reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting out of all additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements may look innocuous – yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
In case of continuous encounters with such ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Swift Searcher, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Swift Searcher browser hijacker:
Website promoting Swift Searcher browser hijacker:
Deceptive website promoting Swift Searcher browser hijacker:
Appearance of search.swiftsearcher.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 Swift Searcher?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Swift Searcher browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.swiftsearcher.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.swiftsearcher.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Swift Searcher 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.
Swift Searcher 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 "Extensions" and click "Manage Extensions". Locate "Swift Searcher" 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 "Swift Searcher", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.swiftsearcher.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.swiftsearcher.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.swiftsearcher.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 "Swift Searcher", 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 "Swift Searcher", remove hxxp://search.swiftsearcher.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.swiftsearcher.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.swiftsearcher.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.swiftsearcher.com website?
Redirects to sites like search.swiftsearcher.com are generated because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) profit through them.
Is visiting search.swiftsearcher.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like search.swiftsearcher.com tend to collect (and sell) visitor information.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
The most widely used distribution techniques include: deceptive promotional webpages, online scams, bundled installation setups, freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Swift Searcher browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate installed browser-hijacking apps. It must be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security tools) might not be a perfect solution, particularly when multiple browser hijackers are present. In these instances, after one is removed – the others may reinstall it. What is more, removal-related settings might be unmodifiable with this software installed. Hence, it is paramount to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.