What kind of software is Weather Search?
Weather Search is an extension that promises to display weather forecasts and related information relevant to the user's location, local time, and browser wallpapers. Our researchers discovered this piece of software while investigating dubious websites.
After inspecting Weather Search, we determined that it is a browser hijacker. This extension modifies browser settings to promote the search.weather-search.com fake search engine.
Weather Search browser hijacker overview
With Weather Search installed on our test machine, when a new browser tab/window was opened or a search query was entered into the URL bar – it resulted in redirects to the search.weather-search.com website.
This behavior is caused by a browser hijacker assigning the endorsed site as the browser's default search engine, new tab/window URL, and homepage. It is pertinent to mention that software within this category often utilizes persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers.
The search engines promoted by browser hijackers are considered fake since they usually cannot provide search results and redirect to legitimate Internet search websites.
At the time of research, search.weather-search.com redirected to the Bing search engine (bing.com). Note that it could land elsewhere, as factors like user geolocation mean impact redirects.
Furthermore, Weather Search likely spies on users' browsing activity. Information of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so on. The gathered information can then be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of browser-hijacking software like Weather Search on devices may result in 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)||Weather Search|
|Supposed Functionality||Displaying weather forecasts, local time, and browser wallpapers|
|Detection Names (search.weather-search.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (search.weather-search.com)||126.96.36.199|
|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
Whatodo, AI Image of the Day, Purrfect Tab, and Swift Searcher are but a few examples of browser hijackers that we have investigated recently. Browser-hijacking software usually appears harmless and offers handy functionalities. However, their features seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.
It must be stressed that even if a browser extension or an application operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not definitive proof of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Weather Search install on my computer?
We acquired Weather Search from its "official" promotional page. In addition to such sites, browser hijackers are commonly endorsed on scam webpages. Most visitors access these pages via redirects generated by websites utilizing rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware.
Browser-hijacking software can also be bundled with (packed alongside) ordinary programs. The risk of allowing bundled content into the device is increased by downloading from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and by rushing through installation processes (e.g., skipping steps, using "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.).
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser hijackers as well. Once 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 and downloading it only from official/verified channels. Additionally, installation processes must be approached with care, e.g., by reading terms, exploring available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, etc.
We also advise exercising caution while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, intrusive ads may look harmless – yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, pornography, adult dating, gambling, etc.).
In case of continuous encounters with adverts/redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Weather Search, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Weather Search browser hijacker:
Websites promoting Weather Search browser hijacker:
Appearance of search.weather-search.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 Weather Search?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Weather Search browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search.weather-search.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search.weather-search.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Weather Search 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.
Weather Search 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 "Weather Search" 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 "Weather Search", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search.weather-search.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.weather-search.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.weather-search.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 "Weather Search", 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 "Weather Search", remove hxxp://search.weather-search.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.weather-search.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.weather-search.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.weather-search.com website?
Cyber criminals (e.g., developers of fake search engines on browser hijackers, etc.) generate revenue through redirects to websites like search.weather-search.com.
Is visiting search.weather-search.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Sites like search.weather-search.com usually collect (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is primarily distributed via deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installers, online scams, P2P sharing networks, freeware and free file-hosting websites, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Weather Search browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate detected browser-hijacking apps. It must be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal. In cases where multiple browser hijackers are present, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. What is more, removal-related settings might be inaccessible with browser-hijacking software installed. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.