What kind of software is Escape the Alien Extension?
Escape the Alien Extension is a piece of rogue software classified as a browser hijacker. This extension is promoted as a widget that allows users to play a game on their browser. It operates by modifying browser settings in order to endorse (through redirects) the sonline-search.com fake search engine.
Escape the Alien Extension browser hijacker overview
Escape the Alien Extension makes alterations to browsers' default search engines, homepages, and new tabs/windows. Hence, with this browser extension installed: Web searches performed via the URL bar and new browser tabs/windows opened – result in redirects to the sonline-search.com site.
Fake search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to legitimate Internet search websites. Sonline-search.com redirects to the Bing search engine (bing.com). Note that it could land elsewhere since factors like user geolocation may impact redirects.
Browser hijackers commonly use persistence-ensuring techniques, such as restricting access to removal-related settings or undoing user-made changes – to prevent browser recovery.
Furthermore, software within this classification typically has data-tracking functionalities, and this might be true of Escape the Alien Extension. Information of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. The collected information can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of software like Escape the Alien Extension on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Escape the Alien Extension|
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Escape the Alien Extension|
|Supposed Functionality||Browser game|
|Detection Names (sonline-search.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (sonline-search.com)||188.8.131.52|
|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 typically appears legitimate and harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of "handy" and "advantageous" features. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they are utterly nonoperational.
Keep in mind that even if a piece of software works as indicated by its promotional material – that is not irrefutable proof of legitimacy or safety.
How did Escape the Alien Extension install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can be bundled (packed together) with ordinary software. The risk of inadvertently permitting access for bundled content into systems is increased by downloading from dubious sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and by rushing through installations (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping steps, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).
Browser hijackers can also have "official" promotional webpages, and they are endorsed on deceptive/scam sites. Most users access these pages via redirects caused by websites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware.
This software is proliferated by intrusive adverts as well. Once clicked on, some of these advertisements 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. Furthermore, when installing, it is important to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, etc.
Another recommendation is to be careful while browsing since fake and malicious online content usually appears legitimate and harmless. For example, intrusive ads may look innocuous – yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such adverts/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Escape the Alien Extension, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Escape the Alien Extension browser hijacker:
Appearance of sonline-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 Escape the Alien Extension?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Escape the Alien Extension browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove sonline-search.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove sonline-search.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Escape the Alien Extension 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.
Escape the Alien Extension browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove Escape The Alien Extension browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:
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 "Escape the Alien Extension" 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 "Escape the Alien Extension", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.sonline-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 "sonline-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 sonline-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 "Escape the Alien Extension", 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 "Escape the Alien Extension", remove hxxp://sonline-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 sonline-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 sonline-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 sonline-search.com website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through redirects to sites like sonline-search.com.
Is visiting sonline-search.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like sonline-search.com tend to gather visitor data with the goal of selling it to third-parties.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are primarily spread via deceptive promotional pages, freeware and free file-hosting websites, online scams, bundled installers, P2P sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive adverts.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Escape the Alien Extension browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate installed browser-hijacking apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective. In cases where multiple browser hijackers are present, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. Furthermore, removal-related settings might be unmodifiable with browser-hijacking software installed. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.