What kind of software is PoConvert?
Our research team discovered the PoConvert browser extension while investigating dubious websites. It is endorsed as a tool for easy image and video file format conversion. After analyzing this extension, we determined that it is a browser hijacker. PoConvert makes changes to browsers in order to promote the finddbest.co illegitimate search engine.
PoConvert browser hijacker overview
On our test machine, PoConvert altered the browser's default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URL. Therefore, whenever we entered a search query into the URL bar or opened a new browser tab/window – it resulted in redirects to the finddbest.co website.
Fake search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they lead to legitimate Internet search sites. At the time of research, finddbest.co redirected to the Bing search engine (bing.com). It must be mentioned that this webpage could lead elsewhere, as factors like user geolocation may determine redirects.
It is worth mentioning that browser-hijacking software often uses persistence-ensuring mechanisms to complicate its removal and prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Furthermore, this software usually has data-tracking functionalities, and this might apply to PoConvert. Targeted data may include: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, etc. The collected data can then be monetized via sale to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like PoConvert 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|
|Supposed Functionality||File format conversion tool|
|Detection Names (finddbest.co)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (finddbest.co)||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 tends to look legitimate and harmless. It entices users into download/installation by offering a wide variety of "handy" functionalities. However, these features seldom work as advertised, and in most cases – they do not work at all.
Keep in mind that even if a piece of software operates as promised – that is not definitive proof of either legitimacy or safety.
How did PoConvert install on my computer?
We obtained PoConvert from its "official" promotional page. In addition to such sites, browser hijackers are commonly endorsed on scam pages. Most users enter these webpages via redirects generated by websites that use rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, misspelled URLs, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
The bundling marketing technique – packing regular program installation setups with unwanted/malicious supplements – is also used to distribute browser-hijacking software.
The risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.). That risk is compounded by rushing through installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using the "Easy/Express" settings, etc.
Additionally, intrusive advertisements proliferate browser hijackers. Some of these adverts can be triggered (i.e., by being clicked) to execute scripts that perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software prior to downloading or purchasing it. Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. Installation processes must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading terms, exploring possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.
Another recommendation is to be careful while browsing since fraudulent and malicious online content typically appears genuine and harmless. For example, while intrusive ads may look legitimate/innocuous – they redirect to unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
In case of continuous 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 PoConvert, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by PoConvert browser hijacker:
Website promoting PoConvert 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 PoConvert?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove PoConvert 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.
PoConvert 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.
PoConvert browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove PoConvert 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 "PoConvert" 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 "PoConvert", 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 "PoConvert", 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 "PoConvert", 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?
Redirects to webpages like finddbest.co are generated because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) profit through them.
Is visiting finddbest.co a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites classified as fake search engines (e.g., finddbest.co, etc.) typically collect information about their visitors. This data can then be sold to third-parties.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is primarily proliferated via bundled installers, online scams, freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove PoConvert browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate all detected browser-hijacking apps. It must be mentioned that manual removal (performed without the aid of security tools) might be ineffective. In cases where multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. What is more, browser-hijacking software might deny access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Therefore, browser hijackers must be eliminated thoroughly and all at once.