What kind of software is The Cryptology?
The Cryptology browser extension promises to display cryptocurrency price charts that update themselves in real-time. We discovered this piece of software while investigating dubious websites. Our analysis revealed that The Cryptology is a browser hijacker. This extension makes alterations to browser settings in order to endorse the thecryptology.icu fake search engine. It also collects sensitive user data.
The Cryptology browser hijacker overview
The Cryptology reassigns browsers' default search engines, homepages, and new tab/window URLs – to the thecryptology.icu website. Therefore, new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries entered into the URL bar – result in redirects to this webpage.
In most cases, fake search engines cannot generate search results, so they lead to legitimate Internet search websites. Thecryptology.icu lands on the Bing search engine (bing.com). Keep in mind that it might lead elsewhere since factors like user geolocation may impact redirects.
Browser-hijacking software may also utilize persistence-ensuring techniques, such as denying access to removal-related settings or undoing user-made changes – to prevent browser recovery.
The Cryptology has data-tracking abilities, which are standard for browser hijackers. Information of interest may include: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so forth. The gathered data can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of software like The Cryptology on devices may lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
|Displaying cryptocurrency price charts
|Detection Names (thecryptology.icu)
|Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Serving IP Address (thecryptology.icu)
|Affected Browser Settings
|Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
|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.
|Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling).
|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
Software within this classification usually appears legitimate and innocuous. Users can be tricked into downloading/installing it by promises of "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, these features seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. Note that even if a piece of software operates as advertised – that is not definitive proof of either legitimacy or safety.
How did The Cryptology install on my computer?
We acquired The Cryptology from its "official" pages. Browser hijackers may also be endorsed on deceptive/scam sites. Most visitors enter webpages that promote this software via misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, websites using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Additionally, browser hijackers can be bundled with regular programs. The risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and by rushing through installation processes (e.g., using "Express/Easy" settings, etc.).
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software as well. Once clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. When installing, it is essential to read terms, study available options, use "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplementary apps, extensions, features, etc.
Since fake and malicious online content usually looks legitimate and harmless – we strongly advise exercising caution while browsing. Intrusive ads are an example of this; while they may appear innocuous, these adverts redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, scam-promoting, adult dating, etc.).
In case of continuous encounters with such advertisements/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with The Cryptology, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of thecryptology.icu redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Permissions asked by The Cryptology browser hijacker:
Website promoting The Cryptology browser hijacker:
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 The Cryptology?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove The Cryptology browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove thecryptology.icu homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove thecryptology.icu redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
The Cryptology 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.
The Cryptology browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove The Cryptology 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 "The Cryptology" 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 "The Cryptology", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.thecryptology.icu) 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 "thecryptology.icu", 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 thecryptology.icu 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 "The Cryptology", 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 "The Cryptology", remove hxxp://thecryptology.icu 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 thecryptology.icu 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 thecryptology.icu 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 thecryptology.icu website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through redirects to sites like thecryptology.icu.
Is visiting thecryptology.icu a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like thecryptology.icu typically gather (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser-hijacking software is primarily spread via deceptive promotional webpages, bundled installation setups, online scams, freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove The Cryptology browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (performed without security software) might not be ideal. In instances where multiple browser hijackers are present, after one is removed – the others may reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software may deny access to removal-related settings. Hence, it is paramount to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.