What kind of software is K Searches?
While investigating deceptive sites, our researchers discovered an installation setup promoting the K Searches browser extension. Our examination revealed that this extension is a browser hijacker. It manipulates browser settings to endorse (via redirects) the ksearches.com fake search engine. It is noteworthy that the installer containing K Searches we analyzed included other unwanted/harmful software.
K Searches browser hijacker overview
On our test machine, K Searches assigned ksearches.com as the browser's default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URL. Therefore, when we opened a new browser tab/window or entered a search query into the URL bar – it resulted in redirects to this webpage.
It is pertinent to mention that browser-hijacking software commonly utilizes persistence-ensuring mechanisms to complicate its removal and prevent users from restoring their browsers.
In most cases, fake search engines cannot provide search results and redirect to legitimate Internet search websites. At the time of our investigation, ksearches.com landed on the Bing search engine (bing.com). Note that this site could land elsewhere, as factors like user geolocation may impact redirects.
Browser hijackers usually spy on users' browsing activity, and K Searches might have such data-tracking abilities as well. Information of interest may include: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, Internet cookies, log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. This vulnerable information can then be monetized via sale to third-parties.
To summarize, browser-hijacking software like K Searches may cause system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. If this browser extension is present on your device, check it for other suspicious software.
|Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
|Detection Names (rogue installer)
|Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.70684238), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win64/GenKryptik.GPXJ), K7AntiVirus (Trojan ( 005af1691 )), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Agent.gen), Rising (Malware.SwollenFile!1.E38A (CLASSIC)), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|Detection Names (ksearches.com)
|Serving IP Address (ksearches.com)
|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
Recipe Saver, Weather Guides, and FindMovie Online are just a few examples of browser hijackers. Software within this classification rarely appears illegitimate or otherwise suspect; it tends to look genuine and harmless.
Users can be lured into downloading/installing browser hijackers by promises of various "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 browser extension or an app operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.
How did K Searches install on my computer?
We downloaded an installer containing K Searches from a deceptive webpage offering "cracked" software. In addition to various scam pages, browser hijackers can be pushed through their "official" promotional sites. Users primarily access these webpages via redirects generated by websites that employ rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, or installed adware.
"Bundling" – packing regular program installation setups with unwanted/malicious supplements – is also used to proliferate browser hijackers. It must be mentioned that the K Searches' installer that we investigated included such harmful additions.
The risk of allowing bundled content into the device is increased by downloading from untrustworthy channels (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and by treating installations with negligence (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping sections, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).
Intrusive adverts spread browser-hijacking software as well. Once clicked on, some of these advertisements can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
It is important to always research software prior to downloading or purchasing it. All downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. When installing, we recommend reading terms, exploring available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, features, etc.
We advise being vigilant while browsing since fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless. For example, despite their ordinary/innocuous appearance – intrusive ads redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.).
If you keep encountering adverts/redirects of this kind, inspect the device and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with K Searches, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Appearance of ksearches.com redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Permissions asked by K Searches browser hijacker:
Deceptive website promoting an installer containing the K Searches 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 K Searches?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove K Searches browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove ksearches.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove ksearches.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
K Searches 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.
K Searches browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove K Searches 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 "K Searches" 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 "K Searches", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.ksearches.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 "ksearches.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 ksearches.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 "K Searches", 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 "K Searches", remove hxxp://ksearches.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 ksearches.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 ksearches.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 ksearches.com website?
Redirects to webpages like ksearches.com are generated because cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) profit through them.
Is visiting ksearches.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like ksearches.com usually collect visitor data in order to sell it to third-parties.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
The most widespread distribution methods include: bundled installers, deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and free file-hosting websites, online scams, P2P sharing networks, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove K Searches browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal (performed without security tools) might be ineffective, especially when multiple browser hijackers are present. In these cases, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. Removal-related settings might be unmodifiable with browser-hijacking software installed. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.