– one of the most aggressive browser hijackers

Careless software installation leads to the hijacked browser

Opening beloved browser and finding unknown homepage is definitely a surprise. However, if a new startup page is, it’s unpleasant and potentially dangerous surprise too.

LaunchPage is one of the most aggressive and widely spread browser hijackers[1] that are currently lurking on the web. This sneaky application travels bundled with various programs, and attentive users might find it promoted with freeware and shareware[2].

However, spotting the hijacker means that users take freeware installation seriously. Unfortunately, it rarely happens. The majority of users rely on Quick installation mode or rush through the Advanced installation wizard without reading notifications, and this careless behavior usually leads to hijacked web browser.

Resemblance to Chrome helps stay longer on the targeted computer looks very similar to Chrome’s homepage. It includes shortcuts to Facebook, LinkedIn, eBay, YouTube and other popular sites that are included in majority’s top visited sites.

The top-right corner also looks familiar. It includes links to Gmail, Images, and menu icon that covers links to other Google services.

Attentive users should spot the differences quite easily, especially if they look up to the URL bar and see an unknown domain.

However, lots of people are so used to their browsers that they do not pay attention to details. The resemblance to Chrome’s homepage undoubtedly helps the hijacker to stay on the computer longer.

The main purpose of the browser hijacker is to take full control over the attacked web browser. It helps to deliver sponsored content and generate advertising-based revenue.

Developers of free software usually profit from online advertising. However, while ones take care of the users, other’s forget that users need to see benefits as well.

From the search engines we all expect to deliver most relevant links in the top of the first search results page. However, does not care about user’s desires and needs.

Instead of organic search results, you might find paid links. Indeed, the hijacker is capable of altering search results and including sponsored links. Indeed, it’s unfair activity for the users. However, it helps developers to generate revenue from boosting traffic to promotional sites.

The biggest problem here is that some of this sponsored links lead to suspicious and potentially dangerous websites. Thus, users might encounter a dangerous cyber threat quite easily.

Noticing suspicious activities on the browser should motivate users for taking care of their computers and checking the system with security software.