Between the end of the 1990s and the mid-2000s, one of the methods most used by friends of the alien was to install a toolbar, toolbar that occupied the upper part of the browser and that, in addition, changed the default browser that we used. Every time we opened the browser, we were shown the home page, usually from Aska search engine that takes advantage of the vulnerability and ignorance of most users of the time.
At present, browsers do not allow the installation of any type of additional bar to the browser, so the friends of the alien have had to change their modus operandi to hunt the unwary through extensions (many of them available in the Chrome Web Store, especially those that have not been updated for many years).
Hackers also rely on the distribution of applications, applications that, generally, include some kind of installer which, in most cases, invites us to install additional applications to the one we want to install. These applications include a code that modifies the behavior of the browser to change the home page to the one they want and disable this option in the browser. Novice users usually don’t bother looking for a solution to the problem, even if it leads to a serious security problem that this can only be the beginning of.
Once they have access to our browser, they can download any type of hidden content or code on the home page to execute actions in the operating system, actions that, being a code and not an application, go unnoticed by the antivirus , be it Windows Defender or any other.
Most current antiviruses offer us protection against viruses, not malware, so if we regularly visit websites with a dubious reputation for the content they offer, it never hurts to install an application to detect malware on the computer. As it is a malware application, not an antivirus, we can have it installed and running with the antivirus application that we usually use.
This is how we can free a blocked or hijacked browser
To free our browser if it has been hijacked, we have several options.
Remove suspicious extensions
If we just install an extension, we see it as the home page of our browser has been replaced by one that we do not know, we have already identified the problem and the solution is to uninstall the browser extension. Once we have uninstalled it, the option to change both the home page and the default search browser will automatically be unlocked if it has also been modified.
Delete the cache
The cache are the files that the browser stores on the computer that are generally part of the invariable structure of a website. By downloading it the first time we visit a website, when we visit it again, our browser will use this data instead of downloading it again, so access will be much faster, especially if the internet connection is slow or the server we want to connect to is very busy.
Restore the browser from scratch
If after checking the reliability of the extensions, you find that none of them is the cause of the problem, the only solution left is to restore the browser from scratch. When restoring the browser from scratch, all the browser configuration data will be deleted from the computer, but keeping both the passwords and the favorites, as long as we have associated the browser with an account. If not, this is the first thing we should do if we don’t want to lose all that information.
Uninstall suspicious apps
But, if the hijacked browser problem does not only affect the browser that we use regularly, but is also present in any other browser that we have installed on the computer, the problem is no longer related to the browser itself, but to a malware application. that has sneaked into our system and that takes care of sequestrian all browsers.
In these cases, the solution is to uninstall all the applications that we have recently installed, especially if they are little-known applications, applications downloaded illegally (pirates) and applications that we have installed despite the fact that Windows Defender has invited us not to do so because you have been able to check neither the website of the download nor who is the creator of the application. Although not always, these applications are usually the main culprits of malware entering the computer, especially when it comes to pirated applications.
Once we have uninstalled the application(s), we must analyze our computer with the antivirus that we have installed and, incidentally, use an application to detect malware on the computer. One of the best applications, which is also completely free, is HiJackthis. HiJackThis is an application that scans your computer for malicious or potentially malicious code that could cause a problem for your computer.
How to prevent your browser from being hijacked
There is no single method to prevent our browser from falling into the hands of hackers. If we carry out a series of recommendations, we can avoid it easily and effortlessly.
Use an app to detect malware
One of the most complete applications to detect all types of malware, adware, spyware and others, is the one that offers us bitdefenderan application that also includes antivirus, so if we opt for this solution, we will have to stop using Windows Defender, since it is not recommended to use two antivirus applications on the same computer if we do not want it to go crazy and resource consumption skyrockets.
Another solution that we must consider to be protected at all times is mcafeea complete suite that will protect our computer at all times against all kinds of threats, software that also includes an antivirus, so we will find ourselves in the same position as if we used Bitdefender.
Although it is true that in the market we can find a large number of free antivirus applications that everyone knows, from Softzone we do not recommend them. Maintaining an antivirus requires the work of a certain number of people, people who have to get paid in some way. If they do not market the browser, in most cases, if not 100%, these applications are dedicated to extracting data from our equipment to sell it to third parties.
Do not download applications from any web
If we don’t want to invest money in improving our security in an application that includes support for malware, support that Windows Defender does not include, the best way to do it is to avoid downloading applications from any web page. If we want to stay completely calm, we can use the Virus Total website and analyze the files that we download before compressing or installing them on our computer.
Virus Total will analyze the file through more than 50 different antiviruses, so we are going to be able to make sure if it really is a trustworthy application or if, on the contrary, we are talking about an application with malicious purposes. If we don’t want to download the application, to reduce the risks of a possible infection, we can enter the application’s download URL so that the web analyzes it.