Searchinet Virus

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Searchinet

Searchinet is an ad-spamming software that will get installed on your PC via file-bundling, infiltrate your browser, and swarm it with aggressive ads and page-redirects. If Searchinet is allowed to stay on the computer, it may expose it to all kinds of harmful malware.

Searchinet
Chrome searches will often get redirected or stuck on a site called Searchinet.net

If you are struggling to overcome and deal with the intrusive advertisements and page redirects that your browsing program is getting spammed with each and every time you try to open the browser, then you should read the information provided here you will learn about an application called Searchinet that is likely the main cause behind the ad-related issue you are currently struggling with.

These changes may be promoted by the hijacker’s developers as useful modifications made to your browser that would make your web surfing experience safer and better optimized. However, most users who have encountered a hijacker like Searchinet.net and have had their browsers’ settings modified in such a way report that the changes are rather unpleasant and do not improve the functionality of the browser in any way.

Also, in most cases where a hijacker has been installed inside a given browser, the changes that it is likely to make to the said browser can’t be overridden unless the annoying app gets removed. The same applies to the ads, the banners and the pesky page redirects that apps like Searchinet and Lookmovie.ag are likely to spam you with – the only surefire way of stopping them is uninstalling the hijacker that’s causing them. To help you with the successful removal of Searchinet, we have prepared a guide with detailed manual instructions that we advise you to follow.

What is Searchinet.net

Searchinet.net, unlike what many of you may think, is not actually a malicious malware program. Sure, at first with Searchinet.net you may think that your computer has been attacked by an insidious Trojan horse virus or maybe a ransomware infection. But the truth is that representatives of the hijacker family typically posses no malicious abilities since their purpose isn’t normally linked to any criminal agendas and harmful and illegal schemes.

However, we still need to warn all of you that the presence of a hijacker like Searchinet on your computer should still be regarded as a potential security risk and the main reason for that is the nature of the various ads, pop-ups, redirects pop-unders and other advertising materials that apps like this one are able to spam you with. While a lot of those advertisements are going to be legit, some of them may land you one questionable pages and sites. In the worst case scenario, your machine may even get targeted by scary malware programs the likes of ransomware, rootkits, spyware, Trojans and many more. Due to this and in spite of the otherwise harmless nature of most hijackers, it is still important that you get rid of any such apps that may currently be residing inside your computer.

SUMMARY:

NameSearchinet
TypeBrowser Hijacker
Danger LevelMedium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Detection Tool

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Remove Searchinet Virus

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide

A quick way that has reportedly helped some people to get rid of Searchinet is to remove the hijacker extension from their browsers. Therefore, you might want to try these steps first:

  • First, go to the main menu in the browser that has the problem. Then, choose More Tools/Add-ons from the drop-down.
  • When you’re done, click the Extensions tab/option.
  • Next, look at the Extensions’s page to see if any extensions or add-ons have been added to the browser without your permission.
  • Click on the Remove/Trash Bin button next to the extensions that look suspicious and you want to remove.
  • After you remove the extensions/add-ons in question, restart the browser to see if the hijacker problem has been solved.

You can read more about how to remove Searchinet manually in the guide below.


Step1

Attention! The computer will need to be restarted in order to complete the steps below. So, it is very important that you save this page as a bookmark in your browser before restarting your computer, so that you can quickly get back to the instructions and finish the removal of Searchinet.

Also, it is better to enter the system in Safe Mode (click on the active link to get the instructions). In Safe Mode, Windows runs only a small number of apps and processes, sticking to the most essential ones. This is the most basic state of Windows, and restarting in Safe Mode can make it easier to get rid of Searchinet by easily spotting its components and stopping the hijacker from running unnecessary background tasks.

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

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Following the restart in Safe Mode, the first thing you should do is look for processes that could be hijacker-related. To do this, open the Windows Task Manager (CTRL + SHIFT + ESC), go to the Processes Tab (the Details Tab on Win 8 and 10), and look through the list of running processes very carefully.

You can right-click on a process and choose the first option from the menu that pops up called “Open File Location.” This will open the location where the files of the selected process are located.

malware-start-taskbar

The best way to make sure that those files don’t have malware in them is to run them through a trusted malware scanning tool. We have a virus scanner that you can use for free:

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    After the scan is done, you’ll know if you need to stop the process and delete the folders of the files you’ve scanned or not.

    If you aren’t sure about the legitimacy of a certain process, it’s best to research it online and run its files through a scanner. Stopping processes that you’re not sure about could cause major system and app problems and instability. So be careful what processes you end, and only stop the ones that you are sure belong to the hijacker.

    Step3

    It’s time to look through your computer’s installed apps to see if there are any bogus programs that could have let Searchinet get into your computer.

    Press the Windows (keyboard) and R keys at the same time. In the Run dialog box, type appwiz.cpl and click OK.

    appwiz

    You should see a list of all the apps on your computer. If you detect questionable or potentially dangerous apps on that list, you should better uninstall them. If you have recently installed some third-party apps or software from a company that isn’t well-known, the hijacker may have come with them, too.

    The next step is to type “msconfig” into the Windows search field and hit Enter. This will open the System Configuration window. In it, select the Startup tab. Then, just like you did above, look through the list of Startup Items to see if there are any suspicious items that could be linked to Searchinet. If you see something that should not be on the list, remove the checkmark from its checkbox. Then click OK to save the changes.

    msconfig_opt

    Step4

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    There are two more places where you should look for changes made by Searchinet. The first is the Hosts file on your PC. Using the Windows and R keys together, you can quickly get to that file. You can copy-paste the line below in the Run window that opens, and then, click the OK button:

    notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

    Check if there are any weird IPs under Localhost in the text. The image below shows what you should be looking for:

    hosts_opt (1)

    If there is nothing unusual in your file, move on. If there are some suspicious-looking IP addresses there, however, write us a comment with a copy of them in the comment section below. You’ll receive a reply by our team on what to do if there’s a risk in the IPs.

    Next, it is important to remove any DNS changes that Searchinet might have made. To get there, type “Network Connections” in the search field in Windows and then open it. Then, you need to do the following:

    • Find your Network Adapter and right-click it.
    • Click on Properties next.
    • Then, choose Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP) from the list and click on the Properties button at the bottom of the screen.
    • Choose to Obtain DNS server address automatically.
    • Then, click on the Advanced button to go to the next window.
    • Remove everything from the DNS field.
    • Click OK when you’re done.
    DNS

    Step5

    For Searchinet to be gone from your browsers, it’s best to clear not only the browser that has been hijacked, but also all of your other browsers, because there might be changes or new browser hijacker components in them that you don’t know about. This is why we recommend doing this.

    Right-click on the shortcut icon of the browser and choose Properties. (We’re going to show you how to do this with Google Chrome, but you can do it with any browser).

    browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

    In Properties, click on the Shortcut tab and then look for where it says Target and remove everything that might have been added after .exe.

    Browser Hijacker Removal Instructions

    ie9-10_512x512  Remove Searchinet from Internet Explorer:

    In Internet Explorer, go to the top right corner of the window and click on the gear icon that opens the main menu. Then, select Manage add-ons and remove any add-ons that seem to have a connection with Searchinet and its activity.

    pic 3

    Make sure that the homepage that you use is one that you know and trust by going to the gear icon once again and selecting Internet Options. Change the URL to a homepage that you trust if the one that you see there is a sponsored one. Apply the changes by clicking on the Apply button.

    firefox-512 Remove Searchinet from Firefox:

    In Firefox, click the top right button (three vertical lines) and go to Add-ons —> Extensions to see what add-ons you have in the browser.

    •Remove any extensions that you don’t trust or use from the list. Only leave the extensions that you use and enjoy.

    pic 6

    chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Searchinet from Chrome:

    Make sure that Google Chrome is closed before you go to this location:

     C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. 

    Find the Default folder, choose Rename and change the name of the folder to Backup Default. After that, restart Chrome.

    Rename the Folder to Backup Default

    Step6

    It’s time for the last step. You need to be very careful when you search for and remove any Registry entries that Searchinet might have added because this hides risk for involuntary system corruption. If you want to access the Registry anyway, type Regedit in the search field on your computer, and then press Enter.

    When the Registry Editor window opens, press CTRL and F together and type the name of the browser hijacker in the Find text field. Click on Find Next, then, search for and delete any entries with that name or a similar one.

    Next, go to each of the directories below one by one and delete or uninstall anything suspicious that you find there:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

    Make sure you don’t remove anything from the Registry that is not linked to the program that you want to get rid of. In case of doubt, use a professional removal tool like the one you can find on this page, or our free online virus scanner to scan your computer and remove any traces of the hijacker that might have been left behind.

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    About the author

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    Violet George

    Violet is an active writer with a passion for all things cyber security. She enjoys helping victims of computer virus infections remove them and successfully deal with the aftermath of the attacks. But most importantly, Violet makes it her priority to spend time educating people on privacy issues and maintaining the safety of their computers. It is her firm belief that by spreading this information, she can empower web users to effectively protect their personal data and their devices from hackers and cybercriminals.

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