Maniihome.com looks like an ordinary search engine, but if it has been set as your web browser’s homepage, then we want to inform you that this ordinary-looking search engine is a browser hijacker due to its less than acceptable distribution methods that involve modifying your web browser’s settings. However, the problems related to this hijacker do not end here as it also features customized ads and promotional links in its search results and it also collects information about you to tailor the ads and generate more income as a result. Please continue reading this description to find out more about this infection.
When your computer becomes infected with Maniihome.com, it changes the homepage and search provider of your browser. We have found that it is compatible with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, we find this unsanctioned action malicious, and you should override the changes it has made because this hijacker was developed mainly to modify browser settings and make money for its developers.
So do not expect Maniihome.com to somehow improve your search results because it will not. In fact, it will use Google.com to process the search queries which is nothing to get excited about. However, you should be aware that this hijacker will inject the search results with promoted links that may feature dangerous content such as malware downloads, scam and phishing websites. In short, your computer and your personal security can become severely jeopardized.
It is also worth mentioning that this browser hijacker is set to collect non-personally identifiable information about you that is used for marketing and advertising purposes. Although the collection of this type of information is not illegal, we insist that it is wrong because unreliable entities use it to advance their agenda. The collected information includes but is not limited to browsing and search history, approximate location, IP address, ISP, browser language, hardware and software information, and viewed ads. This hijacker’s owners take this information and process it to present you with content you might be interested in, but, again, this content may mislead and redirect you to questionable websites.
Interestingly, the developer behind this browser hijacker is APN LLC (Ask Partner Network), which is known to release potentially unwanted programs such as GoGameGo, ScreenFreak New Tab, Recipes By inMind, and WorldSport New Tab. This is an interesting development because we have not previously encountered a browser hijacker released by this particular developer, and perhaps this is a one-off case. Also, this hijacker could be distributed by some related third-party because APN does business with many small-time advertisers.
Now let us take a look at how Maniihome.com is distributed. Since it is compatible with the three most widely used web browsers, we do not think that it comes with a dedicated browser extension, but is rather injected directly by a malicious installer. Usually, these kinds of installers come from questionable software distributing websites or adware-type-software-promoted download servers. In any case, a browser hijacker’s distinct feature is the lack of control a user has on its installation. Therefore, the installers it comes with do not provide you with the ability to remove it from the installation setup and, as a result, it is injected into your PC without your knowledge or consent.
In closing, Maniihome.com is not a real search engine but a browser hijacker whose objective is to modify your web browser’s settings and impose itself as the default search engine and homepage. It can present customized advertisements in its search results, and we think that some of them may be of malicious nature because of this hijacker’s shady background. Also, it is set to collect non-personally identifiable, yet relevant information about you that is used to tailor the advertisements to generate income. So if you want to restore your browser’s settings, then you have to remove Maniihome.com.
Microsoft Internet Explorer