We have recently tested another suspicious search engine called Search.yourrecipescenter.com, and as it turned out, it is not a real search engine, but a browser hijacker. Hence, it is designed to hijack your web browser’s settings and modify settings such as its homepage, search provider, and new tab page, so we suggest that you remove it. The modifications differ depending on the Internet browser, but we will get to this shortly. We want to stress, that this hijacker is distributed using dishonest means that involve installing its dedicated browser extension without your consent. We want to make it clear that the only reason for its existence is to generate advertising revenue because it has been configured to provide promotional links in its search results. For more information, please continue reading.
Let us jump into how this browser hijacker works. First of all, you can use it as a regular search engine and, truth be told, its developers want you to think that it is legitimate. However, it offers nothing unique to the end-user because it redirects the search queries to Yahoo.com which is a genuine search engine, but we want to inform you that Search.yourrecipescenter.com will inject additional promotional links in the search results. Thus, it will make them unreliable as we have seen similar browser hijackers promoting malicious content such has scam websites and sites that feature malware downloads. Hence, unreliable promotional links are an integral part of this hijacker and, therefore, we regard it as malicious.
As mentioned in the introduction, this hijacker modifies certain browsers in different ways. So it changes the homepage of Internet Explorer and Firefox and the new tab page of Chrome. It also modifies the search provider of Firefox and Chrome, but not Internet Explorer. Irrespective of the differences, they are significant, and the aim of the game is to force you to use this hijacker for processing your search queries and, as a result, subject you to promotional links. That way Search.yourrecipescenter.com’s developers make money and most likely use it to pay for the servers and set up new fake search engines. For example, we have encountered many browser hijackers that are similar to this particular hijacker. They are so similar in fact that they cannot be called anything other than clones. Search.yourspeedtestcenter.com, Search.yourmovietimenow.com, and Search.searchwag.com are just a few more recently released clones.
As you can see, Search.yourrecipescenter.com comes from an established browser hijacker family, and the name of the entity that produces them is known as SaferBrowser. We do not know if it is a legitimate company, but it signs all of its hijackers with its brand name. The only way to contact its owners is via email and there it is unlikely that they will get back to you if you try to get information regarding security or, indeed, privacy.
Privacy is a whole other issue, but, in general, browser hijackers are set to collect particular types of information to advance the agenda of their owners. For example, Search.yourrecipescenter.com will collect non-personal information about your usage of its search service. It will collect information such as search and browsing history, IP address, ISP, geographical location, Windows version, and so on. Also, we want to mention that if you contact the developers via email@example.com and provide information such as your name, last name, email address or mailing address, then this information will also get stored and probably supplemented the with non-personal information and then used to tailor the customized advertisements to make more money.
As far as this hijacker’s distribution methods go, we have found that it is distributed via malicious pop-up ads that are presented by none other than adware. So you should scan your computer for this type of malware. Also, this hijacker has a dedicated website at Yourrecipescenter.com. This site hosts Search.yourrecipescenter.com’s dedicated extensions, but as opposed to pop-up ads that inject this hijacker into your browser without your authorization, the website provides you with the opportunity to install the extension without modifying the search-related settings.
In closing, Search.yourrecipescenter.com in an undesirable search engine that due to its malicious dissemination methods was classified as a browser hijacker. Its accompanying browser extensions modify browser settings and replace settings such as the homepage with Search.yourrecipescenter.com. As a result, using it for searching the web will subject you to unwelcome and possibly even dangerous content. If you want to avoid undesirable consequences, then you should remove this hijacker.
Windows Vista and 7
Microsoft Internet Explorer