We want to inform you about the release of a new browser hijacker known as Search2.searchlson.com. This hijacker is designed to change your web browser’s homepage to force you to use it for online searches and, as a direct result, view promotional links. Therefore, we recommend that you remove it from your computer because its promotional links are unwanted and even dangerous. Furthermore, it is set to gather information about you and your browsing preferences to generate more advertising income. In short, nothing good can come from this supposedly useful search engine because it comes from an unknown developer and it employs dishonest distribution tactics to get this hijacker on your computer.
Search2.searchlson.com is one of many browser hijackers set up by the infamous SaferBrowser, an entity that makes money from infecting the computers of unsuspecting users and making them view unwelcome and in some cases malicious advertisements presented as search results. This developer has released many browser hijackers, but the most recently released ones are Search.searchcads.com, Search.yourrecipescenter.com, and Search.yourspeedtestcenter.com. So right from the outset, it is clear that this fake search engine comes from a highly unreliable source. This company is in the web monetization business, so the more people have its “products” on their systems, the more money they make. So, on that note, let us discuss Search2.searchlson.com dissemination channels.
While researching this browsing hijacker we came across its promotional/distribution website called Livesportsonlinenow.com that features a browser extension for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Before you agree to install it on your browser, the installation wizard appears and asks you whether you want Search2.searchlson.com to be set as your web browser’s homepage, new tab page, and search provider. The checkboxes are checked by default, but you can uncheck them if you want. This distribution method is entirely legitimate. However, we also found that this hijacker is being promoted using adware such as TermTrident and SwiftSearch. In this instance, you might unwillingly install Search2.searchlson.com and its accompanying browser extension by clicking the ads shown by these and similar adware-type applications. So it seems that the developers use click-bait to get this hijacker on your computer, and research has shown that this hijacker is installed secretly.
The developers resort to employing deceptive distribution methods in addition to a legitimate one because very few people install it willingly, thinking that it is a useful search engine. This hijacker’s accompanying extension has a sports theme going that manifests as a bookmarks bar. This bar features links to sports-related websites that include Espn.com, Uefa.com, and Ca2016.com. These websites are legitimate, but Search2.searchlson.com is not set to promote these website sites in particular because the real money comes from promoting shady websites via its search results.
While researching it, we found that this browser hijacker redirects all search queries to Yahoo.com. Yahoo is a legitimate search engine that is too often by malware and browser hijacker developers. It seems that the developers modify Yahoo’s search results to include additional promotional links displayed on the right side of the window as well as at the bottom. We are concerned because the promoted content can come from unknown advertisers and companies that may be inclined to advertise phishing and scam websites. So it definitely can put your computer’s security in jeopardy.
Furthermore, this hijacker is set to gather personally identifiable and non-personally identifiable information in an effort to tailor the advertisements according to your geographical location, interests, and browsing preferences. This hijacker’s developer can obtain personal information only if you provide it on a voluntary basis when contacting them via email. Non-personally identifiable information, however, is collected automatically, and it includes browsing history, search queries, IP address, geographical location, and so on. Therefore, if you do not want them to obtain this information or show you ads, then you should delete Search2.searchlson.com.
We hope that the information we have provided in this article has proven useful, and it has convinced you that Search2.searchlson.com is nothing more than a browser hijacker that only poses as a legitimate search engine. To get rid of this browser hijacker, you have to uninstall it from Control Panel if you use Internet Explorer and remove the browser extension if you use Chrome or Firefox.
Windows 7 & Windows Vista