Toptvtabsearch.com is a malicious search engine distributed in a manner that is set to replace your browser’s homepage and new tab page addresses by force. Thus, we have classified it as a browser hijacker and advice that you remove it as soon as possible. Apart from hijacking your browser’s settings, it will also gather information about you and use it to display questionable advertisements in its search results. In short, this shady search engine is nothing but trouble and a potential security threat, so do not use it.
Let us begin our analysis with its origins. We have found that Toptvtabsearch.com comes from a company called Imali Media Ltd. This company is in the web monetization and advertising business. According to its website at Imali.media, “Imali provides a single gateway to all media channels, delivering maximum results to our advertiser and media partners. We lead you from complexity to opportunity. We bring you results at scale.” The fact that this company offers advertising and promotional services to its clients is non-negotiable. We have noticed that this company is expanding its operation and is releasing more and more browser hijackers that are mostly identical and only have trivial differences. Among its prior releases, we find hijackers such as Topsafetabsearch.com, Search.funtvtabplussearch.com, and Search.funsecuritytabsearch.com, among others. Indeed, this developer has released dozens of hijackers, and there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon.
Now let us take a look at how this hijacker is being disseminated around the web. It seems that this hijacker is being distributed using both legitimate and illegitimate distribution channels. Let us start with the legitimate one. You can download Toptvtabsearch.com’s accompanying browser extension named NewTabTV. This extension has a version for Chrome and Firefox. Take note that when you install it on Firefox, the installer does not warn you that it is going to change Firefox’s new tab page, but if you download if for Chrome, then you will be redirected to the Chrome Web Store that hosts NewTabTV’s download. In this case, the description will inform you that it is going to change the new tab page and homepage. Now, as far as the illegitimate distribution method is concerned, we have found that NewTabTV is being bundled with malicious software installers that install this extension without your authorization. Hence, Toptvtabsearch.com can enter your browser without your knowledge or approval.
As mentioned, it will change the new tab page of Chrome and Firefox, and also the homepage of Chrome. This is done for a reason as you now know that it was set up by a company in the web monetization business. Toptvtabsearch.com is designed to feature promotional links and advertisements in its search results that may come from unknown sources. We are concerned that, like its counterparts, this hijacker may also promote malicious software downloads and scam websites. We also want to note that it redirects all search queries to Imali Media’s server at http://extsearch.maxwebsearch.com that may be used to alter the search results because the search queries are subsequently redirected to a custom Yahoo search engine. The promoted links are said to be included among the search results, so they may be difficult to identify. You should not risk your computer’s security and we invite you to delete the browser extension and, in turn, Toptvtabsearch.com.
We hope that you found this short description useful. There is not much information about it, but from what was laid out here, it is clear as day that Toptvtabsearch.com and its accompanying browser add-on are nothing but malicious. If you want to significantly minimize the risk of your PC becoming infected with malware, then you have to delete this hijacker, so please, make use of the manual removal guide below.