We would like to inform you about a newly discovered browser hijacker that was dubbed Webstarts.biz. This hijacker looks like an ordinary search engine, but if you have it on your PC, then there is no doubt that you got in unintentionally as it is not promoted anywhere and its deceptive distribution method ensures that its victims do not have a say when it comes to installing it into the browser. You should remove it not only because it hijacks the browser, but also because it can subject you to shady promotional links that might feature malicious content and because it can gather some sensitive information about you that you might not want to share. To find out more about this malware, please read this whole article.
Our research has shown that Webstarts.biz is very similar to Safesurfs.com, Foryourweb.net, and Esurf.biz. Therefore, it would seem that all of them come from the same source, but none of them were signed by the publisher. Therefore, we believe that this was not done on purpose and it would seem that these hijackers were created by a non-existent company or, rather, a group of developers that want to make easy money.
Since no one would generally set Webstarts.biz as their browser’s homepage address. Its developers have made arrangements to include it with malicious software installers that, while installing other software, would inject it into your browser. At present, we do not know which websites host the installers that contain this hijacker, but we assume that they are hosted on several websites as this hijacker receives most visitors from India and the US. We have received unconfirmed information that users got Webstarts.biz unintentionally because the installer did not allow deselecting its installation. This is a common tactic that is used much too often, and this particular hijacker may be hard to root out because its installers also hijack the browser’s Target value setting.
Now let us dissect the information Webstarts.biz’s features to see what it can or cannot do. Research has shown that it is designed to replace the homepage address of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It could also replace Chrome’s net tab page address. Furthermore, as mentioned, the installer will hijack the Target of the web browser. It is hijacked to prevent you from going to your browser’s options and replacing the homepage address. Nevertheless, you can fix this issue by erasing http://Webstarts.biz from the target value line and saving the change. Only then you will be able to get rid of this hijacker for good.
If you are wondering why this hijacker is set to hijack your browser in the first place, then let us tell you that it does that to force you to use it for searching the web. However, that is not all because its search results can feature promotional links. These links can come from unknown entities, and due to the lack of developer name, we cannot guarantee that the links are safe to click. It is possible that this browser hijacker will subject you to malicious sites that host downloads of malicious software. Also, it might even promote phishing and scam websites. In short, there is no telling whether you can trust its promotions.
Furthermore, Webstarts.biz can collect certain information about you that may include your IP address, Internet Service Provider Name, approximate geographical location, browser type, operating system type, clicked links, entered websites, and so on. This information is set to be used to customize the ads you see and to make more money for the developers as a result because you need to click the links for this hijacker’s creators to get paid.
As you can see, Webstarts.biz is everything but a legitimate search engine. It looks safe, and you can use it as a search engine, but the fact that it can feature shady links in is search results, collect information about you and outright hijack your browser’s homepage address, we believe that you should not use it. To remove it, you can follow the instructions below.
Microsoft Internet Explorer