New malware takes over your browser to show fake search results

Scammers usually launch attacks online to steal your personal information or steal your money. But not all scams are that simple. Criminals use underhanded tactics to drive traffic to advertisements or fake websites where they get a share of the profits.

It can be hard to spot, but a telltale sign is when you start seeing strange search results or your homepage has inexplicably changed to something you didn’t choose.

Read on to learn about the latest malware you should look out for and what you can do about it.

Here is the backstory

Although browser-hijacking malware is not new, new variants have recently caused concern. Tracking the ChromeLoader malware since early February, cybersecurity firm Red Canary has noticed an increase in activity.

If the malware manages to infiltrate your computer, it takes control of your Internet browser by changing settings and redirecting traffic to advertising websites. In a blog postRed Canary explains that ChromeLoader injects itself into a device via pirated video games or movies.

Pirated software is not only illegal, it also comes with a lot of security issues. Even some of the strongest anti-virus applications cannot detect all malware and may sit idle on your machine for a few months.

But what makes ChromeLoader more dangerous than other browser hijackers is that it uses Microsoft’s PowerShell to inject a malicious extension. In theory, hackers can use this technique to steal usernames, passwords, or any data stored in your browser.

What can you do about it

If you start seeing strange search results, web pages that automatically redirect you elsewhere, or your default search engine has changed, you might have a browser hijacker. Since ChromeLoader is now known to most online security companies, update your antivirus application and run a scan.

Here are some other tips for staying safe:

  • Never download files from unofficial platforms. Torrents are illegal in the United States, whether for music, movies, or video games. Also, there is often no way of knowing what has been integrated into the software.
  • Make sure your computer’s operating system and internet browsers are updated to the latest versions. You can thwart many malware threats and infections by running a simple update.
  • Pay close attention to URLs in online search results. Check for slight letter changes, misspellings, or suspicious characters.
  • Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, AV total. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for just $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!

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