What is Search.search-el.com?
Search.search-el.com is a deceptive search engine associated with multiple Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), Malware, and browser add-ons and extensions that modify existing internet browser settings. An internet browser infected with cooperative and native PUPs and malware will redirect to search.search-el.com when a new browser window is opened, a new tab is opened, or a search is orchestrated in the address bar.
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|Search.search-el.com virus, Search.search-el.com redirect virus||Malware, Freeware, Advertising Networks|
Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) and Malware native to the Search.search-el.com search engine are known to aggressively hijack existing Internet Browser settings without user consent or knowledge. The “browser hijacker” will replace the search settings of each browser installed on the machine simultaneously in order to cause affected Internet Browsers to start-up on and redirect to a webpage on http://www.search.search-el.com/ during certain circumstances.
Browser affected by this infection will have their home page, new tab page, default search engine, and browser shortcut replaced and this will cause affected browsers to start-up on the website and redirect to the website when a search is manually performed by the user in the address bar, a new browser window is opened, or a new browser tab is opened.
In addition to the initial symptoms of this occurrence, third-party advertising platforms and download managers that distribute this infection will advertise and bundle the initial threat with other rogue programs, Malware, and malicious files.
Items that are used to modify existing Internet Browser settings (including Windows programs and browser attachments) are typically bolstered by malicious advertising platforms on prohibited websites and websites that deceptively offer free programs and rogue download managers.
The infection can be introduced to a computer via third-party freeware, shareware, plugins, dubious torrent files, and dubious game patch files. Downloading free programs online can often result in PUPs, Malware, Adware, Spyware, and other threats infecting the computer system. Even if a program is commonly used by many people and well-known such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Word and infection can still occur depending on the distribution location. That is why it is recommended to download programs like Google Chrome from the developer’s website and not a third-party website.
The infection may also be introduced to a machine by deceptive advertising methods. Some advertisements embedded by third-party websites and download managers claim that the program is something it is not in order to trick users to install it. The program may also be offered as a custom install which allows users to manually chose to accept or decline the download.
2. Open Malwarebytes and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.
3. Once the Malwarebytes scan is complete click the Remove Selected button.
4. To finish the Malwarebytes scan and remove detected threats click the Finish button and restart your computer if promoted to do so.
Step 2: Get a Second Opinion with HitmanPro
5. Download and Install HitmanPro by Surfright to perform a second-opinion scan, remove remaining trace files, and automatically repair certain settings.
6. Open HitmanPro and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.
7. Once the HitmanPro scan is complete click the Next button.
8. To activate the free version of HitmanPro: enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
9. Click the Reboot button.
Step 3: Remove Junk Files and Repair Settings
10. Download and Install CCleaner by Piriform to automatically remove junk files, repair your registry, and manage settings that may have been changed.
11. Open CCleaner and go to the main Cleaner screen. Click the Analyze button. When the process is complete, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
12. Go to Tools > Startup and search for suspicious entries in each tab starting from Windows all the way to Content Menu. If you find anything suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.
13. Go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.
14. Make sure that your browser settings have been repaired by opening your affected web browser. If the browser was not repaired use the tutorials below to manually repair your browser settings.
Step 4: Manually Repair Browser Settings
- How to change your Google Chrome homepage
- How to change your Google Chrome search engine
- How to remove extensions from Chrome
- How to change your Mozilla Firefox homepage
- How to change your Mozilla Firefox search engine
- How to remove add-ons from Firefox
- How to change your Microsoft Internet Explorer homepage
- How to change your Microsoft Internet Explorer search engine
- How to remove add-ons from Internet Explorer
Step 5: Stay Protected Against Future Threats
The key to staying protected against future infections is to follow guidelines and take advantage of reputable Antivirus and Anti-Malware security software with real-time protection.
Real-time Security Software
Malwarebytes and Vipre Antivirus offer real-time features that can block malicious files before they spread across your computer. These programs bundled together can establish a wall between your computer and cyber criminals. It is recommended to purchase these programs to take advantage of full-time protection in order to stay protected against future threats. Without real-time security software your computer cannot protect you against malware and hackers.
- Routeinely backup your computer and personal files to an external drive or online backup service
- Create a restore point on your computer in case you need to restore your computer to a date before infection
- Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs you are not familiar with
- Avoid downloading and installing apps, browser extensions, and programs from websites you are not familiar with – some websites use their own download manager to bundle additional programs with the initial download
- If you plan to download and install freeware, open source software, or shareware make sure to be alert when you install the object and read all the instructions presented by the download manager
- Avoid using torrents and P2P clients (if one is on your computer unistall it)
- Do not open email messages from senders you do not know
- Avoid emails that claim to be a bill, invoice, payment, or involve you paying money