What is SpicySEARCH? And how does it function?
SpicySEARCH is a new browser extension for Google Chrome. It’s supposed to function as a search engine but it was later found that it was actually a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program that hijacks computers. Once it enters the system, it makes modifications on the Google Chrome browser – changing your default new tab web address, home page and your search engine to hxxps://spicystart.com/ in the process. It makes all these alterations on the browser to bring ad-filled search results to users and increase the developers’ pay-per-click revenue.
SpicySEARCH is not a trustworthy search engine as all the search results are nothing but modified. According to researchers, the search results are filled with sponsored content than the actual related content to the search query or keyword entered using SpicySEARCH. To bring in more revenue, it collects its users’ non-personally identifiable information such as IP address, operating system and browser version, websites frequently visited, browsing history, search queries, ads clicked and other browsing related information. Some of the ads it displays tend to get on your nerves as they often cover the content of the website you are visiting. Thus, not only it is threat to your privacy but it also diminishes your browsing experience instead of improving it.
How is SpicySEARCH distributed online?
This browser extension is distributed at the Chrome Web Store. However, what security experts frowned is that this turns out to be distributed as an optional component in software packages found on free sharing sites. This is one of the reasons why it is categorized as both a browser hijacker and a potentially unwanted program. To avoid programs like SpicySEARCH you must opt for the Advanced installation mode rather than the quick one as this Advanced mode lets you uncover any extra programs hidden in the package and get rid of them.
Make sure you follow the step-by-step removal guide below to remove SpicySEARCH from your computer.
Step 1: Tap the Win + R keys to open Run and then type in appwiz.cpl to open Control Panel to uninstall any suspicious program related to the browser hijacker.
Step 2: Look for SpicySEARCH under the list of installed programs. Once you’ve found it, uninstall it.
Step 3: Close the Control Panel and tap the Win + E keys to open File Explorer. Navigate to the following directories and look for the hijacker’s installer like the software bundle it came with as well as other suspicious files and delete them.
Step 4: Close the File Explorer and empty your Recycle Bin.
Step 5: Launch the Google Chrome browser and click the wrench icon. Afterwards, click on Tools from the drop-down menu and select Extensions.
Step 6: Under the Extensions tab, select SpicySEARCH extension and other suspicious browser extensions related to it and then click on the Trash icon.
Step 7: Click on Remove button from the confirmation dialog box.
Step 8: Reset Google Chrome. To do that, click the three stripes icon located at the upper-right corner of your screen. And then select Settings.
Step 9: under Settings, look for Show advanced settings at the bottom of the page and click on it.
Step 10: Then click on the Reset browser settings button.
Step 11: After that, a dialog box pops up, click the Reset button to Reset Chrome.
Step 12: After you reset Chrome, enable the Phishing and Malware Protection in Chrome to prevent browser hijackers like SpicySEARCH extension from infecting your computer again in the future. To do that, click Settings once again.
Step 13: Select the Show advanced settings again.
Step 14: Go to the Privacy section and check the Enable phishing and malware protection option.
Step 15: Restart Chrome.
Follow the advanced steps below to completely get rid of SpicySEARCH and any files it may have created in your computer upon its installation.
Perform a full system scan using SpyRemover Pro. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in explorer http://www.fixmypcfree.com/install/spyremoverpro
A single space must be in between explorer and http. Click OK.
- A dialog box will be displayed by Internet Explorer. Click Run to begin downloading the program. Installation will start automatically once download is done.
- Click OK to launch it.
- Run SpyRemover Pro and perform a full system scan.
- After all the infections are identified, click REMOVE ALL.
- Register the program to protect your computer from future threats.