How To Delete the Netsurf Browser Hijacker and Restore Your Browser (Google Chrome)

Read our complete removal guide to learn about the the Netsurf browser hijacker, a malicious Google Chrome web browser extension.

NetSurf Browser Hijacker Description

Malware researchers have alerted us about a new threat – the NetSurf browser hijacker which has been developed for the popular Google Chrome web browser. We expect to see versions of it made for other browsers in the near future – Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari and Internet Explorer.

Its description on the Google Chrome Web Store reads the following:

Surf the web with the most reliable browsing assistant by your side, in your Chrome browser.
Forget about having to pay more than necessary when you shop online! Net Surf is here to help you stay up to date with the lowest prices for the products on your shopping list.

If you’re an avid online shopper, imagine this scenario: when you view a product online, on an online shop of your choosing, the extension analyzes the page in the background, identifies what product you’re looking at and shows you other online retailers where you can buy the same product but for less money. It’s that easy to shop effectively with Net Surf. Get instant access to the lowest prices, best deals or similar offers that are more affordable.

When it is installed by the victims their browser settings are changed to redirect the victims into a hacker-controlled site. The modifications include the default home page, new tabs page and search engine. The hijacker is masquerading itself as a shopping assistant by offering price comparison of various products online.

The NetSurf extension is paricularly dangerous as it actively monitors the users behaviour. This endangers their privacy by transmitting information about the stored cookies, history and possibly even account credentials to the remote site.

The description of the hijacker shows that it is being operated by a Romanian web store called Shop Mania (its domain is shopmania.ro).

Its privacy policy reveals much of the dangers involved:

  • Gathering of User Data – The hijacker gathers the IP address and all “standard web log” information. This includes information about the users browser, site interaction and etc.
  • Tracking Cookie – The NetSurf browser hijacker can install a tracking cookie which is able to track the users interaction with various sites.

According to the policy “The site may contain links, ads or advertising banners that will lead you to other sites, belonging to third parties”.

Users can download the browser hijacker from the Google Chrome web store. Other sources of infection includee the following:

  • Email Spam Messages – Hackers can distribute links to the extension via spam email campaigns.
  • Infected Installers – Malware like the NetSurf browser hijacker are often bundled with software installers featuring popular freeware and trial applications, games, updates, patches and etc.

Protect Yourself From Hijackers like NetSurf

To completely eliminate the threat we suggest that all infected users use a quality anti-spyware tool as it can both delete active infections with only a few mouse clicks and provide strong protection against all kinds of threats.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

NetSurf Browser Hijacker Removal Guide

Warning!
Manual removal of NetSurf Browser Hijacker requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. You could prevent this troublesome effect and delete NetSurf Browser Hijacker browser hijacker with SpyHunter malware removal tool.

STEP I: Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

This will isolate all files and objects created by the browser hijacker so they will be removed efficiently.

    1) Hit WIN Key + R

Windows-key-plus-R-button-launch-Run-Box-in-Windows-illustrated

    2) A Run window will appear. In it, write “msconfig” and then press Enter
    3) A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named “Boot
    4) Mark “Safe Boot” option and then go to “Network” under it to tick it too
    5) Apply -> OK

Or check our video guide – “How to start PC in Safe Mode with Networking

STEP II: Remove NetSurf Browser Hijacker from Windows

Here’s a way to remove the program. This method will work regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP. Simply selecting the program and pressing delete won’t work, as it’ll leave a lot of small files. That’s bad because these leftovers can linger on and cause all sorts of problems. The best way to delete a program is to uninstall it. Here’s how you can do that:

    1) Hold the “Windows” button (It’s between CTRL and Alt on most keyboards) and press “R”. You’ll see a pop-up window.

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    2) In the textbox, type “appwiz.cpl”, then press“ Enter ”.

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    3) The “Programs and features” menu should now appear. It’s a list of all the programs installed on the PC. Here you can find the program, select it, and press “Uninstall“.

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STEP III: Remove NetSurf Browser Hijacker From Your Browser

Before resetting your browser’s settings, you should know that this action will wipe out all your recorded usernames, passwords, and other types of data. Make sure to save them in some way.

Removal guide for Mozilla Firefox Removal guide for Google Chrome Removal guide for Internet Explorer

    1) Start Mozilla Firefox. In the upper right corner, click on the Open menu icon and select “Add-ons“.

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    2) Inside the Add-ons Manager select “Extensions“. Search the list of extensions for suspicious entries. If you find any, select them and click “Remove“.

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    3) Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.

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    4) In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.

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    5) Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.

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      1) Start Google Chrome. On the upper-right corner, there a “Customize and Control” menu icon. Click on it, then click on “Settings“.

    settings-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      2) Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.

    delete-suspicious-extension-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      3) Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.

    set-new-page-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      4) Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.

    manage-search-engines-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

      5) In the default search settings list, find the unknown search engine and click on “X“. Then select your search engine of choice and click “Make default“. When you are ready click “Done” button in the right bottom corner.

    1) Start Internet Explorer. Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Manage add-ons“.

manage-add-ons-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker-bestsecuritysearch

    2) In the “Manage add-ons” window, bellow “Add-on Types“, select “Toolbars and Extensions“. If you see a suspicious toolbar, select it and click “Remove“.

remove-suspicious-toolbars--internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

    3) Then again in the “Manage Add-ons” window, in “Add-on Types“, Select “Search Providers“. Chose a search engine and click “Set as default“. Select the unknown search engine and click “Remove and Close”.

search-providers-set-engine-delete-suspicious-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

    4) Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.

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    5) In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.

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STEP IV: Remove Completely NetSurf Browser Hijacker Browser Hijacker Using SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

Manual removal of NetSurf Browser Hijacker requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removal of any important data can lead to permanent system damage. Prevent this troublesome effect – delete NetSurf Browser Hijacker browser hijacker with SpyHunter malware removal tool.

SpyHunter anti-malware tool will diagnose all current threats on the computer. By purchasing the full version, you will be able to remove all malware threats instantly. Additional information about SpyHunter / Help to uninstall SpyHunter

STEP V: Repair Windows Registry

    1) Again type simultaneously the Windows Button + R key combination
    2) In the box, write “regedit”(without the inverted commas) and hit Enter
    3) Type the CTRL+F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable
    4) In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Further help for Windows Registry repair

STEP VI: Preventive Security Measures

    1) Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
    2) Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
    3) Secure your web browser.
    4) Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
    5) Disable macros in Office documents.
    6) Use strong passwords.
    7) Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
    8) Backup regularly your data.

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Author : Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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