How to Remove Startme.Today Redirect and Restore Your Browser and Computer

Remove startme.today Redirect and Restore PC
Manual Removal Guide
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Symptoms and Consequences of startme.today Infection

startme.today is a typical browser hijackers that seeks to redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. One of the main reasons why they are so popular is that they can be used to both install malware and inflict damage of all kinds to the target computers.

Upon infection with them important settings are changed on the installed browsers. The browser hijackers are called in such a way as they are able to infect most of the Internet applications. Popular examples, such as this one, are usually made to affect browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. As the malicious code is executed the victims will find that important settings are altered to point to the startme.today domain ‒ default home page, new tabs page and default search engine. The point is to make the victims utilize the service in any way possible. The hackers make profit from the generated traffic and can cause other problems that are related to both security and privacy.

As part of the infection routine the startme.today browser hijacker can deliver all sorts of computer viruses, including ransomware samples. Security experts frequently note that threats like this redirect have the ability to harvest sensitive and private information stored in the web browsers. The list includes the following: bookmarks, history, settings, passwords, account credentials and form data.

Depending on the hacker configuration the criminals behind the startme.today browser hijacker attacks may opt to install malware to the system. Once the infection is complete the computer users will be shown the site’s home page when they open up their browser. It is made to look like a legitimate search engine and web service. This is intentional as the victims need to be lured into using the portal.

It bears a rather lightweight design style. On the top right side there are four hyperlinks leading to some of the most popular Internet services and social media (Gmail, Images, Facebook and YouTube).

Next lies a search engine box that accepts user queries. The hackers have made it to look exactly like a legitimate search engine. Below the box there are some other buttons to popular sites of all sorts that are placed in a grid layout.

Even though no site cookies are imposed on the first time visitors they must be extremely wary of the site and all posted links. If they interact with the links they can be redirected to a hacker-controlled site that can steal their credentials.

Another danger of using the browser hijacker is the fact that the startme.today redirect code infused into the applications can be used to monitor the behavior of the victims. They can facilitate this feature to enable surveillance of the victims. If the malware code itself is advanced then additional modules can also be used to harvest data from the computers. Example usage may include the following:

  • System Information ‒ The startme.today browser hijacker can contain a virus engine that includes a data extraction module similar to many other related threats. As a result information such as hardware components and software configuration can be downloaded and sent to the hacker operators.
  • Personal Data ‒ The browser redirect can be used as a tool to download sensitive data from the infected computers.

If the users use the provided search box they are forwarded to a Google-powered search engine. However the victims should be extra careful when trusting them as the site operators may have customized it to display affiliate, sponsored or fake hyperlinks to the search engines.

Browser hijackers like the startme.today redirect are often used to drive traffic to various scam sites and dangerous schemes powered by criminal establishments worldwide. Probably the most worrying fact is that the site does not feature a privacy policy or a terms of use page. This gives practically no information on the way the users’s data is being handled. A direct consequence of this is the possibility of trading or selling the data on hacker underground markets.

Where Did My PC Get Infected With The startme.today Browser Hijacker?

The startme.today browser hijacker can be acquired using different tactics depending on the hackers and the intended targets. At the moment the security experts were not able to uncover which is the primary source. It is suspected that several different campaigns are being used to spread the redirect.

Counterfeit download portals are one of the main tactics that are being used to spread the browser hijacker executable directly or included in a script bundled in a software installer. The hackers download legitimate copies from the vendors, make the necessary modifications and then spread the resulting file on the download portals. Images and text that resemble the official sources are used to confuse the victims into installing the samples. Depending on the downloaded software installer they may be able to disallow the installation by unchecking a certain checkbox or another action during prompt notifications and questions asked by the program. Another way of delivering the software installers containing the startme.today browser hijacker is the use of P2P networks like the BitTorrent.

Email spam messages can also contain links or directly attach the startme.today browser hijacker installers. Like the messages that spread malware the hackers can opt to use templates and social engineering tricks to lure the intended targets into infecting themselves. Some computer viruses that feature an advanced infection sequence can include the browser hijacker code as part of their own installation.

Other infection techniques rely on web redirects and ad networks, they are usually found on sites that are operated by criminals. Typical places include pirate content download portals, porn networks and etc. They usually feature large blocks of ads that can be hired by third parties to display ads. We have received notice that such sites can turn into a worldwide distribution center for malware.

Note that in many cases the official browser repositories can also lead to a succesful infection. The criminals often use hacked or fake accounts to setup copies which are then uploaded to the relevant services. Its very likely to make a mistake as the hackers use duplicate images and text that are stolen from legitimate plugins. Elaborate descriptions, screenshots and even videos can also be made in a professional manner.

Remove startme.today Redirect and Restore PC

WARNING! Manual removal of the Startme.today browser hijacker requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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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

startme.today – Manual Removal Steps

Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

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

Remove Startme.today 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.

run-window-windows

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

appwiz-cpl-command-run-windows

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“.

uninstall-malicious-software-control-panel-programs-features-windows

Remove Startme.today Virus 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“.
    add-ons-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    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“.
    remove-suspicious-extensions-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.
    options-mozilla-firefox-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.
    restore-to-default-settings-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.
    search-remove-unknown-search-engine-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    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”.
internet-options-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.
enter-preferred-homepage-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit 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

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • How disturbing is this problem?

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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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