Searchgol(.com) is a search engine connected to a browser hijacker that has become more active in the past month. The hijacker’s victims are mostly in Italy, India, the UK, and Japan. The malicious software is likely going to become even more infectious in the future.
Searchgol(.Com) – Is It a Virus, or What?
Searchgol(.com) is a browser hijacker – software designed with two functions in mind; to spread more ads and collect the personal information of users. One of the reasons why browser hijackers can’t be considered viruses (even though they’re technically malicious) I that users give permissions for their installment. The scheme works like this – a useful program will have bundle pack containing junk software like browser hijackers and other mostly malicious programs. Users who don’t check the Custom, Advanced, or Slow install routes give permission to install the junk software. If you don’t want to give permissions in the future, check the slower install routes and deselect anything other than the main program.
Searchgol(.Com) – More Damning Details About the Browser Hijacker
The main site that’s heavily associated to the browser hijacker looks like your average, run-of-the-mill search engine. You can see the site’s homepage design bellow:
It’s common for most browsers to set a search engine as the default homepage. Most users don’t bother changing that, and when a new search engine pops up they probably think it’s something their browser developer changing in the last update. It isn’t, however, as we established in the last section of the article. This is quite common, a lot of people get hijacked and don’t even notice the change. If you’re reading this article, it shows that you want to fix your browser, which is worthy of praise in this day and age of careless computing.
If you have been hijacked by Searchgol(.com), you should remove it. The site can be used to spy on your Internet activity, collect the information and send it to advertisers, or other third parties. All search engines do that, even good ones like Bing, Google, or Yahoo. Searchgol(.com), however, lacks the quality, and the reliability of these engines, and it also spreads through unethical means.
Why Does Searchgol(.Com) Still Exist? Shouldn’t Anti –Virus Programs Block It?
As we said before, browser hijackers aren’t technically viruses, and security programs can’t block then. The data collected by these junk search engine is very useful to the lower tier advertising firms. They use that data to target specific ads to specific people. Example – If a user searches for cars, he’s more likely to see ads related to the auto-industry. It’s a pretty lucrative business, and crapvertisers receive money per-install [link’]. In conclusion, we’ll say that it’s up to the user to remove the hijacker and restore their system back to normal. There are also some anti-malware tools that can help with that.