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Jul 31, 2014

iStartSurf.com Redirect Removal

Hi there. I am looking for a solution to stop the crazy redirection to iStartSurf.com. Yesterday I found my homepage was taken over by something called iStartSurf which should be Yahoo before. I tried to change my homepage from Internet Explorer settings, it didn’t work at all so I guess there must be some malware in my PC. So I ran the scanner to check for viruses, but it didn’t detect anything suspicious, it says my computer is safe. Besides, while I was shopping online especially on Amazon or ebay, a bunch of pop-ups came up filled with my computer screen. It is really annoying, please help me to remove this hijacker. Any help will be highly appreciated. 

iStartSurf.com Redirect Description:

iStartSurf.com (also called iStartSurf) is a bogus search page associated with browser hijacker, adware or PUP (as known as potentially unwanted program). This page is questionable though it has a similar GUI like Google Search or Bing Search, it can change your homepage and other settings without your permission, and even force you to use its search engine again and again. Once it is downloaded on a target machine, it takes over all of your web browsers installed including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome as well as Safari. Also it causes tons of ads to be displayed on your browser, driving you crazy and interrupting all your browsing activities. It is a loop of ads like health and fitness, quiz, survey, fake computer status and so forth. Once you click any of these ads, you will end up getting a malware or unwanted program in your computer immediately which puts your computer in a more dangerous situation.

iStartSurf.com hijacker usually gets into computers using unfair ways. Most of them, it comes bundled with freeware programs and is downloaded and installed automatically as long as users are not careful to remove checked boxes in custom installation. It is hard to detect and remove such browser hijacker because it is not a virus technically so most antivirus program has no ability to detect and remove it. However, it is easy to know whether your computer has been compromised or not. The first change you will notice is your homepage has been modified without your permission. Every time you open the browser, you will have this iStartSurf.com as your homepage. As mentioned above, we should know that this page only provides a low quality search engine which only displays endless spam results and sponsored ads. Links promoted by this search engine might redirect you to websites that can be compromised. In this way, you may get more and more viruses in your computer. This hijacker also helps install unwanted browser extensions, toolbars and browser plugins to your system. It can make everything on your computer slow and disorder. iStartSurf hijacker forces users to use its fake search engine again and again because they want to boost payments from the artificial traffic. It may even collect your search content, track your browsing habits and steal your personal information. Therefore, in order to keep your computer safe, you have to get rid of iStartSurf.com pop-up without any delay.

Manual removal becomes a technical process that you should only undertake if you have experience with the Windows registry and know how to view and delete system and program files in Windows. If you’re not sure and are afraid to make any critical mistakes during the process, please live chat with YooCare Expert now.

iStartSurf.com Redirect Image:

iStartSurf.com

How Do You Know Your Browser Is Hijacked?

If you open your browser window (includes IE, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome etc.) and notice immediately that your home page has been changed to a page you do not recognize, then your browser may have been hijacked by a virus. For this type of hijack virus, it can change your homepage to iStartSurf.com without your permission. Other malicious activities can be shown on your computer after hijacked are listed below:
1. It can not only change your web pages, but also alter other settings to add toolbars, pop-up advertisements, and bookmarks that you did not create.
2. It can modify the homepage settings of your web browser, more commonly by reducing your internet security options. And the worse thing is it prevents you from changing them back.
3. New toolbars or Favorites are installed that give you icons and links to web pages that you don’t want.
4. It may block you from visiting certain website you’d like to visit and show an error page instead.
5. It will display constant pop-up ads, sometimes in such large amounts that you are not able to close neither the ads nor the browser.

Malicious Browser Hijacker Manual Removal Guides:

iStartSurf.com pop-up hijacks your browser to redirect your web search results and changes the homepage and browser settings. To completely uninstall it from an infected system, manual removal is the first choice because sometimes antivirus software cannot pick up the exact computer threat timely or remove it permanently. Now most browser hijackers are quite similar to spyware and adware threats and therefore cannot be removed with the help of popular antivirus products. Users can follow the manual guide here to get rid of this browser hijacker completely.

1. Clear all the cookies of your affected browsers.

Since this tricky hijacker virus has the ability to use cookies for tracing and tracking the internet activity of users, it is suggested users delete all the cookies before a complete removal.

Google Chrome:

Click on the “Tools” menu and click the “Clear browsing data” button.
Select “Delete cookies and other site data” to delete all cookies from the list.

clear browser data

Internet Explorer:
Open Internet explorer window
Click the “Tools” button
Point to “safety” and then click “delete browsing history”
Tick the “cookies” box, then click “delete”

delete browsing history

Mozilla Firefox:

Click on Tools, then Options, select Privacy
Click “Remove individual cookies”
In the Cookies panel, click on “Show Cookies”
To remove a single cookie click on the entry in the list and click on the “Remove Cookie”
To remove all cookies click on the “Remove All Cookies” button

Remove All Cookie

2. End the malicious process from Task Manager.

Once iStartSurf.com pop-up is installed, computer user may notice that CPU usage randomly jumps to 100 percent. At any time Windows always has many running processes. A process is an individual task that the computer runs. In general, the more processes, the more work the computer has to do and the slower it will run. If your system’s CPU spike is constant and remain at a constant 90-95%, users should check from Task Manager and see if there is a suspicious process occupying the system resources and then end it immediately.

(The name of the virus process can be random.)

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to quickly bring up Task Manager Window:

task manager

3. Show hidden files and folders.

Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.

Click the View tab.

Under Advanced settings, click Show hidden files and folders, uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) and then click OK.

show-hidden-files

4. Remove all the malicious files related to iStartSurf.com hijacker manually.

%AppData%Local[random].exe
C:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\*.exe

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main StartPage
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Video Shows You How to Safely Modify Windows Registry Editor:

If you get pop-ups or a new tab opened from iStartSurf.com automatically or your homepage is suddenly changed to this web page, it is likely that your web browser has been infected. This hijacker seeks to advertise sponsored links and make some affiliate revenue. Although it looks like a search engine, you should not keep it in your computer any longer. This hijacker can perform many destructive activities like redirecting the webpage to unknown website, taking your webpage to unknown malicious website, pointing search results to irrelevant results, slowing Internet speed and connecting you to hacked server. It only puts your computer in a highly dangerous situation but never provides you anything good. Therefore, iStartSurf.com hijacker should be eliminated without any hesitation.

Note: If you are not a computer expert and have no idea how to perform the removal, please contact experts from YooCare Online Tech Support for further help.

Published by & last updated on July 31, 2014 10:05 pm

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