Being redirected to Bing via Charmsearching.com site on Chrome and other browsers is a symptom of adware activity that should be addressed immediately.
|Type||Browser hijacker, redirect virus, adware|
|IPs||18.104.22.168; 22.214.171.124; 126.96.36.199|
|Action||Browser takeover, reoccurring redirects to charmsearching.com and bing.com, system slowdown|
Back in the day when the makers of popular web browsers combined the address bar with keyword search features, the user feedback was heterogeneous. Some welcomed the novelty, and others badly wanted a separate search area back. One way or another, this web surfing mode is now the norm most people are comfortable with. The flip side of it, though, is that cybercriminals heavily misuse the function to set evil traffic monetization plots in motion. The recent Charmsearching virus campaign is an example that shows the true colors of the present-day browser hijacking schemes. It manifests itself in the following way: whenever a victim enters a search request in the address bar on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or another browser, they are redirected to Charmsearching.com instead of the search engine selected as default in the settings. More surprisingly, each rerouting instance leads to Bing.com as the landing page.
On a side note, the Bing redirect calamity has been haunting the Mac world for several years, but similar PC infections have been fairly marginal. Charmsearching virus demonstrates that the status quo might be changing. The reason that crooks promote Microsoft’s search service most likely boils down to a curtain effect, where something legitimate distracts from something shady. The web traffic intercepted through this scheme travels through Charmsearching.com and a few more URLs associated with ad networks. This explains the profitability of this tactic for threat actors. But what causes the browser takeover on a specific PC and what to do about it?
This predicament can always be attributed to a specific potentially unwanted program (PUP). The vast majority of contamination instances occur in Chrome – this makes sense from a cybercrook’s perspective, given the global domination of this browser. The catalyst is a browser extension or plugin that the user is duped into installing. Several examples of such add-ons reported by victims are called Picture-in-picture Mode, Video Speed Controller, and Volume Magnifier. The problem is that people add them to Chrome or another web browser unknowingly or while being unaware of their malicious nature. A classic scenario involves some dubious free video streaming site that generates a request to show notifications. To continue watching, some users click the “Agree” button, only to opt for adding an extension that instantly makes unauthorized tweaks to browser preferences such as the default search, homepage, and new tab page.
Changing the modified settings back to their normal state is easier said than done in most cases. The same goes for the process of removing the double-dealing add-on. This is because the Charmsearching virus is designed to persist inside the Windows environment. It has a footprint at the level of the system’s Registry, adds its binary to the Startup programs list, and may as well create a scheduled task that executes the process at specified intervals. Follow the steps below to overcome these different vectors of persistence and get rid of this threat. Be advised that you’ll also need to apply fixes to the web browser affected by the pest – this article will also show you how.
Run security software to remove Charmsearching virus
Antimalware industry has got an efficient response to threats like Charmsearching. A combination of signature-based detection and heuristics built into the recommended security tool can accurately identify the plague so that removal becomes a simple, one-click experience.
Download and install Charmsearching remover. Once the tool is running, click Start Computer Scan.
- Upon completion of the scan, the program will display a list of harmful items that were detected. Select the Fix Threats feature in order to have the adware automatically removed.
Manually uninstall the malware using Programs and Features
- Access the Control Panel. Click on Programs and select Uninstall a program
- Click the Installed On column title to sort the list of programs by date, which makes it easier to spot the recent ones. Look for suspicious entries. If Charmsearching is listed (which isn’t always the case), select the program and hit the Uninstall button at the top, or select the corresponding option from the right-click context menu
Remove Charmsearching.com from the web browser
The technique covered below is intended to restore original settings of the browsers targeted by this adware. Please be advised that all benign add-ons as well as cached information and website data will be lost along with the malicious components.
Troubleshoot Google Chrome malfunctioning
- Go to the Chrome menu icon as shown below and pick Settings on the list
- Select Show advanced settings at the very bottom of the screen
- Click the Reset settings button
- Read the notification carefully to learn what types of data will be erased and click Reset
- Restart the Chrome browser.
Fix the problem in Mozilla Firefox
- Type about:support in address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page
- Click Refresh Firefox button in the right-hand grayish box
- Peruse the alert. If you agree to the changes, click Refresh Firefox
- Restart Firefox.
Restore Internet Explorer defaults
- Click Tools or Gear icon in IE and pick Internet Options from the suggested entries
- Go to Advanced tab and click Reset button
- Enable the Delete personal settings feature and click Reset to complete
- It takes a PC reboot for the changes to be applied, so go ahead and follow the prompts.
Put the finishing touches to Charmsearching virus removal
Adware activity isn’t restricted to adding malicious browser extensions and program files. These sorts of infections are known to also meddle with Registry information and system startup settings, consequently a thoroughgoing fix may involve more action than manual troubleshooting. So consider rescanning your PC to make sure the threat is no longer there.