Employing sophisticated methods for infecting computers, iStartSurf has gotten on the list of the prevalent adware threats within a short period of time. These out-of-the-ordinary propagation schemes, unauthorized changes made to the compromised system, and recommendations regarding the ways to get rid of iStartSurf hijacker are the things you will find in this article.
Maintaining full control of web browsing preferences is every user’s inalienable prerogative – as long as they are uninfected with malicious software. The programs capable of changing this status quo are known as adware; these apps target specifically the essential browser settings so as to rearrange the way web traffic is routed from the PC. There are unfortunately loads of such entities lurking on the Internet nowadays, iStartSurf being both fairly typical and unique at the same time. Its typicality consists in the unauthorized modifications it makes to the affected machine, namely the custom browsing settings. As a result, you find yourself stuck with iStartSurf.com as your homepage, default search engine, new tab page, and the site being resolved when random applications get launched. The latter side effect is caused by the adware twisting shortcut settings across the system by adding the alien URL to the Target parameter.
The uniqueness of this infection has to do with how it spreads: whereas most adware applications bundle with legitimate third-party software, iStartSurf is often part of spoof updates. This approach is largely based on the use of misleading web pages stating that Google Chrome is out of date, the likely outcome being the user starting the update process and letting the bad stuff inside. Incidentally, iStartSurf is going to be accompanied by other malicious items in this case, such as Wajam.
Because of the activity described above, a new add-on gets installed in IE, Chrome and Firefox on the PC. The iStartSurf.com web page, the home site for this adware, is hence going to become your ‘favorite’ without getting the respective consent from you. It is essentially a search engine, at least on the outside, but any actual search is readdressed to a different provider, which clearly hints at the adware’s main objective being to display ads on the landing page proper: a few banners and Popular Sites icons linking to third-party services. This is basically an affiliate based model where the authors of iStartSurf get paid for the traffic.
The necessity to exterminate this adware is out of the question if it’s inside your computer. In doing this, you can’t go by the simple add-on uninstall rules because iStartSurf recovers its own settings in the long run. The fix that will actually make this virus go away is described below, so study the instructions carefully and put the whole cleanup process into practice.
iStartSurf adware automatic removal
Elimination of the iStartSurf.com virus can be efficiently accomplished through the use of reliable security software. Sticking to the automatic cleanup technique ensures that all components of the adware get thoroughly wiped out from your system.
1. Download recommended security utility and get your PC checked for malicious objects by selecting the Start Computer Scan option
2. The scan will come up with a list of detected items. Click Fix Threats to get iStartSurf removed from your system. Completing this phase of the cleanup process will most likely lead to complete eradication of the infection. However, it might be a good idea to consider ascertaining the malware is gone for good.
Remove iStartSurf virus using Control Panel
- Open Control Panel. On Windows XP / Windows 8, go to Add or Remove Programs. If your OS is Windows Vista / Windows 7, choose Uninstall a program
- Look for all apps associated with iStartSurf on the list (iStartSurf proper, SoftwareUpdate, WPM, GlobalUpdate, HQPure, supWPM) and click Uninstall/Change option to get those exterminated
Remove iStartSurf adware from Firefox
- In order to restore your correct Firefox preferences, type about:config in the browser’s address field and press Enter
- Confirm that you would like to proceed by clicking on “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button on the alert that pops up
- In the field called Search, type istartsurf
- Firefox will display all preferences related to iStartSurf adware. Be sure to right-click on each item and select the Reset option
- To remove iStartSurf from the list of Firefox search engines, access the Manage Search Engines box
- Highlight the iStartSurf entry on the list and click Remove button. Save the changes by hitting OK
- Since Firefox shortcut parameters gets affected by this infection as well, right-click on the shortcut and choose Properties. Then proceed to Shortcut tab and delete http://www.istartsurf.com/… from the Target field. Save the changes
Remove iStartSurf from Internet Explorer
- In IE, go to Tools and choose Manage Add-ons option in the drop-down menu
- Select Search Providers in the left-hand part of the interface. In the field to the right, choose the preferred search engine and click on Set as default button at the bottom
- On the same screen, remove iStartSurf from the list by highlighting it and clicking the Remove button
- To debug your Internet Explorer shortcut settings, right-click on it and select Properties
- Go to Shortcut tab and delete http://www.istartsurf.com/… from the area named Target. Save the changes you made
- Now you need to set the correct IE homepage. Go to Tools and choose Internet Options. Hit the General tab and type in or paste the homepage you would like to open at browser launch
Remove iStartSurf from Google Chrome
- Click the Chrome menu icon in the top right-hand part of the Chrome window
- Select Settings in the drop-down list
- Proceed to the section called On startup under Settings, select the radio button for Open a specific page or set of pages option and click on Set pages link
- On the Startup pages screen that pops up, find the one that has iStartSurf in its URL and click the X button to the right
- Proceed to the Search section under Settings, select Manage search engines option. Find and delete iStartSurf from the list. Also, select your preferred search provider
- Under the Appearance section, put a checkmark for the Show Home button value and click Change
- Activate the Use the New Tab page radio button and save the changes by hitting OK at the bottom
- Now, in order to correct your Chrome shortcut settings, right-click on the shortcut icon and choose Parameters. Click on the Shortcut tab at the top and erase the http://www.istartsurf.com/… part from the Target field. Save the changes you made
Recheck if iStartSurf.com virus has been successfully removed
For certainty’s sake, it’s advised to repeatedly run a scan with the automatic security software in order to make sure no harmful remnants of iStartSurf adware are left inside Windows Registry and other system locations