Hijacked browsers redirecting to hohosearch.com !

Is your browser redirecting your homepage to hohosearch dot com?

If yes, then your computer or browsers are infected by browser hijacker adware (Computer malware) hohosearch dot com. The situation would be as illustrated in below picture where some of the widely used browsers (for eg: Internet explorer, Mozilla firefox and google chrome) are hijacked by Adware or malware. The hijacker with happy face and affected end users with sad face as he might go through lot of problems on his computer until we completely remove this malware from system.

Note: Please note, in this article we have used hohosearch dot com to refer actual problematic adware search engine URL.

Browser Hijacker hohosearch malware

This is a browser hijacker adware that will replace your homepage which you configured on browser settings or your default homepage in to hohosearch.com page which will redirect you to sponsored link that may be unsafe. If you see such symptoms stop browsing until you can delete hohosearch.com completely.

This malware usually installs without user knowledge as these kind of malwares bundled with another file and put the package up for download.

Eg:- for this would be a movie download torrents. When the file is downloaded such downloads may show you file extensions as .exe files which is first hint to help you identify as this is not normal movie file download. You have to delete such files at this point itself. In case if you gone ahead and ran these kind of files the Adware/malwares can hijack your browsers and may infect system with other malwares which might be dangerous.

If your system is affected by hoho search engine malware when you begin to use chrome, Internet explorer, or Mozilla firefox browsers, you will usually redirected to hohosearch engine website which looks very basic search engine website. This website might have some links for other adwares. In some cases your computers behave slower due to this infection.

How to remove hohosearch dot com from your browser homepage?

Step 1: Stop browsing or working on your bookmarked sites until we remove this malware completely from the system. This is to avoid further infection and to avoid unauthorized tracking of your browsing history which might occur.

Step 2: Go to control panel by typing following commands or through programs

Start ==> Run ==> control panel

Look for Hohosearch program and the programs which got installed on that particular day without your intervention or knowledge. Uninstall each and every program. Restart the machine

This is not the only step which will help you to get rid of this browser hijacker adware. We have to follow below next steps in order to completely remove this malware from the system.

Step 3: Now we will have to work on browsers to clean them with this infection. First open Internet explorer browser which will re-direct you to hohosearch engine website. No problems. Follow the below next steps

Go to Internet options [As shown in below screenshots], you might see your homepage for IE got changed from your custom homepage or from default homepage to hohosearch com

Hoho Malware IE Cleanup

Remove that entry or select option “Reset to default”. The homepage will be reconfigured to default.

Delete the entire browsing history. Then click on “Programs Tab of Internet options” and select “Manage Add-ins” to see if any unwanted browser Add-ins got installed. If you find any suspicious ones remove them. Click on Advance tab of internet options and reset the internet explorer

Hoho Malware IE Cleanup1

Step 4:  For firefox browser, Enable menu bar and delete all history as shown in below screenshots

Right click on browser title bar and enable “Menu Bar” ==> Go to “History” tab and select option to clear recent browsing history

From dropdown select option “Everything” to delete from History and click on Clear now.

Hoho Malware Firefox Cleanup

Step 5: Possibly uninstall the Mozilla firefox browser and reinstall. The chances are you might see this malware again on firefox browser that means we still have some re-mediates of this infection which needs to be cleaned. Move to next steps

Step 6: For Google chrome browser, go to settings as shown in below screenshots.

Hoho Malware Google Chrome Settings

On startup tab options click on “Set pages” and then delete all unwanted and suspicious malware URL links as shown in below screenshot

Hoho Malware Google Chrome Cleanup

Under “Search” options click on “Manage Search Engines”, delete suspicious and unwanted search engines and make Google or your custom webpage url as your default homepage.

 

Step 7: Go at the end of Google browser settings and click on “Reset settings” which will reset your browser settings. Go back to browsers settings button again ==> Click on More tools ==>Extensions

Remove unwanted and suspicious extensions.

Hoho Malware Google Chrome Extensions Cleanup1

Step 8:  Now the main step. How to remove hohosearch dot com from your Registry?

Steps are here..

Start ==> Regedit ==>from Edit menu click on “Find” or “Find next” ==> Enter the search string as “hohosearch” or “hoho” or “hohosearch dot com” and you may see below registry entries

Delete these reg-entries by having a backup of your registry as an safer side i.e by mistakenly if you delete any genuine reg key and if your windows got affected you can try importing the Reg key backup in safemode of windows to correct that issue and this is considered as one of the Best practices while we work on windows registry troubleshooting.

For reference on how to take windows registry backup and restore procedure you can follow the steps given in following Microsoft knowledge base article
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/322756

Check below screenshot and registry paths shown which may help you to find registry entries of this browser hijacker

Hoho Malware

Hoho Malware1

Hoho Malware2

Hoho Malware3

Step 9: Now next step is to clean-up your windows start-up settings. To do this try below steps

Go to Run command by click on Start ==> Run ==> Type msconfig ==> Click on Startup ==> Remove suspicious programs from your startup list

Step 10: Now finally last but not the least check if there are any unwanted or suspicious windows tasks shown up under Task scheduler which we can see through computer management

Start ==> My computer or this pc ==> Right click and select manage or computer management
If there are any unwanted or suspicious tasks you find, delete them by selecting the delete option.

[Please note below screenshot just for reference and do not contain any malware affected tasks]

Task Manager

Hope the information shared above helps. These just few of the steps which we can try to remove the hohosearch dot com adware malware and may not include all the steps. If you have tried all above steps and if the issue still not resolved then the best recommendation from my side is to contact your system admin or your antivirus support team and they shall be able to help further. I personally do not recommend downloading any 3rd party antivirus or clean up utility as we may not be sure on those programs and may fall in to bigger problems.

Finally would like to say Be safe, Browse safe, Be Alert and you will be most Happy like….

Malwarefree User with smili

 

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