Dark Home is a seemingly innocent browser extension that claims to provide “dark aesthetic” browser wallpapers and motivational quotes. However, our researchers have identified Dark Home as a browser hijacker, which makes unauthorized changes to your browser settings, including your homepage, default search engine, and new tab page. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Dark Home, explaining what it is, the potential dangers it poses, how it infects your computer, and ways to protect your system against it. We will also discuss how to identify Dark Home, its impact on your browsing experience, and why it’s essential to remove it.
What is Dark Home Browser Hijacker?
Dark Home presents itself as an extension that enhances your browser with aesthetic wallpapers and inspirational quotes. However, it operates as a browser hijacker, redirecting users to the search.dark-home-page.com fake search engine.
How Dark Home Operates
Browser hijackers like Dark Home alter your browser settings, changing your homepage, default search engine, and new tab page to promote specific websites. Dark Home replaces these settings with search.dark-home-page.com. When this extension is installed, web searches performed via the URL bar and new browser tabs/windows opened will result in redirects to the search.dark-home-page.com page.
It’s important to note that browser hijackers often employ techniques to make removal difficult and prevent browser settings from being easily restored.
Illegitimate Search Engine
The fake search engine, search.dark-home-page.com, does not provide genuine search results. Instead, it redirects users to legitimate search engines like Bing. However, the destination of these redirects can vary depending on factors such as user location.
Browser hijackers like Dark Home often have the capability to track your online activity, including visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, and even personal information. This data can be monetized by selling it to third parties, raising serious privacy concerns.
Dark Home Threat Summary:
- Name: Dark Home
- Threat Type: Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
- Browser Extension: Dark Home
- Promoted URL: search.dark-home-page.com
- Detection Names (search.dark-home-page.com): N/A
- Serving IP Address (search.dark-home-page.com): 184.108.40.206
- Affected Browser Settings: Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
- Symptoms: Manipulated Internet browser settings, forced visits to hijacker’s website, and usage of their search engine
- Distribution Methods: Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling)
- Damage: Internet browser tracking, display of unwanted ads, and redirects to suspicious websites
How Dark Home Installs on Your Computer
Dark Home can be found on its official promotional webpage, but it is also frequently promoted on deceptive or suspicious websites. Visitors to these sites may be redirected to Dark Home through rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or misspelled URLs.
Intrusive advertisements can also be a source of infection. Clicking on these ads can trigger downloads and installations without the user’s consent. Additionally, bundling, where software is packaged with unwanted or malicious additions, is another common method for distributing browser hijackers.
How to Avoid Installation of Browser Hijackers
To protect your system from browser hijackers like Dark Home, follow these preventive measures:
- Research Software: Before downloading or installing any software, research its legitimacy and source.
- Official Channels: Download software only from official and verified sources.
- Read Terms: Carefully read terms during installation, and choose the “Custom” or “Advanced” settings to opt out of additional apps, extensions, etc.
- Vigilance: Be vigilant while browsing and avoid clicking on intrusive or deceptive advertisements.
Removing Dark Home Browser Hijacker
If your computer is already infected with Dark Home, follow these steps to remove it:
- Uninstall Dark Home Extension: Go to your browser’s extension or add-ons page and uninstall the Dark Home extension.
- Reset Browser Settings: Reset your browser settings to their default values, including your homepage, default search engine, and new tab page.
- Use Anti-Malware Software: Perform a scan of your system with reputable anti-malware software to ensure any residual components of Dark Home are removed.
Dark Home may appear harmless, but it’s a browser hijacker that can disrupt your online experience and pose privacy risks. To protect your system, avoid suspicious downloads, be cautious while browsing, and regularly check your browser settings for any unauthorized changes. If you encounter Dark Home, follow the removal guide above to restore your browser’s settings and safeguard your online privacy.