Nature-Newtab Rogue Browser Extension

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While investigating suspicious websites, our research team came across a rogue browser extension called Nature-Newtab. This extension operates by modifying browser settings to promote the illegitimate search engine through redirects. Due to its behavior, Nature-Newtab is classified as a browser hijacker.

During our testing, Nature-Newtab altered the default search engine, homepage, and new tab/window URL of the browser to As a result, whenever we opened a new tab or entered a search query into the URL bar, we were redirected to

It is important to note that browser hijackers often establish persistence by blocking access to removal-related settings or by undoing changes made by the user.

Fake search engines like are incapable of generating search results on their own, so they redirect users to legitimate search websites. At the time of our research, redirected to Bing (, but it is worth considering that this may vary based on factors such as user geolocation.

Furthermore, Nature-Newtab possesses data-tracking capabilities. Browser hijackers typically gather various types of information, including visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, frequently visited websites, IP addresses (geolocation), internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, financial data, and more. This collected information can be monetized through sale to third parties.

How Can Fake Search Engines Cause Security and Privacy Issues?

Fake search engines can pose significant security and privacy risks. Here's how they can cause issues:

  • Malicious Redirects: Fake search engines often redirect users to potentially harmful or malicious websites. These websites may contain malware, phishing attempts, or scam pages that can compromise your system security.
  • Unauthorized Tracking: Fake search engines may employ tracking mechanisms to monitor your online activities without your consent. They can collect sensitive information such as your browsing history, search queries, clicked links, and other personally identifiable data. This invasion of privacy can lead to targeted advertising, identity theft, or the misuse of your personal information.
  • Unreliable Search Results: Fake search engines lack the algorithms and infrastructure of legitimate search engines, resulting in poor-quality search results. They may prioritize sponsored or irrelevant content, making it challenging to find accurate information. This can lead to wasted time, misinformation, or exposure to unreliable sources.
  • Data Leakage: Fake search engines can share or sell the collected user data to third parties without your knowledge or consent. This puts your sensitive information at risk and increases the likelihood of receiving targeted spam, unwanted marketing communications, or even falling victim to identity theft.
  • Browser Hijacking: Some fake search engines, as browser hijackers, take control of your browser settings. They may modify your homepage, default search engine, and new tab settings to maintain their presence and prevent easy removal. This interference can disrupt your browsing experience and make it challenging to restore your preferred settings.
May 25, 2023

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