Thai Wallpaper Browser Extension
While exploring untrustworthy websites, our research team identified the Thai Wallpaper extension, which claims to showcase browser wallpapers featuring Thailand. Upon closer inspection, we determined that this software functions as a browser hijacker. It alters browser settings and directs users to the fake search engine searchthaiwallpaper.com through redirects.
Browser hijackers typically change default search engines, homepages, and URLs for new tabs/windows. Thai Wallpaper follows this pattern, causing new browser tabs/windows and entered search queries to redirect to the searchthaiwallpaper.com site.
Fake search engines usually lack the ability to provide genuine search results, leading to redirection to legitimate search sites. During our research, searchthaiwallpaper.com redirected to a legitimate search engine, but the destination could vary based on factors like user geolocation.
It's important to note that browser-hijacking software often employs mechanisms to persistently maintain control and prevent users from restoring their browsers to their original settings.
Moreover, Thai Wallpaper likely possesses data-tracking capabilities, collecting information such as visited URLs, viewed pages, search queries, Internet cookies, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, and financial data. This gathered information may be shared with or sold to third parties.
What Are Browser Hijackers?
Browser hijackers are a type of unwanted software or malware that alters the settings of a web browser without the user's consent. These changes are typically made to the browser's homepage, default search engine, new tab page, or other settings. The primary goal of browser hijackers is often to redirect web traffic, display unwanted advertisements, or track users' online activities.
Here are key characteristics and behaviors associated with browser hijackers:
- Homepage and Search Engine Modification: Browser hijackers commonly change the default homepage and search engine of a web browser. Users may find themselves directed to a different website when they open a new browser window or conduct a search.
- Unwanted Redirects: Users may experience unexpected and frequent redirects to specific websites, often advertising or phishing sites. These redirects interfere with the user's normal browsing experience.
- Changes to New Tab Pages: Some browser hijackers modify the behavior of new tab pages, replacing them with custom pages that display ads, sponsored content, or other unwanted material.
- Injected Advertisements: Browser hijackers may inject additional advertisements into web pages that users visit, leading to an increase in the display of pop-ups, banners, or other types of ads.
- Sluggish Performance: The presence of a browser hijacker can result in slower browser performance and increased system resource usage, as the hijacker may run background processes.
- Unauthorized Installations: Browser hijackers may be bundled with other software and installed without the user's knowledge or explicit consent. Users often unintentionally install these hijackers when downloading and installing seemingly legitimate applications.