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Searchkska.xyz virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Searchkska.xyz browser hijacker uses Trovi to deliver deceptive search results

Searchkska.xyz redirect virus

Searchkska.xyz virus is a version of Trovi browser hijacker[1] that meddles with browser’s settings without user’s knowledge. Typically, SearchKsKa browser hijacker changes homepage address to hxxp://Searchkska.xyz/ and sets the same URL as default search provider. The presence of this program is intolerable, so you should remove it from your PC as soon as you can.

Searchkska main page reminds a simple browser’s default page – it is entirely white, has a search box on it, and eight shortcuts to popular websites such as Facebook, Youtube, Yahoo, VK, Twitter, Wikipedia, eBay, and Amazon. Although these shortcuts are trustworthy, the search engine isn’t.

After making a search query via this search engine, the search query will be sent to trovi.com first, and only then the victim receives Bing search results. However, it is believed that these search results can be altered and filled with untrustworthy links leading to Trovi’s affiliate sites.

The bogus search engine causes URL redirections to drive traffic to particular websites and this way it functions as a tool that generates revenue for SearchKsKa developers. Unfortunately, our experience shows that results brought by such vague search tools are not trustworthy.

They may contain links that throw victims onto dubious sites asking to participate in scam surveys or install shady freeware. Even if you find some relevant information through the discussed search tool, you shouldn’t count on it at all times.

Another reason to remove SearchKsKa.xyz virus is the fact that it replaced your browser’s settings without your knowledge. The method used in its distribution is not considered illegal; however, it is very annoying. On top of that, we must add that the hijacker silently tracks victim as a user – it doesn’t target personally identifiable information, but it seeks to collect one’s IP address, search queries, browsing history, downloads, clicks, URLs of favorite sites and related information.

If you’d like to keep such information private, initiate SearchKsKa.xyz removal in the near future. If you can’t uninstall it from the system, allow Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware help you with that. In case you are determined to delete the hijacker manually, follow SearchKsKa.xyz removal guidelines we provide.

Our research shows that this browser hijacker rampages in US and France mostly. If you are a French-speaking computer user, we invite you to visit LesVirus.fr[2] site, which provides cyber security tips in your language.

The growing number of browser hijackers shows that users don’t know how to avoid installing them

Sadly, the majority of computer users install browser hijackers without realizing how dangerous these programs can be. Users often overlook statements about additional programs that will be installed alongside the main program, usually because they do not bother themselves reading information written in fine print.

The majority of users who experience a browser hijack start thinking that their computer was infected with a virus. In reality, these programs aren’t viruses – they belong to spyware category, and their distribution method (software bundling[3]) is legitimate. However, to avoid misunderstandings, we strongly recommend you to follow these rules whenever you decide to install a new program on your computer:

  • Download the software from legitimate web sources only. Do not rely on shady and untrustworthy Internet sites full of ads and misleading download buttons.
  • Do not rush during the installation of your chosen software. We strongly advise you to select Custom or Advanced option to install your download. Usually, these settings expand and provide the user with a list of extra software. The user then can choose which programs he wants to install and which ones he’d like to reject.

Remove Searchkska.xyz redirect virus

To prevent this browser hijacker from redirecting you to strange Internet sites, remove Searchkska.xyz virus today. You shouldn’t delay this task because this potentially unwanted program can put your privacy and security at risk, even if it is not malicious itself. If you or your relative decides to use Searchkska as a search tool, the probability of visiting a doubtful Internet site skyrockets.

If this browser hijacker changed your browser’s settings and now you do not know how to fix them, use Searchkska.xyz removal tutorial we provided. Clearly, you can use an automatic spyware removal software to complete this task easier.

You can remove Searchkska.xyz automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Searchkska.xyz virus you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Searchkska.xyz virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove Searchkska.xyz virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Searchkska.xyz from Windows systems

Uninstall all Trovi-related components – Search Protect, Searchkska, Conduit, Trovi and other suspicious programs from the system. Then, follow the provided instructions to clean compromised browser shortcuts. You must delete hxxp://Searchkska.xyz/ from them.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Searchkska.xyz and related programs
    Here, look for Searchkska.xyz or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Searchkska.xyz from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase Searchkska.xyz from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Searchkska.xyz or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Searchkska.xyz from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Searchkska.xyz and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Searchkska.xyz removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Searchkska.xyz virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Searchkska.xyz should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Searchkska.xyz from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To fix Firefox, you must remove Searchkska add-on from it. We also highly recommend deleting other vague extensions that you haven't installed by your choice.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Searchkska.xyz and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Searchkska.xyz removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Searchkska.xyz from Google Chrome

Delete Trovi extension, also Search Protect, Searchkska, and other dubious Chrome extensions. To find all of them, use the provided guidelines.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Searchkska.xyz and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Searchkska.xyz removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Searchkska.xyz from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Searchkska.xyz or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Searchkska.xyz, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Searchkska.xyz removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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