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Remove SportStreamSearch (Free Instructions) - Virus Removal Guide

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Browser Hijackers

SportStreamSearch is one of the PUPs that should be removed from the list of Chrome Web Store offers

SportStreamSearch virus SportStreamSearch used to be offered on Chrome Web Store

SportStreamSearch is a free extension for the Google Chrome web browser that claims to filter search results and provide the latest sports-related news in an easy-to-obtain manner. However, it's yet another misleading extension that targets to alter web search results and make people visit sponsored websites. 

According to researchers, the SportStreamSearch is a type of Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) known as a browser hijacker. There are several grounds for suchlike classification, including controversial distribution technique (Chrome Web Store and freeware packages), unauthorized alterations of Chrome's settings (the push of the feed.sportstream-search.com and portal.sportstream-search.com engines), promotion of sponsored content, and questionable data recording methods. 

Summary of SportStreamSearch
Type Browser hijacker
Sub-type Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)[1]
Compatibility Can be installed on any OS type (Windows, Mac, Android, Linux). However, it is aimed at Google Chrome users, so other web browsers are not likely to be affected
Distribution Two ways have been discovered – direct download from Chrome Web Store and indirect download via freeware packages ('bundling')
Symptoms If the extension gets installed, Chrome's settings are automatically altered, i.e. feed.sportstream-search.com or portal.sportstream-search.com is set as a default start page. Search provider replaced by sponsored Yahoo site, SportStreamSearch extension and related quick access links positioned on the web browser's start page
Main dangers The site is used for the creation of artificial web traffic. It belongs to the group of monetization platforms that display sponsored content to make the money. However, it may present users with potentially dangerous sites that may record personal information or spread malware
Elimination The extension can be deleted manually from the web browser's extension list. However, if you installed it via freeware, then the automatic removal option is recommended to delete PUPs from the system
Regularly scanning the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego utility may ensure a smooth system's performance

SportStreamSearch virus and how to remove it are the prevailing options on various cybersecurity-related forums. The classification of this extension as a “virus” is not suitable as it will not harm the machine, nor steal credentials. Nevertheless, the extension is controversial due to intrusive browser-based activities that may be initiated behind users' backs. 

This sports-themed application belongs to the group of browser hijacker and stands in the line with the following search sites:

All the listed search sites are identical. They have built-in features, including PDF Converter, Currency Converter, Crypto Converter, Calculator and allows adding links to favorite sites. While the behavior and style of this search hijacker initially may seem useful, most of the users uninstall SportStreamSearch virus less than a week after its install. 

SportStreamSearch extensionSportStreamSearch is a free extension classified as PUP due to intrusive behavior during people's web browsing

The main reason why SportStreamSearch removal is initiated so soon is related to the automatic browser's redirects, advertising, and delivery of pre-selected search results. This extension is free just because third parties sponsor it. In exchange for the sponsorship, the search is presented to users with pre-selected third-party content. As explained in the Terms section:

You acknowledge that we have no control over and assume no responsibility for Third Party Content. You assume all responsibility and risk in connection with your use of Third Party Content and we hereby disclaim any and all liability to you or any third party in connection thereto. We have no obligation to examine, review or monitor Third Party Content and are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, appropriateness or legality of Third Party Content.

In short, if the user downloads the SportStreamSearch PUP, it automatically replaces the default start page and search site with portal.sportstream-search.com or feed.portalstream-search.com. As a consequence, the search can subsequently transmit altered search results that contain links to third-party sites and generate sponsored pop-up ads. The most important aspect is that the developers of the extension are not examining or reviewing the displayed content, thus there's a high risk of malicious SportStreamSearch redirects to hacked or phishing sites. 

Besides, this controversial extension can be used for creating statistics about people's browsing habits. For this purpose, it can inject tracking cookies and web beacons into Chrome and start recording search queries, web preferences, advertising content clicked on, IP address, geolocation, and similar. To prevent the leakage of such information, you should initiate undelayed SportStreamSearch removal. 

SportStreamSearch adsSportStreamSearch fills search results with sponsored content

If you have been trying to remove SportStreamSearch virus, but every attempt ends up in failure because the search reappears upon Chrome's restart, it means that some related extensions or adware haven't been eliminated successfully. In this case, we recommend using an updated anti-malware program and then reset the default web browser's settings. 

In case you noticed that upon SportStreamSearch malware download and subsequent removal web browser's performance diminished, the CPU usage of the machine jumps from high to low and vice versa, try scanning the system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego tool to ensure its full optimization. 

Additional downloads can be overlooked during freeware installation

The tools like browser's extensions, toolbars, add-ons, or similar are often distributed on Chrome Web Store or Google Play Store[2]. However, these sources have been accused of poor app monitoring and common distribution of PUPs, so it's not advisable to trust these legitimate download sites blindly. 

SportStreamSearch hijack SportStreamSearch is a browser hijacker that alters the browser's settings and prevents the user from resetting the changes

However, programs that belong to the group of potentially unwanted programs most frequently are installed as “optional downloads” alongside freeware. They may not be disclosed in a proper manner to trick people into installing them unconsciously. To prevent this from happening, users should choose the Advanced or Custom installation method of freeware and opt-out of all additional components before finishing the process. 

Delete SportStreamSearch extension from Chrome and reset the settings to disable related search sites

Dieviren.de[3] researchers recommend SportStreamSearch removal due to several risks that it poses. First of all, it may display potentially dangerous content prepared by third parties, which is not monitored by anyone and can easily be used for malware distribution. Second of all, it may record users' browsing history and collect some pieces of personal details, such as email address, IP address, location, and similar behind your back. 

SportStreamSearch installation SportStreamSearch installation is often initiated accidentally if it is spread via freeware as "optional download"

Luckily, it's not difficult to remove SportStreamSearch virus. You can either investigate the system and uninstall all suspicious apps from the machine or take advantage of a professional anti-malware utility that will do the job for you. If you have decided to clean your machine manually, the tutorial submitted below can help you. 

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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To remove SportStreamSearch, follow these steps:

Erase SportStreamSearch from Windows systems

Find a free manual SportStreamSearch removal tutorial below and take advantage of it if you have decided to clean the system without help.

  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 SportStreamSearch and related programs
    Here, look for SportStreamSearch 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 SportStreamSearch 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.

Uninstall SportStreamSearch from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove SportStreamSearch from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for SportStreamSearch-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove SportStreamSearch, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to SportStreamSearch and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the SportStreamSearch-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of SportStreamSearch from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for SportStreamSearch and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete SportStreamSearch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Remove SportStreamSearch from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the SportStreamSearch-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Eliminate SportStreamSearch from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 SportStreamSearch 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 SportStreamSearch removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Delete SportStreamSearch from Google Chrome

Chrome users who keep receiving search results from portal.sportstream-search.com engine, which contain sponsored Yahoo entries should restore browser's settings this way:

  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 SportStreamSearch 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 SportStreamSearch removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase SportStreamSearch 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 SportStreamSearch 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 SportStreamSearch, 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 SportStreamSearch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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