Definition

browser hijacker (hijackware)

A browser hijacker (sometimes called hijackware) is a type of malware program that alters your computer's browser settings so that you are redirected to Web sites that you had no intention of visiting. Most browser hijackers alter default home pages and search pages to those of their customers, who pay for that service because of the traffic it generates. More virulent versions often: add bookmarks for pornographic Web sites to the users' own bookmark collection; generate pornographic pop-upadware and spyware, a browser hijacker may be installed as part of freeware installation. In this case, the browser hijacker is probably mentioned in the user agreement -- although, obviously, not identified as a browser hijacker. The problem is that users typically either ignore the fine print or only give it a cursory reading. A browser hijacker may also be installed without user permission, as the result of an infected e-mail, a file share, or a drive-by download. To avoid contamination, experts advise users to read user agreements carefully, and to be cautious about freeware downloads and e-mail messages from unknown sources.

Also see other forms of hijacking.

This was last updated in December 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Email Alerts

Register now to receive SearchSecurity.com-related news, tips and more, delivered to your inbox.
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

More News and Tutorials

Do you have something to add to this definition? Let us know.

Send your comments to techterms@whatis.com

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: