Home Malware Programs Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) Freemium Toolbar and Search

Freemium Toolbar and Search

Posted: November 5, 2013

Threat Metric

Threat Level: 5/10
Infected PCs: 248
First Seen: November 5, 2013
Last Seen: June 10, 2022
OS(es) Affected: Windows

Freemium Toolbar and Search Screenshot 1The Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search is considered a Potentially Unwanted Program, which performs unwanted browser changes meant to force you to visit the Conduit.com search site. Although the Freemium 2 Toolbar's functions aren't threatening enough to make Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search equivalent to a threat, malware experts continue to see no benefits in letting a browser hijacker like the Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search choose where your browser goes. Rolling the Freemium 2 Toolbar's browser changes back does necessitate deleting the Freemium 2 Toolbar, although most good anti-malware programs shouldn't struggle with that simple request.

The Premium that Freemium Exacts from Your Browser

The Freemium 2 Toolbar is a browser add-on that is marketed as a benefit to your Web browser, but a close look at its meaningful functions quickly will allow you to ascertain the same thing that malware researchers did: that the Freemium 2 Toolbar is a barely-disguised browser hijacker. The Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search's browser hijacks are in line with those of other add-ons known to promote the Conduit search site, with changes to your search settings implemented, often through multiple browsers. A full installation of the Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search may redirect your searches from other sites to Conduit.com, whether or not you asked for it.

The usual installation method for Conduit toolbars, including the Freemium 2 Toolbar, is to use free software bundles that are downloaded through installers for unrelated products. Using the normal installation options also may install the Freemium 2 Toolbar, which is why malware experts always encourage reading through such options whenever applicable. With care, you may be able to unselect a Freemium 2 Toolbar installation. Alternately, most anti-malware and anti-adware scanners can detect the types of bundles that are used by Freemium 2 Toolbar and its cousins.

Getting Your Browser Free of a Freemium Hijacking Problem

Although Conduit.com isn't a site that distributes PC threats intentionally, letting a browser hijacker like the Freemium redirect you to it is less than a good idea for your browser's security. Even if you intentionally installed the Freemium 2 Toolbar, its browser changes don't benefit your computer, and malware researchers would consider deleting Freemium 2 Toolbar to be a net gain for your online safety. This same line of thought is just as relevant for other brands of toolbars besides the Freemium 2 Toolbar that also hijack your browser for Conduit.com's sake, such as the SuperFast PC Toolbar, the SparkleBox Toolbar, the Nana10 Toolbar, the OMG Music Toolbar, the BrowserPlus2 Toolbar, the Softtunes Search and Toolbar or the Swirlz Toolbar.

With most Conduit toolbars having histories that are full of details about failures to remove browser changes on the requests of their PC users, malware experts would consider it best to use updated anti-malware tools as the default uninstallation methods for a Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search. As a bonus, the same security tools useful for removing the Freemium 2 Toolbar and Freemium Search also can detect the bundles that Freemium 2 Toolbar may use for installation. However, steering wide of sites with browser hijacker-related histories still is better than letting your security software pick up after your own missteps online.

Technical Details

Registry Modifications

The following newly produced Registry Values are:

HKEY..\..\..\..{RegistryKeys}Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION\tb_Freemium_2_brff.exeSoftware\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION\tb_Freemium_EN1_brff.exe

Additional Information

The following directories were created: