Home Malware Programs Adware Softtunes Search and Toolbar

Softtunes Search and Toolbar

Posted: December 24, 2013

Threat Metric

Threat Level: 5/10
Infected PCs: 215
First Seen: December 30, 2013
Last Seen: May 2, 2022
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The Softtunes Search and Toolbar is one of the newer cases of a toolbar that seems to be helping your PC when its real intent is to redirect your traffic to other sites that benefit it – such as the all-too-frequently-promoted Conduit.com search engine. Conduit toolbars like the Softtunes Search and Toolbar typically have little of benefit to offer their host PCs, and the Softtunes Search and Toolbar doesn't make too much effort to detach itself from its pack, in that regard. Malware researchers don't consider the Softtunes Search and Toolbar to be a threat, but deleting a Softtunes Search and Toolbar still should be put under strong consideration for keeping your browser optimized, safe and under your control.

The Toolbar Tune that Lures You to Alternative Search Sites

The Softtunes Search and Toolbar may seem like a program interested in providing your Web browser with musically-inclined features, but the Softtunes Search and Toolbar actually is a basic disguise for a common form of browser hijacker that often is seen in many different brands. Other brands of toolbars that malware researchers have seen implemented in a fashion similar to the Softtunes Search and Toolbar include the Nana10 Toolbar, the BrowserPlus2 Toolbar, the Crizbuzz Toolbar, the Swirlz Toolbar, the Systweak Toolbar and the Oscar Delta Toolbar. Like the Softtunes Search and Toolbar, all of these PUPs are invested in promoting the Conduit website's search engine.

Conduit.com, a search that provides legitimate (but not necessarily superior) search results, often uses affiliated toolbars as a means of getting 'free' traffic. The Softtunes Search and Toolbar and its relatives cause this traffic by making changes to your Web browser's settings to lock your search engine, and sometimes your homepage, to the Conduit website. These changes can be reversed through your Web browser, and malware experts have emphasized that only deleting the Softtunes Search and Toolbar in its entirely will restore normal behavior to your browser.

Why You Shouldn't Go Soft on the Softtunes Search and Toolbar

The Softtunes Search and Toolbar isn't a virus or a Trojan, but the Softtunes Search and Toolbar certainly can be considered a browser hijacker that takes over your browser and manipulates its behavior in ways that aren't beneficial to you. Usually, malware researchers have little hesitation in recommending the deletion of PUPs, particularly toolbar-based hijackers like the Softtunes Search and Toolbar. Any limited features that you may find of value from the Softtunes Search and Toolbar should be available from other sources that aren't inclined to choose your own Web destinations without your own input.

Even though the Softtunes Search and Toolbar isn't a threat, anti-malware products usually are equipped with general databases capable of identifying Potentially Unwanted Programs, allowing for the easy removal of PUPs. Before you rush towards deleting Softtunes Search and Toolbar, you also may want to consider using Safe Mode and other security features that can improve the success rate of your anti-malware tools. Malware researchers particularly recommend this when the Softtunes Search and Toolbar has been installed through methods that haven't requested your consent, which is a typical symptom of a potential infection.

Technical Details

Registry Modifications

The following newly produced Registry Values are:

HKEY..\..\..\..{RegistryKeys}Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions\{5c5adeac-3964-400e-a03e-2ddf16e3dbd1}Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION\tb_Softtunes.exeSOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\{5c5adeac-3964-400e-a03e-2ddf16e3dbd1}SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks\{5c5adeac-3964-400e-a03e-2ddf16e3dbd1}SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\{5c5adeac-3964-400e-a03e-2ddf16e3dbd1}

Additional Information

The following directories were created:
%APPDATA%\Softtunes%LOCALAPPDATA%\NativeMessaging\CT3309769%LocalAppData%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\dniehdcacmoackkldhhapdmljohmbcgi%PROGRAMFILES%\Softtunes%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%\Softtunes%Temp%\CT3324187%USERPROFILE%\AppData\LocalLow\Softtunes