Home Malware Programs Browser Hijackers SparkleBox Toolbar

SparkleBox Toolbar

Posted: December 20, 2013

Threat Metric

Ranking: 17,013
Threat Level: 1/10
Infected PCs: 4,071
First Seen: December 23, 2013
Last Seen: October 17, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

SparkleBox Toolbar Screenshot 1The SparkleBox Toolbar is a general-purpose accessibility utility for Sparklebox education resources, but also a browser hijacker that redirects your browser to Conduit, a search site with a history of affiliating itself with PUPs with undesirable side effects. In addition to the SparkleBox Toolbar's personal failings, SparkleBox Teacher Resources Limited also has been connected to crimes, such as possession of underage pornography that are less than ideal for a company whose services are used in British schools. While malware experts don't classify the Sparklebox site as unsafe or SparkleBox Toolbar as a threat, you may want to devote some thought as to your interactions with the company, and some energy to removing the SparkleBox Toolbar – which, like any other browser hijacker, is a liability to your browser.

A Box Full of More Problems Than Sparkles

While cheerily-named and full of legitimate resources for classroom teaching purposes, the SparkleBox Toolbar also has some unusual associations that make the SparkleBox stand out, even among other disreputable toolbars. Like most Conduit-based toolbars, the SparkleBox Toolbar modifies your browser to redirect it to the Conduit.com search site, which is known for providing legitimate (if not necessarily flawlessly accurate) results. Most Conduit toolbars fail to offer extensive positive features, but even in the case of the SparkleBox Toolbar, which has real theoretical benefits, malware experts wouldn't recommend allowing a third party to choose how you search the Web.

While malware experts' analyses of Conduit.com toolbars normally conclude at that point, the SparkleBox Toolbar also merits some special considerations. The owner of its associated company, SparkleBox Teacher Resources Limited, previously was jailed on two separate instances for possession of child pornography. Online safety officials at the United Kingdom expressed reservations about the seemingly legitimate business due to, quote, 'worrying' levels of interactivity with students.

Dimming the Sparkle that Sparks Too Close for Comfort

Regardless of the usefulness of the resources available at the SparkleBox Toolbar's website, the circumstances of its company most likely merit some special consideration from any educators who are tempted to use its content. However, malware experts are, foremost and primarily, concerned with the nature of PC security, a tapestry in which the SparkleBox Toolbar plays the role of yet another needless browser hijacker. Third party programs that control your browser's own searching capabilities often are security risks, even if they don't intend to be so, and if nothing else, are violations of your ability to control your own computer.

The SparkleBox Toolbar currently is classified as a Potentially Unwanted Program or PUP, and removing the SparkleBox Toolbar from your browser doesn't require the same extensive efforts that would be needed versus a Trojan or other type of threats. On the other hand, malware experts do recommend using anti-malware tools to guarantee, as much as possible, that deleting a SparkleBox Toolbar also deletes its browser changes, which may not be fully reversed by other methods.

SparkleBox Toolbar Screenshot 2

Technical Details

Registry Modifications

The following newly produced Registry Values are:

File name without pathhttp_www.sparklebox.co.uk_0.localstoragehttp_www.sparklebox.co.uk_0.localstorage-journalHKEY..\..\..\..{RegistryKeys}SOFTWARE\Classes\Toolbar.CT340574Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Approved Extensions\{ca4eedb3-5719-4e27-a478-8d13f761c28d}Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\DOMStorage\www.sparklebox.co.uk

Additional Information

The following directories were created: