What is Informationvine.com? And how does it function?
Informationvine.com is a browser extension that allegedly functions as a search engine. It is developed by Ask Media Group. It may seem like a legitimate search engine, but it’s not. In fact, it is classified as a browser hijacker and a PUP. It can hijack the default settings in a browser which changes the default search provider, homepage, and new tab page. These alterations are done without any consent from users which makes it questionable. It affects lots of browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, IE, and many more.
If infected, your browsers’ settings will be altered. You can’t trust its search results since Informationvine.com modifies them and is only after giving you sponsored content in the form of ads and pop-ups to generate profit from pay-per click marketing. Links that are shown in its search results can be deceptive and cause redirects to suspicious sites that is not relevant to your search query. Some of these sites can be suspicious and may offer you unwanted programs that can cause bigger problems to your computer.
“We may use your personal information to deliver relevant advertisements to you and measure the effectiveness of the advertising we serve to you. It is in our legitimate interest to provide more relevant and interesting advertising messages and inform our marketing strategy. We may use automated decision-making to deliver tailored advertisements based on your personal information. Where necessary, we will obtain your consent before sending such marketing messages.”
How is Informationvine.com distributed over the web?
Another reason why Informationvine.com is considered as a PUP is because it is distributed through software bundles. This kind of distribution technique allows several programs to be bundled. Most of these bundled packages often contain legitimate software, however, it may also contain unwanted programs like Informationvine.com. it is no surprise that most users opt for the quick installation process instead of the Custom or Advanced one. Cyber criminals take advantage of that fact that’s why they keep on inserting their infected programs to these bundles to infiltrate your computer. To get around this kind of trick, make sure that from now on, you only install programs using the Custom or Advanced option.
To stop repetitious redirects to Informationvine.com and to continue browsing the web safely, be sure to follow the removal instructions below:
Step 1: First, you have to close the browser infected with the browser hijacker. And if you can’t close it manually, you can close it using the Task Manager instead. Tap the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and open the Task Manager.
Step 2: Next, look for the process of your browser, right click on it and select End task or End process to close it.
Step 3: Afterwards, tap the Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box and type “appwiz.cpl” in the field and press Enter to open the Programs and Features in Control Panel.
Step 4: From the list of programs installed, look for any programs that could be related to Informationvine.com or any suspicious program you don’t remember installing under the list of installed programs and once you’ve found it, uninstall it.
Step 5: After that, restart your computer and then open your browsers and reset them back to their default state.
- Open Google Chrome, then tap the Alt + F keys.
- After that, click on Settings.
- Next, scroll down until you see the Advanced option, once you see it, click on it.
- After clicking the Advanced option, go to the “Restore and clean up option and click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option to reset Google Chrome.
- Now restart Google Chrome.
- Open Mozilla Firefox and tap Ctrl + Shift + A to access the Add-ons Manager.
- In the Extensions menu Remove the unwanted extension.
- Restart the browser and tap keys Alt + T.
- Select Options and then move to the General menu.
- Overwrite the URL in the Home Page section and then restart the browser.
- Launch Internet Explorer.
- Next, click the wrench icon for Settings.
- Then click Internet Options.
- After that, go to the Advanced tab.
- From there, click the Reset button. This will reset Internet Explorer’s settings to their default condition.
- Now click OK to save the changes made.
- Restart your computer.
Step 6: Edit your Hosts File.
- Tap the Win + R keys to open then type in %WinDir% and then click OK.
- Go to System32/drivers/etc.
- Open the hosts file using Notepad.
- Delete all the entries that contain Informationvine.com.
- After that, save the changes you’ve made and close the file.
Step 7: Now you have to flush the DNS cache of your computer. To do so, right click on the Start button and click on Command Prompt (administrator). From there, type the “ipconfig /flushdns” command and hit Enter to flush the DNS.
Step 8: Hold down Windows + E keys simultaneously to open File Explorer.
Step 9: Navigate to the following directories and look for suspicious files associated to the browser hijacker such as the software bundle it came with and delete it/them.
Step 10: Close the File Explorer and empty the contents of Recycle Bin.
Refer to the advanced instructions given below to ensure the removal of this browser hijacker from your computer as well as all the file residues it left behind.
Perform a full system scan using [product-code]. To do so, follow these steps:
- Turn on your computer. If it’s already on, you have to reboot it.
- After that, the BIOS screen will be displayed, but if Windows pops up instead, reboot your computer and try again. Once you’re on the BIOS screen, repeat pressing F8, by doing so the Advanced Option shows up.
- To navigate the Advanced Option use the arrow keys and select Safe Mode with Networking then hit
- Windows will now load the Safe Mode with Networking.
- Press and hold both R key and Windows key.
- If done correctly, the Windows Run Box will show up.
- Type in the URL address, [product-url] in the Run dialog box and then tap Enter or click OK.
- After that, it will download the program. Wait for the download to finish and then open the launcher to install the program.
- Once the installation process is completed, run [product-code] to perform a full system scan.
- After the scan is completed click the “Fix, Clean & Optimize Now” button.