The so-called “landing pages” involved in adware campaigns are typically harmless from the security stance, iStart123.com being no exception. It doesn’t render malicious scripts or drop exploits onto a computer, plus the design is pretty eye-catching. What tends to be imperceptible at first sight, though, is the software tailored to bring web traffic to that page – the app gets flagged as a Trojan or potentially unwanted executable in the scan reports by antivirus tools. How so?
The catalyst of this issue is a browser extension or similar type of helper object, which has a harsh influence on the way Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer works. Users don’t really install this add-on for whatever reason; instead, it mainly sticks to a tactic reminiscent of drive-by distribution. Some freeware programs that are affiliated with the adware are programmed to install the complementary item in not much of a straightforward fashion, namely by including iStart123 in the express setup option. Apps that are known to do this are New Player as well as some custom versions of Java Update and Adobe Flash Player. It is common knowledge that people are inclined to leave default installation terms unaltered, so the malware makers are unlikely to be short of unsuspecting “customers”.
While the above processes usually circumvent the user’s attention, what happens next is an awful nuisance. The uninvited extension goes ahead and changes the URL parameters for your homepage, also affecting the new tab page and search preferences. As you must have figured out, these settings get hijacked by iStart123.com. Visiting that web page is going to be a new non-stop mode of your browser’s operation, and you’ll find yourself stuck with this annoying state of things 24/7 until the adware gets exterminated. As it has been mentioned, iStart123.com is safe to navigate to, but is it any use? The page has got advertisements, icons linking to third-party services, and a search bar. If you type a query in there and hit Enter, the site will open a new tab with another search engine in it instead of returning results of its own. So Quick Start, which is how the website is labeled, appears to be nothing but an ad-stuffed hub for traffic redistribution – definitely not something you want to use on a constant basis. That being said, the instructions listed below will lend you a hand in iStart123 removal.
Automatic removal of iStart123 adware
The benefits of using the automatic security suite to get rid of this infection are obvious: it scans the entire system and detects all potential fragments of the virus, so you are a few mouse clicks away from a complete fix.
- Download and install recommended malware security suite
- Select Start Computer Scan feature and wait until the utility comes up with the scan report. Proceed by clicking on the Fix Threats button, which will trigger a thorough removal process to address all the malware issues compromising your computer and your privacy.
Get rid of iStart123 using Windows native uninstall feature
- Select Control Panel entry in the Windows Start menu. Go to Programs and Features (Windows 8), Uninstall a program (Windows Vista / Windows 7) or Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP)
- On the Uninstall or change a program screen, find the entry for iStart123 or any new application that looks suspicious. Select it and click Uninstall/Change
- Be advised this technique works well for the regular applications but might be inefficient for removing malicious programs.
Remove iStart123 adware from web browser
The workflow below is intended to eliminate malicious objects, such as add-ons or plugins, from the browsers that got impacted. Given the persistence-related features of this particular infection, the optimal workaround is to restore the affected browser’s settings to their original state. This will prevent the virus from further interfering with your preferences.
iStart123.com removal from Google Chrome
- Click the Chrome menu icon and select Settings
- When the Settings screen opens, find the link that says Show advanced settings and click on it
- Proceed by clicking on the Reset browser settings button
- For you to evade any unintended consequences of the reset, Chrome will display a note about the settings and fragments of browsing data that will be lost. Read the notification and click Reset in case you agree
- Restart Chrome.
iStart123.com removal from Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and select Troubleshooting Information on the Help drop-down list
- Locate the sub-section titled Reset Firefox to its default state and click on the Reset Firefox button to proceed
- Restart Firefox.
iStart123.com removal from MS Internet Explorer
- Select Internet Options under Tools in IE
- Select the Advanced tab on Internet Options screen and click on the Reset button
- The browser will now display the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog. Review the points on what the resetting includes. Activate the option saying Delete personal settings and click on the Reset button as shown on the image
- Restart Internet Explorer
Verify thoroughness of the removal
Having carried out the instructions above, add a finishing touch to the security procedure by running an additional computer scan to check for residual malware activity