start.infospace.com has hijacked my browser


  1. kevlar77

    kevlar77 New Member

    i have no idea how this happened

    i have had this phone for a week, and i just noticed that start.infospace.com has completely hijaked my browser. it set the homepage, default search, EVERYTHING to this website.

    i've run airpush detector and several anti-virus programs and they have found nothing.

    how do i get rid of this and why did this happen?

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  2. Blok88

    Blok88 New Member

    i have the same thing going on for me too, if you find out why please post back
  3. kevlar77

    kevlar77 New Member

    I figured it out. Might not be a permanent fix but so far so good.

    Just go into your browser settings and select the "Reset to Default" option at the bottom of the settings list. This will revert everything back to its factory setting for the browser.
    Nicky69 likes this.
  4. Antakar

    Antakar Well-Known Member

    I have the same. I also have a shortcut on one of the desktops. It is a blue icon with a magnifying glass on it.

    I have no clue where it came from!

    I think it is important to get to the bottom of this and find out what application put it.

    Can be malicious.
  5. milliamp

    milliamp New Member

    I think this little gem came with "MP3 Downloader Pro"
    I also started getting notification popups after installing it. I removed the app but the "search" shortcut is still there and there is likely malware that remains somewhere on the phone.

    When I go into browser settings I see the start page set to "searchmobileonline.com" with some junk that redirects me to start.infospace.com

    I found another post about it here: http://www.transformerforums.com/fo...-im-new-i-have-problem-unknown-ghost-app.html

    The guy in the thread tried a lot of things and someone else ended up just doing a factory reset of their phone to get rid of it because AVG did't pick it up.

    I'll try to do some more research into it if I can.
    b0ldy69 likes this.
  6. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    Advertising companies like AirPush let devs put addons in (free) apps which push spam notifications in the notification bar and shortcuts with spam apps on the screen.

    http://www.airpush.com/developers

    Run 'Addons Detector' and 'AirPush Detector' to find out when one of these AirPush addons is in one of your free apps.
    With 'Addons Detector' use the filter 'Push Notifications'.

    Harry
    Antakar likes this.
  7. Logan47

    Logan47 Disabled

    This also appeared on my Galaxy S2. I run Go launcher and the icon was not on any of my home screens until I exited to touchwiz default and there it was. I had just updated several apps so it may have been from one of them. They were; ebay, QR droid, google search (goggles) and argos. Did not seem to have done anything to my browser but not sure how long it had been there, possibly minutes. Guess I would not have noticed if I had not briefly gone back to touchwiz.

    edit;
    it did indeed hijack my browser. I am using dolphin and forgot it would be the default browser affected. Even after resetting to default, it clearly shows original homepage but still reverts back to the hijack page. Might just do that reset if it won't clear.
    edit 2;
    well, I forced stopped the internet app from settings, applications, cleared data, cleared cache, disabled connections, wifi, then added in google as startup page then re-enabled and it seems ok now.
  8. Antakar

    Antakar Well-Known Member

    I installed both apps, they both say that i dont have any notification ad apps.

    Nothing.

    I still would like to pinpoint the app that installed that search...
  9. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    So maybe a new kind of culprit :(
    Or the culprit app is gone (in the meantime uninstalled or modified with an update).
    Remainig is only that simple shortcut with the search icon with doesn't give any hint of the culprit.

    It is a shortcut to a web page, isn't it? Did you try it?

    Edit: Found more info ...
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/245305/sneaky_mobile_ads_invade_android_phones.html

    Harry
    Antakar and UncleVanya like this.
  10. Aaron Danger

    Aaron Danger New Member

    I found this same ad lodged in my notification bar after installing "true or false quiz". It didn't appear until after I played the game for the first time.

    I DID however get rid of both the app and the unwanted notification add by simply by doing the following:

    Settings> Manage Apps> Downloaded> True or false quiz

    **Once here, MAKE SURE U "CLEAR DATA" BEFORE UNINSTALLING.**

    Then uninstall the program (mine was the true or false quiz) you feel that the unwanted adware came with and it shouldn't appear again, hopefully this will save you from an unnecessary factory reset! Good luck!!
    Harry2 likes this.
  11. nstavarski

    nstavarski New Member

    Hey everyone, I am new to the forum but I just ran into the same issue. I installed "Slot Machines" and it somehow gave me this weird "infospace" virus on my browser. I uninstalled the game and still no help. Finally, I went into the SD Card with a simple browser (Androzip or w/e) and deleted the file folder it created. This seems to have removed the issue. Thanks and hope this helps!
  12. Wask

    Wask New Member

    I have the same Infospace crap on my phone. Found it today morning. I have not noticed any app updates. The only app I downloaded recently was the "Brightest Flashlight" on Saturday, but didn't get to use it until yesterday. Infospace is now set as homepage on my Samsung Galaxy S2. The actual homepage URL is LINK REMOVED FOR SAFETY CONCERNS... was Search Mobile Online though (supposedly a unique URL). I have since uninstalled the flashlight app, reset the home page, cleared everything on the browser and restarted my phone?
  13. newcleanshoes

    newcleanshoes New Member

    I hope this thread gains more traction.

    I open my phone today to see a generic blue magnifiying glass and then when i opened my browser my internet app my homepage was set to start.infospace.com I hope someone with the skill can look into this. I am new to android and feel a little on edge downloading anything. I cant be the only one that does online banking or pay bills on there phone. I order things on my phone and key in my CC numbers. I dont know if spyware like this can log your keystrokes in a carrier IQ type fashion, but i would love some insight into this so i can trust my phone again. Thank you.

    On a side note there is a "app source" hash key in the url if it can help: Search
  14. UssjTrunks

    UssjTrunks Well-Known Member

    This might get more hits in the lounge.
  15. makilex

    makilex New Member

    Same thing (as newcleanshoes) happened to me on SGS II, I don't know what app brought this about. I cleared data and uninstalled the last 2 free games and reset my browser, but I'm as well concerned about privacy and keylogging. To make matters worse, I also had Unkown sources check-box on in application settings, so this could have come from elsewhere although I only installed from android market.
  16. Matt Rushmore

    Matt Rushmore Member

    Brightest Flashlight installs a infospace search icon on your homescreen. It matches the example in the pcworld article Harry pointed to exactly.
    I cant figure out how to remove it. I have addons detector and airpush detector and while they say Brightest Flashlight may have ads they do nothing to remove the infospace search icon. Also cant find what file it made using androzip so I cant remove it that way. And of course removing the app does nothing to remove the adware.

    Also my browser has been hijacked and nothing I can do will stop infospace from being my homepage. Not restore to default or anything. And even though I changed my homepage to google in settings and it still says google in the settings my browser still goes to infospace.
  17. Matt Rushmore

    Matt Rushmore Member

    From the Airpush website:

    "Yes, all of our ads offer opt-out:

    a) For Push Notification Ads, we offer a permanent opt-out to end-users which blocks Airpush ads from all developers. Each ad is tagged with a link to Android Ad Network | Push Notification ad network | Mobile Ad network | Android app monetization , where the user can opt-out by installing our opt-out application or manually entering their IMEI on the web page.

    b) For Icon Ads, users can delete them with 1 click.

    c) For Signup Ads, users can click the 'Skip' button."

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHERE THAT ONE CLICK DELETE IS!!! And oh gee what a coincidence that my imei number isn't in their database so I cant opt out of future stuff. What a joke.
  18. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    Can't you move this infospace search icon (long press on it) to the right bottom of the screen (waste basket) to remove it?
    Like you can do to remove an app icon.
    I think this is meaning '1 click'.
    As I know it's only an URL link.

    Harry
  19. Matt Rushmore

    Matt Rushmore Member

    Harry,

    I have never been so happy to look so stupid. My mind was on removing malware from the source and I overlooked the obvious.

    As soon as I drug the icon to the trash it appears my browser will now accept different home pages also.

    Would you guess I am safe from any malicious programs if the only symptoms were from Brightest Flashlight off the app market and totally resembled the icon in the pc world article?
    Does dragging to the trash totally remove an app or is there more I should do? I have no clue, for all I know its like deleting a shortcut on a pc.

    Shame on companies for doing that. I realize the apps are free and they need to make money and thats why I agree to look at ads when using the apps. But to add adware in other places and to hijack browsers is crossing the line.

    Thanks again for pointing out the obvious Harry.
  20. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    Matt,
    when the spam only comes from Brightest Flashlight you should get rid of the spam by uninstalling the app.

    But I read in a post above, for to be sure, you should clear the app's data before uninstalling the app.
    (Settings, Applications, Manage applications)

    Good luck.

    Harry
  21. Matt Rushmore

    Matt Rushmore Member

    I did clear the apps data before removing the app but removing the app did not remove the search icon.

    I am really hoping that dragging it to the trash cleaned it for good and that it wasn't malicious.
  22. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    The culprit was the app. Without uninstalling the app it would create a new infospace icon after you had removed the old icon (I think so ;) )

    EDIT: Glad you got rid of this browser hijacking too :)

    Harry
  23. kreety

    kreety New Member

    okay... not only has infospace taken over my homepage (which i know how to revert back to my original) but heres the tricky part... its actually changed the default to inforspace homepage. :(

    not happy about this at all . i wish i knew how to get rid of it completely .
  24. JAy3001

    JAy3001 Well-Known Member

    I got hit with this one after installing a game for my nieces called: Fishing Game

    Avoid it like the plague!
  25. ImVioletta

    ImVioletta New Member

    This helped me! Thank you.

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