AthenaSearch is another browser redirect malware that causes frequent and undesired redirection on suspicious websites to show pop-up ads and various other commercials. These type of forced browser redirection are done to promote suspicious sites and services to make illegal profit. AthenaSearch infection could be the beginning of major damage because it can bring several other dangerous threats to your computer.
If you want to get rid of this nasty malware then this guide can help you. In this article you can find all the information you need to know about this browser hijacker virus, how it get on your pc, its harmful effects and finally removal instruction.
What is AthenaSearch
AthenaSearch is a deceptive computer program recognized as browser hijacker created by cyber crooks for making illegal online profit by manipulating user’s web browsing activities. This notorious threat is designed to show sponsored search results and annoying ads on the victimized machine. It has main intention to promote the web traffic on dubious websites for which its creators earn profit.
This malicious fake search engine looks very legitimate at first look but soon users find out its true nature when it start doing its malicious activities. Many people have complaint about AthenaSearch virus that it has invaded their system and infected the main browser to serve loads of annoying ads redirect their searches on malicious websites. AthenaSearch does not only destroy your web browsing experience but also expose your system security and privacy by redirecting your browser on malicious websites.
Working of AthenaSearch
AthenaSearch is a malicious and fake search provider. Well, it may looks like a genuine search engine that claims to enhance your web browsing experience by providing best and quick search result for your. It could infect your main browser and replace your regular homepage and search engine with its own malicious url. However, in context to what it claims AthenaSearch just take advantage of your online activities for its own profit. UnitHandler, FormatBoost, StandBoost, ValidMemory, RecordMapper, ExtendedSprint are some similar threats that secretly attack your mac and cause several problems.
Programmed by vicious cyber crooks the only motive of this vicious browser hijacker virus is to earn revenue for its creators. As soon as it get inside your computing machine, it quickly infect your entire system and start its malicious activities straight away. If you computer is infected by this nasty virus then it would not take long for other threats to get inside your system and damage your entire system. Hence if you see this nasty AthenaSearch virus on your system then do a complete scan of your system and try to eliminate this malware immediately from your PC.
How your PC got infected
AthenaSearch is such a cunning malware infection which can easily get inside the targeted computer without even users permission or consent. Creators of this malware use various different tricks to spread this infection. It can get downloaded on your PC bundled with free third party programs or software and silently get installed in background without notification. AthenaSearch could also spread through cracked software or pirated files that users download from Torrent sites. Visiting to malicious sites or clicking on suspicious links, pop-ups, ads, push notification and annoying advertisement on browser could bring this threat. Sharing files on unsafe network and connecting any infected USB drive to your system could also bring this threat on your PC.
AthenaSearch : Threat Analysis
How much harm it can do
Don’t make mistake of taking AthenaSearch virus lightly. This dubious threat can hijacks all your web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Mozilla, Safari etc. and start controlling your entire online activities. Due to this vicious browser hijacker virus, users will experience frequent browser redirection issues. Moreover, it also interrupt your online activities by promoting several unwanted ads and Pop-up messages. It even download various other threats and malicious browser extensions, add-ons etc. on your machine without your knowing.
AthenaSearch virus could also disable your anti-virus and firewall program to stay undetected on your system for a long time. It can modify your DNS settings and create new registry entries to complicate its removal. The worst thing about this threat is that it may steal and share your sensitive information with the hackers. It can collect your IP address, geolocation, saved passwords, credit card credentials and many more. These details can be used to show personalized ads or shared with hackers. You can become a victim of cyber fraud or identity theft and then you will not be able to undo the damage.
Elimination of this threat is important
As you know that your computer is infected by this AthenaSearch virus and it can cause several problems your PC. It is better to stop this infection before it makes any permanent or irreparable damage. It might be not so easy to remove this infection completely. This nasty virus creates lots of changes on infected PC and create new registry files and shortcuts. These files can help this threat in getting back on your system. We have created a guide which can help you to completely remove this virus. You should try combining Automatic and Manual removal methods to get rid of AthenaSearch virus from your PC once and for all.
Automatic AthenaSearch Removal Guide
As you already know that, AthenaSearch is a notorious and cunning malware that is not hard to remove easily by any user through manual means. This virus can keep coming back on the infected computer through files and shortcuts or settings that it has already created on your machine. Removing all those at once is the only way to get rid of this infection and stop it from getting on your system ever again.
So the best way to remove AthenaSearch effectively is to use a powerful Automatic Removal Tool and save your time and efforts. This software is a well-trusted and very powerful anti-malware program that can detect all hidden threats like Trojan, Ransomware, Worms, Spyware, Rootkits, and many others. It also provides 24X7 customer support and one-on-one Spyware HelpDesk support for Custom Malware removal. Advanced System Guard feature detects and removes threats in real-time. It has a very User-Friendly Interface and regular Malware updates make it most effective against the latest malware attacks.
How SpyHunter 5 Anti-Malware Works
- First, you need to click on the below download button to get the software.
Some time threats like AthenaSearch keep getting back on the machine if all associated files are not removed. So you are advised to use a powerful Malware Removal Tool to run a thorough scan of your PC and delete all threats at once.
Compatible with: Windows 11/10/8/7 (32 Bit and 64 Bit)
- Then double-click on the installer you downloaded to install the program.
- Launch Anti-Malware application and Start Scan Now of your PC.
- Software will scan your PC for all hidden threats and viruses on your system.
- Click on Next button to see results and delete AthenaSearch and other threats.
Manual AthenaSearch Removal Guide
Start PC in safe mode with networking
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type msconfig in the Run Box then click OK button.
- Click on Boot tab then System configuration window will appear.
- Choose Safe Boot, check network box, Click Apply, and press OK button.
Kill Malicious Process From Task Manager
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type taskmgr in Run Box and then click OK button.
- Find AthenaSearch related or any malicious process.
- Now right-click on it then click End process.
How To Uninstall AthenaSearch from Windows PC
- First of all Press Windows Key + R buttons together.
- Type appwiz.cpl in the Run Box and then click OK button.
- Now Programs and Features windows will appear on the screen.
- Find and remove all AthenaSearch related or malicious programs.
Remove Virus related Windows Registry entries
- Press Windows Key + R buttons together on the keyboard.
- Type taskmgr in Run Box and then click OK button.
- Registry Editor will open, then press CTRL +F buttons together.
- Now type AthenaSearch and then click on Find Next button.
- Find all the related entries and delete them one by one
Warning: Meddling with Windows Registry files might not be a good idea if you don’t have advanced knowledge about registry files. Deleting the wrong file can break down your entire system. Proceed at your own risk, or just skip this step. You can choose the Automatic Removal method and avoid all the problems.
Remove AthenaSearch From MacOS
Stop Malicious Program From Activity Monitor
- First, you need to open Utilities folder on your Mac system.
- Find the Activity Monitor icon and double-click on it to open it.
- Find AthenaSearch related process, click cross button from upper left side corner to end task.
- A pop-up dialogue box will appear on the screen, click on Force Quit button.
Remove AthenaSearch From Application Folder
- First, go to Dock option (bottom of your screen) then click on Finder App.
- Now you have to open the Applications Folders to see all the programs.
- Find AthenaSearch or any other unwanted program then move it to Trash.
Attention: If you are using a Mac computer, then it could be quite difficult to remove AthenaSearch from your mac. The best way is to download ComboCleaner Mac Anti-Malware and see if it can detect all hidden threats and viruses on your computer. It’s really super easy and you should give it a try.ComboCleaner Mac Antivirus allows you to scan your Mac for threats and viruses for free, but you will need to purchase a full license to remove found threats. Read EULA.
Remove AthenaSearch From Browser
Most of the time, threats like this make several changes to the browser which helps it to track victims’ online activities. It is important to completely remove AthenaSearch from the browser or it may come back. Follow below steps to remove this infection from your browser.
Delete Malicious Extensions From Browser
Many spyware now has browser hijacking capabilities to show ads, offers, alerts, notifications, or stealing the personal information of the victim. Follow below steps to remove malicious extensions from your browser.
Remove AthenaSearch From Google Chrome
Note : Type or copy-paste –
chrome://extensions in the URL bar of Google Chrome then press ENTER button to open the extensions page directly or follow below steps.
- Open Google Chrome browser, click the Menu (⋮) option from the upper right corner.
- Select More tools then click on Extensions option to find all installed Extensions on chrome.
- Choose AthenaSearch related extensions then click the trash can icon to remove completely.
Remove AthenaSearch From Mozilla Firefox
Note: Type or copy-paste –
about:addons in URL bar Firefox then hit ENTER button to open the extensions page directly or follow below steps.
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser, click on Menu (☰) option from the upper right corner.
- Select Add-ons option from the drop-down menu of the list.
- Choose the Extensions option to see all installed extensions on your browser.
- Choose AthenaSearch related extensions then click on Remove button.
Remove AthenaSearch From Microsoft Edge
- Open MS Edge browser, click on More Tools (⋮) option from the upper right corner.
- Select Extensions option from the drop-down menu to see extensions on your browser.
- Choose AthenaSearch related extensions then click on Uninstall button to remove it.
Remove AthenaSearch From Apple Safari
- Open Safari browser then tap on Preferences option from Safari menu.
- Open the Extensions tab, find AthenaSearch related extensions then click Uninstall button.
- Finally, again click the Uninstall button to remove the extension completely.
Remove AthenaSearch From Internet Explorer
- Open Internet Explorer then click on Menu option from the upper right corner.
- Select manage Add-ons option from drop-down list to see installed extension.
- Find AthenaSearch related extensions and click on Disable button to remove it.
Reset Browser Setting to DefaultOnce you remove AthenaSearch from your browser, you might want to reset the browser to default settings to reset any changes made by the virus. Follow below steps for that :
Reset Google Chrome Web Browser
- Open Google Chrome, click on Menu (⋮) then select settings option.
- On Settings page, scroll down to the bottom, click Show Advanced settings option.
- From Reset and clean up click on Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Finally, click on Reset Settings button to reset your chrome browser.
Reset Mozilla Firefox Browser
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser, click on Menu (☰) option, and select (?) icon.
- Click on Troubleshooting Information option from the drop-down menu.
- Then press the Refresh Firefox button and give confirmation.
Reset MS Edge Browser
- Open MS Edge browser, click on More Tools (⋮) option, and select settings.
- Click on Choose what to clear Option, choose first three options then click on Clear button.
Reset Safari To Default
- Open Safari browser, tap on Safari menu, and select Reset Safari option.
- Now check all the boxes and then finally click on Reset button.
Reset Internet Explorer Browser
- Open Internet Explorer then click on Menu icon and hit Internet options.
- Visit Advanced tab, click Reset button, check Delete personal settings option, and hit Reset button.
How to Enable Browser Protection
Follow the below steps to enable built-in dangerous site protection in your web browsers. You can follow the same steps if you want to stop the malware protection on your browser.
Google Chrome – Dangerous Sites Protection
- Open your Chrome web browser, type “chrome://settings” in the URL bar, and press Enter.
- Got to bottom of the page and select “Show advanced settings” option.
- Look for the Privacy and security section then click on Sync and Google services.
- Now turn on the Safe Browsing (Protect you and your device from dangerous sites) option.
Safari Browser – Change Security preferences in Safari
- Open your Safari web browser, then tap on the Safari menu and select Preferences.
- Now you have to open the Security options on your Safari browser.
- Check Warn When Visiting a Fraudulent website box from the Fraudulent Sites section.
Mozilla Firefox – Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
- Open your Firefox web browser, click on Menu (☰) and select Options from the list.
- Now click on the Security option and then select the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries
Edge Browser – Activate SmartScreen Filter
- Open your MS Edge web browser, click on More (⋮) icon from the upper right corner.
- Click on the Settings option from the Edge menu drop-down list.
- Scroll down and find View Advanced Settings option then open it.
- Turn ON the “help protect my PC from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter” option.
Internet Explorer – Activate Microsoft SmartScreen Filter
- Open your IE web browser, then click on Menu icon and hit Safety options.
- Now click on the SmartScreen Filter option from the drop-down list.
- Turn on SmartScreen Filter and restart your browser.
If you made these settings on your browser then phishing and malware protection on your browser is now active. But it does not mean that your computer cannot get infected by threats. These settings may block some dangerous and suspicious sites but there are other ways through which hackers can target your PC. So you must download a powerful Anti-Malware application on your computer that provides real-time protection to ensure your system security.
Tips To Prevent AthenaSearch Virus in Future
- Use a good anti-virus, be it a free version but don’t use cracked security programs.
- Make sure that your Windows firewall is active, so it can block upcoming threats.
- Keep your Windows OS and other programs updated to avoid vulnerabilities.
- Download updates only from official websites, don’t use suspicious sites.
- Never download and install pirated software, games, or illegal patches on your PC.
- Do not open spam emails from an unknown sender and scan all attachments before opening.
- Never download freeware third-party programs from unreliable sources or websites.
- Avoid connecting your PC to unsafe public Wi-Fi to protect your privacy.
- You can also use a VPN to spoof your connection and avoid malicious sites.
- Create a system restore point on your system for security purposes.
- Keep backup of all your important files to avoid data loss.