Do you know what Search.searchfastlm.com is?
The search engine that goes by the name Search.searchfastlm.com is a browser hijacker that was created by Polarity Technologies Ltd. This infection joins the family of Search.yourclassifiedscenter.com, Search.youremailnow.com, Search.geniusmediatabsearch.com, and many other hijackers that are usually represented with the help of unique extensions. In this case, the hijacker shares the same extension with another browser hijacker, Search.searchflm.com. This extension is called “Fast Local Maps,” and it might be introduced to you in many different ways, which we discuss in this report as well. Of course, our main focus is on getting Search.searchfastlm.com deleted. Although this search tool is not known as an extremely malicious threat, there are plenty of reasons to remove it, and some of them are discussed at length in this article. Please keep reading if you are interested.
Fast Local Maps has an official download page, fastlocalmaps.com; however, at the moment, you cannot install this extension powered by SaferBrowser onto Chrome, IE, or Firefox. The add-on is also available at the Chrome web store, where a direct link to fastlocalmaps.com is given. While this installer works, the hijacker that replaces the homepage is Search.searchflm.com. As we have already discussed, this is a clone of the suspicious Search.searchfastlm.com, but it is not the same threat, and so we do not know where the suspicious hijacker comes from. Maybe the extension was recently modified to spread a newer version of the threat. In any case, it is unlikely that many users would download the extension from its official site or even the Chrome web store. It is far more likely that users find it bundled with third-party malware. Bundled installers can be spread via unreliable websites, but they also can be promoted via misleading advertisements and pop-ups. Of course, if this is how you acquired the hijacker, there is a possibility that you need to delete other malicious infections as well.Search.searchfastlm.com screenshot
Scroll down for full removal instructions
Just like other hijackers created by Polarity Technologies Ltd., Search.searchfastlm.com displays various easy-access links suited to a specific theme. Unsurprisingly, this hijacker provides links to such websites as google.com/maps and bing.com/maps. These links, of course, are legitimate, and that is what confuses users. If you accepted the homepage modification, and the news search tool displays useful links, how come the search tool is classified as unreliable and potentially dangerous? It all comes down to the things this hijacker does silently. For one, the cookies it employs can be used to collect personal information. Second, it can add its own links in the search results that are shown via search.yahoo.com. If you trust Yahoo Search – and most people do – you might interact with unreliable links injected by the hijacker without even realizing it. These are the main reasons to remove Search.searchfastlm.com ASAP.
Since Search.searchfastlm.com usually comes bundled with the Fast Local Maps add-on, we have to discuss its removal as well. In most cases, it is enough to erase this add-on to get rid of the hijacker as well. The task is very easy for Firefox and Chrome users who can erase the add-on directly from their browsers. It is not much more difficult for Internet Explorer users who need to uninstall an application via Control Panel. The additional instructions you can see below show how to replace the homepage URL, in case the removal of the unwanted extension does not help. If all fails, or if multiple threats are found on your PC, it is best to utilize reliable anti-malware software instead.
- Open the browser 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.
- Open the browser, tap Alt+F, move to More tools, and click Extensions.
- Find the unwanted add-on, click the recycle bin button, and choose Remove.
- Restart the browser, tap Alt+F, and choose Settings.
- Scroll to the On Startup section at the bottom.
- Select Open a specific page or set of pages.
- Click the More actions button next to the hijacker and click Remove.
- Uninstall the undesirable application:
- Windows XP: click Start, open Control Panel, move to Add or Remove programs, and Remove the app.
- All newer versions: launch RUN (tap Win+R), enter control panel, click Uninstall a program, and uninstall the undesirable application.
- Launch the browser, tap Alt+T, and choose Internet options.
- Click the General tab and overwrite the URL in the Home Page section. Click OK.
In non-techie terms:
It is easy to mistake Search.searchfastlm.com for an authentic and reliable search tool because it offers links to popular sites and because it employs the well-known Yahoo search engine to deliver search results. Unfortunately, this search tool can modify the search results to include unreliable links, and its cookies can track and record information that might include personal details. To top it off, it is likely that most users let this hijacker in without even meaning to or knowing much about it in the first place. Needless to say, our research team recommends removing Search.searchfastlm.com, and that can be done both manually and automatically. The instructions above show how to get rid of the threat manually, but it is best to utilize anti-malware software because it can simultaneously enable full-time protection that you absolutely need.