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Search Awesome is an adware program that displays advertisements on shopping web sites while you browse the web. When browsing the web, Search Awesome will display ads into the header of a site and will display shopping bars that have price comparisons at other sites for the product you are viewing.
Search Awesome also installs a ransom named root certificate into the Windows Trusted Root Certification Authority. There certificates will have random names similar to 6f5d3053c2b315ab. This root certificate allows it to see traffic passing through SSL connections so that it is able to inject ads even into encrypted connections.
Unfortunately, this also gives it the ability to see all data you transmit over an encrypted SSL connection including account or sensitive information that you would not want some unknown company to have access to.
How was the Search Awesome Adware installed on my Computer?
It is important to note that Search Awesome is bundled with and installed by free programs that did not adequately disclose that other software would be installed along with it. Therefore, in the future it is important that you pay close attention to license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers you Custom or Advanced installation options, you should select these options as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed. Furthermore, if the license agreement or installation screens state that they are going to install a toolbar or other unwanted adware, it is advised that you immediately cancel the install and not use the free software.
As you can see, Search Awesome was created to display advertisements on web sites while you are browsing in order to generate advertisement revenue for the developers. I am also concerned that this program installs its own Root certificate that could potentially allow them to snoop in on encrypted traffic. Due to this, I would suggest that you use the guide below to remove Search Awesome and other detected unwanted programs.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.
You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.
Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.
Your computer should now be free of the Search Awesome Adware program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:
Are Your Protected?
While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Zemana AntiMalware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Purchase the full-featured version of Zemana AntiMalware, which includes second opinion malware scanner when other solutions do not work, cloud scanning, and super-fast scan time, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.
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