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Conduit Hijacked Firefox Search; About:Config disabled

  • 26 replies
  • 184 have this problem
  • Last reply by John99

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A new version of Conduit has hijacked my FireFox browser, among other things. Every time I open a new tab it comes up in the conduit search engine rather than my default of Google. Any mistyping of a url sends me to bing via conduit. I used to be able to get into about:config and fix such problems, but now any attempt to do that simply sends me to bing. This is a horrible mess, and keeps happening, and FF users need a way to block these conduit takeovers.

Chosen solution

Comments by a Forum Moderator.

(This thread has over 80000 views)

Readers of the thread may be interested in a summary of some of this advice, including links for genuine free antimalware tools; and advice on preventing re occurrence of this and similar problems.

  • I have posted downthread 10thFeb
  • Please start your own question if you need help with your own problem
    Use this special link it is direct & quicker cutting out some steps
    Remember to follow prompts to provide troubleshooting information. You should see a green button to help by automating that.

A note as to what was done before hitting the forum: Malwarebytes & SuperAntiSpyware complete scans, which found and removed a number to things, all Conduit related. Kapersky TDSSKiller and MDAM chameleon found no problems.

RE >>To fix Firefox the first thing to do is to remove that Entrusted Toolbar extension through the Extensions tab of the Add-on manager.

The "entrusted11" addon pretended to uninstall. Upon FF restart, it was still there. In the meantime, I ran Hitman Pro scanner. It found & fixed several Conduit things that the others missed, plus a known malware. After a machine restart, the Entrusted11 addon did uninstall for real.

Another problem: FireFox was set to use a proxy. I set that back to no proxy and the redirects to Bing went away.

Search Reset extension installed and ran, but something (popup from some taskbar icon or FF addon -- they're close together and it disappeared quickly) blocked the changes to home page config. I reset that stuff manually under: Tools-->Options-->General.

Right-clicking the newtab checkerboard icon brought up the usual context menu for off-link right clicks on web pages, with no option to reset anything, BUT after using Hitman Pro and restarting the machine, that problem has cleared up.

Internet Explorer is still hijacked, so Hitman Pro did not solve all problems on this machine. I want to use Firefox awhile before I call this post solved.

Read this answer in context 👍 4

All Replies (6)

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There is probably little point in posting in a thread that is already solved.

If anyone does have continuing problems with conduit please read the information in this thread, and any linked articles. If that does not help please start your own thread.

  • use /questions/new & please follow the prompts to include troubleshooting information.

Unfortunately users that have potentially unwanted programs / malware installed may often be prone to other & multiple problems.

See also

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"Solved" for one person is not necessarily a solution for another person due to the large number of conflicting apps and other factors affecting a computer's performance.

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A point well made by geoh777. Many of us are not IT experts and sometimes struggle to follow or implement the advice of those who are -- well meaning and helpful though it predominantly is. We are interested in what our PCs can do for us, and not with what goes on under the hood. Asking us to edit the registry is like asking us to remove our own appendix. It does no harm for these discussion to sometimes expand to a more holistic level, especially when some people still have concerns about the issue in hand.

Also it's a pity that governments and IT industry -- through a combination of commercial self-interest and over-concern about maintaining a libertarian approach to the internet -- do not do more to protect the average punter, from browser hijackers and other malware through to cyber-bullying and the many other disreputable and in some cases criminal activities that take place on the internet.

Modified by pspublic

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Hi pspublic & geoh777

I take your point, & that is the reason for my suggesting starting a new thread.

This issue - removal of conduit - may be fairly general, but it still differs for individuals because for instance each may have various additional malware related problems, and each may have tried different things in removing the malware and correcting any settings issues.

As a general rule of thumb it is preferable for each user with a problem to post his or her own question in their own thread. (It is even in the forum guidelines)

Additional advantages of starting your own thread are

  • You may provide full trouble shooting information (Follow the prompts and use the green button to automate the process)
  • You get a personal answer relating to 'your problem
  • If there is something you need explaining better just say so, in your own thread. We try to aim the answer at a user hoping we explain any methods correctly, and are always ready to give more detailed instructions if it helps.

A for protection against this sort of software, the main defense is the user that has learnt to be careful about the download sites used and the download and install process. Much of it is probably installed by users who agree to installs without checking or reading the information given about the installation.

Editing the Registry is usually not essential and usually not something I would recommend. Even if there is an unnecessary malware related Registry entry it is often harmless once the unwanted software has been removed.

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have same problem on old xp machine,,running ff 27...tried to install a streaming video player to watch the grammy/beatle thing.. bing by way of conduit,,under explorer found the protect search under program files and used the uninstall program in that directory. that removed it..but still same prob with new tabs. then used explorer search to find and erase all conduit containing files, and bing files. not fix still went to bing via conduit,,the icon was just missing on the page. then went to start, run, regedit and did a search for conduit, it found several keys,,deleted,, then search for bing for good measure and got rid of a few more..THAT FIXED IT. NEW TABS now open to the home page i have set.

Modified by smurfxyz

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  • For help with your own problem please start a new thread using special link
  • Avoid manually cleaning the Registry
    For many users trying to manually clean the Registry is a difficult and potentially dangerous task.
  • Use free tools.
    It is safer to use anti adware and anti malware tools. Some such tool are free and recommended, but you need to use up-to-date versions, and not just an old version that is hanging around on your computer.
  • Take care on the Inernet

You will still pickup malware again if you continue to visit dodgy websites and do not take care with downloads.

  • Review sites and downloads
    Try to do a websearch for reviews of both the download site and the software that you are installing.
  • Make notes
    Of what you download and from what sites along with the dates of the download and install.
    That helps you in identifying problem software. It may also help in reporting problems and getting help
  • Read small-print and watch for Options
    Take care to only install what you need and intended to install. Not the free offers of the likes of conduit plugin or related software, malware, or adware.

Repeating the standard advice.

It is worth looking in the Firefox Addons listing and the Windows Control Panel and removing software you did not intentionally install.

You then need to

  1. Scan with multiple and up-to-date tools
  2. Report back with the findings and confirm the actions taken.

Full details under

You can try these free programs to scan for malware, which work with your existing antivirus software:

You need to use multiple and up-to-date tools as they will not all pick up the same things.
I would not suggest you try any manual hacks or edits of the Windows registry. (Once rogue files are removed any residual registry entry will not normally do any harm.)

Microsoft Security Essentials is a good FREE permanent antivirus for Windows 7/Vista/XP if you don't already have one.

Further information can be found in

Additionally Check the Icons & Shortcuts used

  • Note Firefox now searches using whatever is set on the Search Bar, change that if need be.
  • Some malware adds addresses to shortcuts such as the Firefox start icon.
    • In Windows right click to check the properties of the icon
    • Compare startup results with starting Firefox from the Run command. ***Use Windows Key + R to get that.
      • Then use the plain firefx.exe
      • If that opens ok the problem is the shortcut used to start Firefox.

Modified by John99

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