Remove Hao123.com Malware

By | Posted on December 5, 2013 | Updated on June 13, 2016

Hao123.com is a search page that can take control of the home page. The main page however is just a simple web directory that offers fast access to popular web sites. When it hijacks the home page, browser usually starts with a page that looks like a search engine. It also detects your country of origin and display hao123.com search in your own language if available.

This browser redirect adware is typically bundled with freeware and shareware. While installing the preferred programs, Hao123Tab extension will get installed on the computer aside from hao123.com. This is how adware spreads using third-party applications. On some instances, users have the option to reject other programs when running a ‘Custom’ install process. Users performing express setup of the program are the ones that usually acquire malicious code like hao123.com.

During the presence of hao123.com, there will an add-on obviously setup on the browser. As mentioned, its main target is home page or new tab window. Each time you run affected Internet browser, you will witness a new page in the presence of hao123.com instead of the default one you have previously setup. Most people who have this adware find conflict when trying to remove it from the computer. It seems that deleting hao123.com add-on alone will not resolve the hijacking issue. Scanning the computer with efficient anti-malware is a big factor in deleting this threat from the PC.

hao123.com

Online Security Scanner Report for hao123.com:

During online test with AVGThreatLabs, three types on malware were found on hao123.com. These are identified as JavaScript Obfuscation, VBS/Agent, Rogue Scanner.

Norton SafeWeb No Issues Community Rating: 1.0/5.0 Updated: June 13, 2016
MCAfee Site Advisor Link is safe Feedback: No issues Updated: June 13, 2016
AVG Threat Labs Probably Safe Ratings: 96 Likes, 11 Dislikes Updated: June 13, 2016

Hao123.com Removal Procedure

Stage 1: Scan the Computer with Sophos Virus Removal Tool

This rootkit and virus removal tool is free and easy to use. It scans, detects and removes any rootkit, malware as well as threat like hao123.com. The tool is powerful enough to find malicious items that are hidden on the computer.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file to your Desktop so that we can access the file easily.
Sophos Virus Removal Tool Download Link

2. After downloading, navigate to the file location and double-click it. This will start the installation procedure. User Account Control will prompt if you want to run the program, click Yes to continue.

sophos_exe

3. On initial launch of the program, it will display a welcome screen as shown in the image below. Click Next to start the installation procedure.

sophos-welcome

4. Next, you need to accept the license agreement before Sophos Virus Removal Tool can be installed onto the computer. Choose ‘I accept the terms in the license agreement’. Then, click Next button.

sophos-license

5. On the next prompts, please click appropriate button to proceed. At the end of the installation process, it will display InstallShield Wizard Completed. Just leave the Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool with a check mark. Then, click Finish.

6. The tool will download necessary updates so Internet connection is required at this point. Lastly, Sophos Virus Removal Tool displays the welcome screen.

sophos-update

7. Click on Start Scanning button to begin checking the system for presence of rootkit and virus. The tool reveals items that were found linked to hao123.com. It also detects and removes other malicious files.

sophos-startscan

Stage 2: Scan and Delete Adware with AdwCleaner

1. Download the tool called AdwCleaner from the location stated below.
Click here to download AdwCleaner (this will open a new window)

2. Once you have completed the download, please close all running programs on the computer.

3. Locate the file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on Scan button.

AdwCleaner

4. It searches for presence of harmful programs, plug-ins, add-ons, or any data that were found malicious and linked to hao123.com. You need to Clean all items detected by this tool.

5. Once scan is done, the tool may need to reboot your computer to finalize the cleaning process.

6. After reboot, AdwCleaner will display the log file of the recent scan.

Stage 3: Remove hao123.com Add-on and Cleanup the Browser

After the previous scans, you may have deleted hao123.com from the affected browser. This next step will ensure that no more module of adware will be left on the browser. This free tool scans and checks the browser for unwanted add-on and extension, and if found, Avast Browser Cleanup will give you a report and suggestion.

1. Download this free tool and save it to your desktop.
Avast Browser Cleanup Download Link (This will open in a new window)

2. Please install the program. Start the process by double-clicking on the executable file avast-browser-cleanup-sfx.exe.

3. When run, Avast Browser Cleanup performs a test on the browser. If unwanted entries were found, it will display a button ‘Remove all add-ons listed below and cleanup browser.’ You may remove all or delete one entry at a time.

Avast Browser Scanner

4. Avast Browser Cleanup will confirm before it permanently deletes the add-on. Please click Yes to proceed with the removal of hao123.com on the affected browser.

Option: Alternative Method to Clean Up Internet Browser from hao123.com

Cleaning your internet browser from clutter and unwanted add-on/extension is a must when dealing with hao123.com. The procedure below discuss on resetting various browsers to its default state.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to Default

This section describes how to remove unwanted extension from Firefox that may be related to hao123.com.. This process can fix many browser issues by restoring Firefox to factory settings without affecting your essential information (bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, and Internet cookies) on the browser. If you desire to remove only specific extension, please see manual removal of add-on from Firefox.

1. Navigate to Firefox menu at the top of the browser and access the Help area. Click on Troubleshooting Information.

2. A new tab will appear. You will notice a section on upper-right corner of the screen stating Give Firefox a tuneup. Click the Refresh Firefox button.

FF Reset

3. If confirmation window appears, click Refresh Firefox to continue.

4. Firefox browser will close and start the resetting process. When done, it will display a list of restored data. hao123.com should be gone by now. Click Finish to open a fresh version of Firefox.

Restore Internet Explorer to Default Settings

1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to top menu. Click Tools, and then Internet Options.

2. Select Advanced tab on Internet Options window.

IE Reset

3. On lower part of the window, under Reset Internet Explorer Settings area, click the Reset button. Please see image for reference.

Your data like favorites, bookmark, and history will remain it the browser. However, this process may delete add-ons by hao123.com and other unknown objects. If you prefer to carry out the procedure manually, please see add-on removal from Internet Explorer.

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