ABC Search Affiliate Browser Hijack using advertising

Update:  The malware seems to be hitting affiliates other than the ABCSearch, making a bit stronger their claim of innocence in matters relating to browser hijacking.

Still, it would seem to me that these problems would disappear if every affiliate relationship was defined by a *real, verified person* and then ad companies were required to identify (to authorities AND to the hijack victim) the recipient of any advertising revenue generated by the hijack.    This would put the pressure on the hijackers, not the victims.

NOTE:  It’s not yet clear to me the indirect role that ABCSEARCH plays in this frustrating equation of a browser hijacking redirecting to ABC advertisers.   It would seem they could police this activity better (as I think Google does with their adsense program).

I’m now struggling to remove a browser hijack routine where a spam affiiliate of ABCSEARCH is forwarding me to unwanted websites.    I’m furious with ABCSEARCH for failing to provide me with *any* helpful information, most importantly the identification of the affiliate who is the recipient of this fake search traffic.    ABC benefits from unwanted advertising and to some extent from this illegal activity and therefore is reluctant to lift the veil of secrecy that helps protect purveyors of unwanted advertising.  That is outrageous of them.

(I’m on a Vaio Desktop running Windows XP)

I found the info (below)indicating many others have had similar problems with the ABC advertising network.      Obviously they don’t directly support spammers but they *indirectly* support them by making it difficult to track down the offenders, some of whom are actually selling programs online that use a combination of infecting the computers with a browser hijack and ABC search ads.

When I figure out how to remove this ABCJMP ABCSEARCH spamming malware routine I’ll post it here.  In the meantime please let me know if you have the same problem.

What is is owned and operated by, the world’s largest privately held pay per click advertising network. Advertisers come to ABCSearch to distribute their ads across our broad network of search partners and content sites. is used as our network referral ID to identify and qualify traffic sent by our traffic partners.

Why am I seeing on my computer?

Because ABCSearch is comprised up of a network of thousands of traffic partners, one of these partners may have included you into their distribution network. If you have received any advertisements that contain the url, it is important to understand that and the advertiser are not directly responsible for the advertisement you received through our partner distribution that contains the advertisement with in the domain name.

For Help

It is a high priority of and our advertisers to ensure a positive user experience. If you feel you have been receiving unwanted advertising through a distribution partner, please contact us with as much of the following information as possible: your IP address (, the full URL string with ie:, screenshots, and any other details you can share about your experience. With this information we can assist in getting you removed from the publisher’s distribution. However, because we do not control any part of the publisher’s process, we do not guarantee results. If the publisher uses advertisements supplied by’s advertising clients, we can try additional means to contact them and resolve any opt-out requests provided. Please send all correspondences to and we will do our best to assist you.

Thank you,
The ABCSearch Team


12 thoughts on “ABC Search Affiliate Browser Hijack using advertising

  1. Spy-bot probably has fix for ABC malware–I run spy-bot weekly with MS/IE firewall (square, I realize), and haven’t had any problems for over two years. Also, I don’t advise firefox. I tend to get malware after an hour or so with that freak browser. Not sure with Chrome, but I don’t care for the chrome layout overly much.

    IMHO the Spy-bot wizard offers the best anti-malware/spam/trojan/virus currently available (it’s on Major Geeks, a few other sites). I wager some vegass/mafia sorts of hackers or Mozilla creepos got a hit out on Mr. Spy-bot.

  2. It seems rather obvious that the Advertising Company is probably a front for the spammers. The advertising company may have some legitimate clients but the advertising company is clearly too friendly with the spammers. The levels of corporate shells and co-conspirators are probably quite high.
    There are often tricks. In Manhattan real estate there are often a half dozen shell corporations but the lawyers know to check the elevator permit so as to get on the trail of the real owner of the property. In the world of spam I don’t know what can be done, but following the money trail usually works best, though it will probaby only lead you to some corporate shell located in Encino, California, Newport Beach,CA or Boca Raton, FL.

  3. The new Microsoft Security Essentials should catch it. Msoft this time around really did a tremendous job with that FREE product.

    Horatiox what problems are you having with Firefox? What version are you on…you shouldn’t be attracting so much malware with it? I develop on all the browsers and Firefox doesn’t seem to attract anymore or any less than the others.

  4. Run your malware-removal app. after a bit of Firefoxing, and quite a few noxious sites pop up (including ABC search I believe). My experience suggests that not as many malware/trojans pop up on IE. Firefox has other flaws (too busy and cluttered, really).

  5. Thanks all three of you for the advice – I’ll follow up when the problem is gone. Google Chrome does not seem to have any problems with it but both FF and IE remain infected.

  6. Hi Joe,
    Thank you for the posting, unfortunately you have willingly/unwillingly installed a software that is redirecting your web requests.
    We share your frustration. ABCSearch is a large network of publishers and there are a few bad apples out there that are accessing our advertiser feed against our terms and conditions. We have no affiliation with the source of the software, they choose to send their traffic to a variety of sources of which we are just one of them. However, we are actively taking measures to identify the source(s).

    It is a high priority of to ensure a positive user experience. If you feel you have been receiving unwanted advertising through a distribution partner, if possible, please send us the the following information:
    -Your IP address (
    -The full URL string with ie:, screenshots.
    -Any other details you can share about your experience.

    For removal, we recommend visiting the Cnet Download Security Center:;contentNav is a very reputable company offering a collection of free removal tools.

    Please let us know if any particular program works so that we may share it with other users. You may contact us at

    Thank you,
    Customer Support

  7. Any resolution? I got hit a few days ago when I used IE for the first time in weeks. Now

    Google returns many instances of the abcjmp redirect but I’m unable to find any directions on how to fix it. Of course, to view the search results I have to paste the URL in a new window because clicking on the Google link takes me to one of the abcjmp spam websites.

    I ran Ad Aware and two antivirus programs but nothing fixes it. Were you able to find the fix or does it require wiping the entire system?

  8. Some new nasty malware attacks have recently appeared, along the lines of ” Your computer is at severe risk!”, with the pseudo-windows security icon, and the orders to download their malware removal app. ASAP. Actually they have been around for a couple of years–but now they are penetrating firewalls and anti-spyware programs. One–“Advanced virus removal” (imagine, like a fire-sqaud, ese)– appeared on one of my boxes, walked through latest Win Pro firewall, around my trusty Spybot (updated as well), AND PC-Tools (and disabled ’em as well). Back to the battlezone.

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