My laptop was seriously hijacked recently. Every time I did a Google search, clicking on search results sent me to some other random search site. I could not actually view the search results. When I tried to open the search result items in another tab, I got a page with a "404 Not Found Nginx" page.
I started to do some investigating. Another laptop using the same router as me was fine. This must have been local to my laptop. Then I checked out the hosts file. The thing is usually hidden. But I found some commands to make the file viewable and editable. Nope. That was not how they were intercepting the links.
I ran a bunch of antivirus and antispyware programs. None of them helped. Then I started to run other more agreesive removal programs. The last one made my computer unusable. I could not even restore back to a savepoint. Had to reset the thing to the factory defaults.
Not sure how these spammers took control of my browser. The same thing happened when I used the Chrome browser. I could not directly go to some other Google sites as well. I know these spam pages I was directed to would make some money for the perpatrators.
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