Frequently, ‘hijacking’ will be designed to do one or all of the following:
- Permanently change the default homepage in your browser to a page of someone else’s choosing
- Delete and replace your favourites or bookmarks with others
- Prevent access to specific sites that would otherwise allow you to remove the unwanted hijacker’s code from your computer
- Disable your anti-virus and anti-spyware software that protects you from harmful viruses and worms on the Internet and in email
- Start a variety of other malicious activities to prevent you from using the Internet the way you choose or to damage your computer
It can also be expensive as hijackers are known to install special dialers on your computer so as to take control of your dial-up or fax modem. This can be quite costly if the software is successful in placing lengthy long distance calls. The hijacker usually sets up their money-making scheme in a distant country where this type of behaviour goes unchecked by governments and telephone authorities. Long distance customers are responsible for the numbers that are called from their residence, no matter what method is used to make these calls.