This article will aid you to remove Go-search.me fully. Follow the browser hijacker removal instructions at the end of the article.
Computer security experts discovered a new malware threat known as the Go-search.me redirect. It follows the typical behavior patterns associated with these type of infections and represents a danger that must be removed immediately to minimize the risks and damage.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||This is a typical browser hijacker that aims to infect the web browsers and redirect the victims to a malware site.|
|Symptoms||Typical web browser settings are changed including the homepage, search engine and the new tabs page.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Go-search.me.|
Go-search.me Redirect – Distribution Methods
The Go-search.me redirect is a newly released browser hijacker that is being distributed using the most popular tactics. Threats of this type are usually placed on the plugin repositories of the major web browsers. The hacker controllers usually use fake developer credentials and user reviews in order to fool the victims into thinking that they are downloading a useful tool. In most of the cases elaborate descriptions and images are posted in order to coerce the targets into downloading the software.
Another method relies on email spam messages that make use of social engineering tactics. The criminals may send messages that contain malware attachments that are sent directly to the messages and pose as useful files. Another strategy relies on hyperlinks that may appear as links to legitimate web services. Such cases typically spoof famous sites and elements (text and graphics) that are stolen from them. There are two strategies that have become popular in the last few years:
- Infected Documents — The criminals can integrate the go-search.me dangerous code inside documents of different types (presentations, rich text documents and spreadsheets). Once they are opened by the victims a notification prompt appears that asks the users to enable the built-in scripts. If this is done the infection follows.
- Malware Software Installers — The hackers take free or trial versions of popular software that is downloaded from the official vendor sites and modified to include the malware code. It is then distributed on the Internet posing as the original files.
Malware sites and web scripts such as redirects, banners, pop-ups and others can also lead to the Go-search.me redirect infection.
Go-search.me – Technical Information
The go-search.me redirect is a typical browser hijacker that is modeled after legitimate web searches. Once its loaded onto the victim’s web browsers the malware code can be used to modify the web browsers default settings. Usually such changes are made compatible with the most popular apps: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer. Usually the settings that are changed are the default search engine, new tabs page and home page.
Once the site has been loaded it will start to infect the affected computers with tracking cookies and other web beacons technologoies. In essence browser hijackers are specifically made to create a detailed profile of the users and harvest their personal information. In a manner similar to traditional viruses they can hijack various types of data. It is usually classified into two major groups:
- Anonymous Data — It is mainly composed of data that concerns certain operating system strings and the hardware components.
- Private Data — Such information can directly expose the victim’s identity. The virus engine is programmed to harvest strings like their name, address, location, interests, settings, passwords and account credentials.
The malware engine can be programmed into executing a separate set of instructions once the intrusion has been complete. It can cause system changes related to the operating system. The infection engine can modify boot options that prevent users from entering the recovery menu. This is usually combined with additional malware delivery. Various Windows Registry changes can cause certain services and applications to stop working properly. Such viruses can also deploy Trojan code that can spy on the users in real time, as well as take over control of the affected machines.
- Demographic Information (gender, age, occupation, household income and etc.)
- Physical Location
- Telephone Number
- E-mail and other contact information
- Site Interactions
The document lists that the data may be shared to other sites, services and third parties in order to distribute personalized ads or offer sponsored content.
Remove Go-search.me Redirect Efficiently
To remove Go-search.me manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker redirect and its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such a program can keep your computer safe in the future.
What Is Go-search.me?
The Go-search.me threat is adware or browser redirect virus.
It may slow your computer down significantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear on your device.
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your computer to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your OS.
What Are the Symptoms of Go-search.me?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also unwanted apps in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your computer may become slow and have poor performance in general.
Symptom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Task Manager.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts recommend that you check your computer for viruses.
What Types of Unwanted Programs Are There?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently affect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Browser hijackers.
- Fake optimizers.
What to Do If I Have a "virus" like Go-search.me?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your email passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activities with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these recommendations, your network and all devices will become significantly more secure against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
How Does Go-search.me Work?
Once installed, Go-search.me can collect data about your web browsing habits, such as the websites you visit and the search terms you use. This data is then used to target you with ads or to sell your information to third parties.
Go-search.me can also download other malicious software onto your computer, such as viruses and spyware, which can be used to steal your personal information and show risky ads, that may redirect to virus sites or scams.
Is Go-search.me Malware?
The truth is that PUPs (adware, browser hijackers) are not viruses, but may be just as dangerous since they may show you and redirect you to malware websites and scam pages.
Many security experts classify potentially unwanted programs as malware. This is because of the unwanted effects that PUPs can cause, such as displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without the user’s knowledge or consent.
About the Go-search.me Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Go-search.me how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific, adware-related problem, and restore your browser and computer system.
How did we conduct the research on Go-search.me?
Please note that our research is based on independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware, adware, and browser hijacker definitions.
Furthermore, the research behind the Go-search.me threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.