THREAT REMOVAL

Go-search.me Redirect – How to Remove It from Your PC

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.

Threat Summary

Name Go-search.me
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
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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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.

Go-search.me redirect search engine

The site itself is modeled after a popular template that is similar to popular web searches. A white (clear) background is used along with a search box. There is a small bottom menu bar that lists links to the privacy policy and terms of use documents. NOTE: All interactions with the site lead to a Yahoo-customized engine. It is modeled to link to affiliate and sponsored links that may not represent the best possible results. Use of redirects like this one can also lead to virus infections.

Go-search.me Redirect – Privacy Policy

Go-search.me privacy policy image

The privacy policy lists that the site is operated by a company called GOSEARCH LTD.. The typical malware behavior is to track the users behavior in a privacy-intrusive way. The document lists that the information harvesting starts when the users load the page for the first time. Examples of harvested data includes the following:

  • 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.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove Go-search.me from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Go-search.me

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall Go-search.me and related software from Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Go-search.me on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Go-search.me there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for Go-search.me with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Go-search.me from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Go-search.me and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Go-search.me:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Go-search.me. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Go-search.me. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • Go to Finder.
  • In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
  • Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
  • If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.

In case you cannot remove Go-search.me via Step 1 above:

In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Go-search.me. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Go-search.me from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Go-search.me from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Go-search.me from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Go-search.me from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Go-search.me will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Go-search.me from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


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