THREAT REMOVAL

Remove CheetaSearch(.)com Browser Hijacker Entirely

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-main-page

CheetaSearch(.)com the main web page for a browser hijacker. The Imali Media Ltd. company is the creator of the unwanted program. Every search query you make will go through another hijacker named SafeFinder, as well. The hijacker will change your browser settings, such as the homepage, search engine, and new tab to Search.CheetaSearch(.)com and might even add a toolbar or a plug-in to your browsers. Advertisements can appear when you browse. To remove the hijacker and the files tied to it, you should read the article carefully.

Threat Summary

Name CheetaSearch(.)com
Type Browser Hijacker, PUP
Short Description All browsers on your computer could be affected. The hijacker can redirect you and filter each of your searches.
Symptoms Browser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and new tab, browser plugins and a toolbar. You could see third party content and advertising.
Distribution Method Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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Malware Removal Tool

User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss CheetaSearch(.)com.

CheetaSearch(.)com – Distribution Tactics

CheetaSearch(.)com can utilize several distribution tactics to get in your browsers. Usually, this happens with third-party installations. Software bundles, along with freeware installer setups, can put the hijacker inside your computer. This kind of setups might have additional components selected for installing, by default. Lots of settings could be modified without prior notice so the unwanted program could be in your computer and you might not know about it. To prevent such installations can happen if you find Custom or Advanced settings inside the setup to deselect the unwanted components.

CheetaSearch(.)com can be distributed to your computer system through the use of advertising content, like banners, pop-ups or similar advert types. The hijacker could also be distributed with the aid of suspicious websites hosting redirecting links. These websites could be partnered with CheetaSearch(.)com. Browsers that can be affected are: Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla Firefox.

CheetaSearch(.)com – Detailed Overview

CheetaSearch(.)com is the official web page and search engine of the browser hijacker with the same name – CheetaSearch. The company which made it is Imali Media Ltd., known for the production of other browser hijacker applications in the past. You can learn more about Imali Media Hijackers from our blog.

You can see a screenshot of the main page below:

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-main-page2

The CheetaSearch(.)com page is made of a search bar, and a couple of links redirecting to the EULA and Privacy Policy of the service. The page in the above screenshot is the one replacing the search engine of every browser you have, in addition to the new tab setting, and the home page. A toolbar is usually placed on top of the page.

If any extra applications connected to CheetaSearch(.)com enter your computer machine, like a browser extension or plug-in, then you will see more changes made to your browsers. More programs like that could install on your PC with bundled software setups. Add-ons, plug-ins, and extensions can generate advertisements, show up more third-party content and land you on suspicious web pages. These pages could be in a partnership with CheetaSearch(.)com.

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-coldplay-yahoo-search-results

From the above picture, you can see the search results page of CheetaSearch(.)com. Or at least the page it redirects to, which in this case is that of Yahoo. The page might redirect to other reputable search engines now or in the near future. This particular redirection tactic is triggered, so it can try to trick you into trusting the hijacker. Its effectiveness remains to this very day. A closer look reveals that with each of your search queries, the data goes through the following redirect:

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-hijacker-safe-finder-redirect

Through Safe Finder service, the browser hijacker CheetaSearch(.)com gathers and sends more information about you.

The search engines are intertwined and possibly exchange all information related to your searches and browser history. They might be partnered up or affiliated. You should be careful with their websites for rogue search engines and do not give any personal details about you on their platforms.

CheetaSearch(.)com – Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of the CheetaSearch(.)com is in actuality that of Imali Media Ltd. The policy of the Safe Finder website is also applied here if you must know. Both platforms make it clear that information is acquired from you as if you use their websites is considered as your approval of that. CheetaSearch(.)com gathers both personally and non-personally identifying information. Third parties can also obtain all of the information, too.

How the privacy policy of Imali Media looks:

STF-cheetasearch-com-cheeta-search-cheetah-imali-media-privacy-policy

According to this Privacy Policy, there are particular types of information collected.

Information, collected by Imali Media from all victims of the hijacker:
  • Your IP (internet protocol) address
  • The type of browser you use
  • The time at which you visited the site
  • Which pages you visited throughout the site
Information you provide that can be collected:
  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Country of origin
  • Your nickname
  • Telephone number
  • Website
  • Company
  • Job title
Information collected when you download and install the plugin:
  • Demographic information
  • Your gender
  • Your age
  • Occupation
  • Household income
  • Zip code
  • Your country
  • Mobile telephone number
  • Your E-mail address

As stated in the policy, information may also be obtained if you complete or fill a questionnaire, subscription form or a contest entry form.

Information collected automatically from the plugin:
  • Searches you perform using Imali Media domains
  • The ways in which you use various features
  • Pages you view on those domains
  • Page view count
  • Impressions and clicks

The automatically gathered information will be sent to servers of Imali media and its partners when your web browser accesses the hijacker’s site and when you use its plug-in. Cookies accumulate that type of information.

Check out this interesting quote from the policy, which is about external links on the site:

Our Site includes links to other third party Web sites (such as Google, Facebook, Youtube etc.) whose privacy practices may differ from those of Browsing Product. Our service may also be linked to sites or services operated by the Browsing Product affiliates or third parties, and may carry advertisements or offer content, functionality, games, rewards programs, newsletters, contests or sweepstakes, or applications developed and maintained by third parties including, any online store.

Imali Media basically states that any link, redirect or additional content you come in contact with, through their hijacker software, is not their fault, and more privacy policies will be in place. Thus, other websites will be held responsible for that kind of content. Be wary of all these sites and do not click on anything showing from them. Also, be careful with what you enter in search engines, in general. Take note that the Safe Finder service gathers additional information about you.

Remove CheetaSearch(.)com Completely from Your PC

To remove CheetaSearch(.)com manually from your computer, follow the step-by-step removal guide given below. In case the manual removal does not get rid of the hijacker and all of its files completely, you should search for and remove any leftovers with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software can keep your computer safe in the future.

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Berta Bilbao

Berta is a dedicated malware researcher, dreaming for a more secure cyber space. Her fascination with IT security began a few years ago when a malware locked her out of her own computer.

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

How to Remove CheetaSearch(.)com from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove CheetaSearch(.)com

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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com:

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 CheetaSearch(.)com. 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 CheetaSearch(.)com. 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com. 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 CheetaSearch(.)com files from your Mac

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


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for CheetaSearch(.)com:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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


Remove CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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 CheetaSearch(.)com 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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