Google Redirect Virus continues to plague users globally. This redirection is among the most dangerous, annoying, and difficult to remove infections that are now spreading through the World Wide Web.
Google Redirect “Virus”
The Google redirecting “virus” is causing redirection of the Google search results. Users have reported that they are redirected to third-party sites whenever they click on the desired search result. Such web locations can be hazardous since they are well known to either scam users, install adware PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) or infect them with malware.
|Name||Google Redirect Virus|
|Short Description||Executes redirecting scripts into legitimate Google search results.|
|Symptoms||Redirects to third-party sites of unknown origin by clicking on search results. Difficulty to remove.|
|Distribution Method||By clicking on a malicious link. By opening a malicious email attachment.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Google Redirect Virus.|
Google Redirect Virus – Why Are You Experiencing This?
When the user of the affected PC or Mac is searching Google, the search machine shows approximately ten links. When the user clicks on these links, he is redirected to advertisement or hacker hoax webpages. These pages are designed to trick the user and to steal personal information.
The experts sometimes refer to this virus as Yahoo redirecting virus or Bing redirection virus, as the same infection affects the other search engines too. A new variant of this infection has been recently found and called Happili redirecting virus and Nginx redirecting virus. The same group of computer infections causes all these symptoms.
To be more precise, there isn’t one particular virus responsible for the so-called browser hijacker, or the similar redirects mentioned above. This term is used to describe various issues and infections stemming from malware or viruses leading to redirecting users to Google or a page made to look like the search engine. All the displayed search results will lead to further issues, and interacting with them is not advisory.
Google Redirect Virus: Technical Details
According to security researchers, the threat has been reported to link to any suspicious sites, the most notorious of which are:
- search.babylon.com (One of the most famous browser hijacker related search engines).
- livejasmin.com (Ad-supported online adult website).
- adf.ly(Legitimate ad-supported service that can be exploited via malvertising).
- neatsearchserver.com (known associations with ZeroAccess rootkit).
Besides those, there are several other sites believed to be associated with this threat:
→“Search.babylon.com, scour.com, blinkx.com, Worldslife.com, Blendersearch.com, Bodisparking.com, coolsearchserver.com, webplains.net, find-fast-answers.com, search-netsite.com, toseeka.com, AboutBlank, La.vuwl.com, 10-directory.com, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 7search.com, adorika.com, adf.ly, admarketplace.com, alive-finder.com, alltheservices.com, articlemule.org, asklots.com, ave99.com, b00kmarks.com, background-sleuth.net, bargainmatch.com, beoo.com, bestdiscountinsurance.com, bestsearchpage.com, bestclicksnow.com, bestmarkstore.com, bestwebchoices.com, bestwebsearch.com, bidsystem.com, secure.bidvertiser.com, britewallet.com, budgetmatch.net, buzzclick.com, celebrity-gossip.net, cheapstuff.com, citysearch.com, clicksor.com (Clicksor), clkads.com, feed.clickbizz.com, comparedby.us, comparestores.net, couponmountain.com, digitaltrends.com, easilyfindlocal.com, everythinghere.com, evoplus.com, expandsearchanswers.com (expand search answers), fastfinder.com, feedsmixer.org (starFeedsMixer), find-quick-results.com, FilesCup.com (FilesCup), findexmark.com, find-answers-fast.com, Zinkwink.com, us-srch-system.com, finditreport.com, findology.com, finderquery.com, findstuff.com, flurrysearch.com, forless.com, gimmeanswers.org, glimpse.com, google-redirect.com, googlesearchserver.net, get-search-results.com, goingonearth.com, goodsearch.com, gomeo.co.uk, gossipcenter.com, gquestionnaire.com, greatsearchserver.com, greenluo.com, grooveswish.com, guide2faucets.com, happili.com, HelloLocal.com, hyperpromote.com, informationgetter.com, inruo.com, jerseyscatalog.com, juggle.com, k100searches.com, YouPorn, liutilities.com, livejasmin.com (creative.livejasmin.com popups), local-search-pages.com, localpages.com, localsearchbug.com, lowpriceshopper.com, manufacturersdirectory.com, multifind24.com, mybestclick.net, mycustomsearch.cn, mydealchoices.com, mydealmatch.com, mylocalhero.com, neatsales.com, neatsearchserver.com (neat search server ZeroAccess rootkit), netsearchfinder.com, netshoppers.com, nexplore.com, privacycheck.ru, Pulse360.com, qooqle.com, questyes.com, quick-search-results.com, quick-suggest.com, redirectsite.net, results5.google.com, safecompare.com, saveandcoupon.com, savecompare.com, savingwithads.com, scoursearch.net, search-redirector.com, searchforall.info, searching4all.com, search-results.com (int.search-results.com), searchbacon.com, searchdiscovered.com, searchqu.com, searchqualitysites.com, searchnext.com, searchspice.com, shopcompare.net, shopcompareus.com, shopfinded.com, shopica.com, shopica.com/search, shopzilla.com, socialsurvey2011.info, Social Search Redirect, Search-netsite.com, kitchenrenopages.com, kingtopsearch.net, kiseek.com, lawyerinsight.org, letsbuystuff.com, njksearc.net, qooqlle.com, Storeordersonline.com, somesearchsystem.com, startnow.com, startsearcher.com, supersearchserver.com, TabDiscover.com, tazinga.com (tazinga!), theifinder.com, Thewebtimes.com, Marveloussearchsystem.com, merchantsnearby.com, monstermarketplace.com, mooter.com, TheTop10.com, tubedownloader.com, theyellowpages.com, theyellowpagez.com, topdaodrugs.com, tubedownloader.com, Therelatedsearch.com, unblock-us.com, valueapproved.com, vshare.toolbarhome.com (vShare), vehiclefind24.com, whatcarefreefeelslike.com,weeklycontestwinner.org, weeklyusa-winner.com, webshoppinghelper.com, webresults6.org, yellowmoxie.com, search.yellowise.com, ylwbook.addresses.com, youfindmore.com and Zwankysearch.com.”
The redirection program won’t be easy to locate and recognize, as it won’t display any visible signs as with other virus-related scams (e.g., tech support scams). The threat aims to do precisely the opposite – stay concealed within your machine for extended periods to monitor your online activities. Cybercrooks usually seek to infect PCs on a massive scale as parts of different campaigns. Such campaigns ensure various benefits, some of which may be generating a profit and obtaining additional information about worldwide users. If they have one user’s data, it won’t be nearly enough to satisfy their malicious needs, but if infections are done on a massive scale, that allows them to be very powerful. More so, they can make money on pay-per-click schemes by receiving profit per percentage as a part of an affiliate agreement or a particular contract. This is a more advanced marketing strategy that may aim to push the above-mentioned sites’ traffic upwards.
According to Wiki researchers, the threat is believed to be associated with the following processes, DLL files, registry values and other objects on your PC:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\_VOIDmainqt.dll
Furthermore, Symantec researchers have identified a new malicious threat associated with the virus, naming it Backdoor.Tidserv. Also, they have created a removal tool especially for this virus, calling it the Backdoor.Tidserv removal tool.
In addition, Symantec researchers believe that this threat uses sophisticated rootkit-like behavior with the purpose of staying undetected for longer periods of time. Such threats are created with one and only purpose – to generate profits to their author. Most adware applications only display three to four ad-supported search results, pop-ups, or sometimes redirects. This threat may display redirects from genuine links on the computer. So in case you get redirected multiple times by clicking on genuine links you know for sure are legitimate (Facebook, eBay, etc.), this is a clear sign that you have the Google redirects virus on your system.
What Is a Rootkit?
First of all, rootkits can be both malicious and legitimate. Some rootkits can be installed as parts of legitimate apps.
A malicious rootkit is the type of application that no user wants ever to encounter. It is an application designed to hide its presence or another program’s company on the system. Rootkits use some of the OS’s lower layers, such as API function redirection. This approach makes rootkits very persistent to detection, at least by average anti-malware program.
How do rootkits infect systems? The most common distribution method is via Trojan horses or malicious email attachments. Nonetheless, there are other infection vectors, including the installation of dubious plugins and the overall unsafe user behavior.
Outcomes of Google Redirect Virus
This threat can lead to many other infections. Some of them are simple, like modification of the host file. Others are dangerous as they are state-of-the-art computer rootkits like the fearsome rootkit from the TDSS family. The rootkit infections are hard to be removed, as they are quite different from the common virus. When the PC user is affected by a simple virus, it can be deleted from the hard drive. The users have to search through the system when not loaded and get an idea of the situation.
The rootkit infections are different. They are viruses written in a special way that get inside the computer and integrate into the operating system’s heart. The rootkits make the users’ PC windows show them things that hide the things that should be there and show things that do not exist. In addition to that, the rootkit downloaded or used by such threats can download Trojans.
Why Is Removing Google Redirect Virus So Difficult?
All computer experts confirm that the removal of these redirects is complicated. This virus has the power to alter the Master Boot Record (MBR) and make a partition of its own. The experts cannot find this when Windows is running and without special anti-rootkit techniques.
When infected, some of the main windows files will be patched, and the operating system will keep on working as intended. However, the fixed files can receive commands from hackers and then they can do anything they want to the user’s system. It is not simple to delete these files, as windows will not boot.
Other Redirects Similar to Google Redirect “Virus”
Did clicking on Google Search results redirected you to ads? That is not surprising, as users have been affected by several aggressive redirects that compromise browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Below you can find a list of currently active redirects that you should be aware of:
- Chrome Redirect “Virus”
- Bing Redirect “Virus”
- Yahoo Redirect “Virus”
- Safari Redirect “Virus”
- Firefox Redirect “Virus”
Note that there might be even more advertisements and redirect links stemming from hijackers and pop-ups related to such redirects.
Remove Google Redirect Virus – Instructions
Complete removal is not possible with the rootkit infection. In order to fix this problem, the user will need professional removal tools. Here is what the user can do on his own:
- Remove the suspicious extensions and add-ons from the browsers Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
- Reset browser settings.
- Manually remove the browser hijacked homepage.
- Manually remove the unwanted search engine.
- Modify the Windows hosts file and delete the unwanted IP addresses.
- Review the Domain Name Server (DNS), as it might be poisoned.
- Check the proxy settings.
It is also an essential strategy to disconnect the web connection and boot the computer in Safe Mode while performing the actions described above. Experts highly recommend downloading an offline installer of the latest version of advanced malware protection from a safe PC and installing it in the infected computer to scan and remove all traces of this unwanted app altogether.
Also, in order to be thorough, it is essential to use a portable rootkit remover program and a registry cleaner. In order to clean your browser data and attempt any manual removal, please refer to the removal guide below and download a google redirects virus removal tool after manual removal. Also refer to the above mentioned files associated with Google Redirect Virus.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Google Redirect Virus from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Google Redirect Virus from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Google Redirect Virus from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Google Redirect Virus from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Google Redirect Virus from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Google Redirect Virus from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Google Redirect Virus from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Google Redirect Virus from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Google Redirect Virus
Step 2: Uninstall Google Redirect Virus 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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Google Redirect Virus on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Google Redirect Virus there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Google Redirect Virus from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Google Redirect Virus and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- 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 Google Redirect Virus 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:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove Google Redirect Virus files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Google Redirect Virus, 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.
Remove Google Redirect Virus 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.
Erase Google Redirect Virus 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.
Uninstall Google Redirect Virus 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.
Remove Google Redirect Virus 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Google Redirect Virus will be removed.
Eliminate Google Redirect Virus 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.