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, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 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.
Google Redirect Virus-FAQ
What Is Google Redirect Virus?
The Google Redirect Virus 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 Google Redirect Virus?
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 Google Redirect Virus?
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 Google Redirect Virus Work?
Once installed, Google Redirect Virus 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.
Google Redirect Virus 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 Google Redirect Virus 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 Google Redirect Virus Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Google Redirect Virus 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 Google Redirect Virus?
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 Google Redirect Virus threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand this online threat, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.