Search Pulse Virus - How to Remove (Mac/Safari) Update Feb 2020
THREAT REMOVAL

Search Pulse Virus

Wondering what Search Pulse virus is, and how to remove it from Safari or Chrome browsers and Mac systems? Follow the detailed guide at the end to see how to get rid of Search Pulse undesired program.

What Is Search Pulse?

Search Pulse is an app that could find a way to run on your system without your knowledge. Even though this program claims to be a search manager that improves your browsing experience it is a bogus app that attempts to harvest specific data from affected Safari, Chrome or another preferred web browser so it can then provide the data to its unknown owners. Along with this, it could be used for the delivery of many annoying ads directly in the browser. The Search Pulse browser hijacker also changes browser search provider to Search Pulse. This hoax search engine is designed to redirect affected users to search result pages from http://search.yahoo.com. This way the undesired program is probably generating advertising revenue to its operators by using Yahoo Search for its search results. To sum up, Search Pulse is a potentially unwanted program that should be removed from the affected Mac system and web browsers as soon as possible.

Threat Summary

NameSearch Pulse
TypeBrowser Hijacker for MacOS
Search Pulse on WindowsSearchpulse.net Windows PC Removal Guide
Short DescriptionSearch Pulse aims to heavily modify the settings of installed web browsers so that it can start pushing all sorts of third-party ads. The app can steal sensitive data from the affected system and browser.
SymptomsYou may start noticing system performance issues as well as many redirects to bogus web pages pushed by Search Pulse.
Distribution MethodVia software bundling or downloading a PUA (Potetially Unwanted Application)
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by Search Pulse

Download

Combo Cleaner

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Search Pulse.

Why is Search Pulse on Mac?

If your Mac is constantly being redirected to the suspicious websites and your browser homepage and search engine have been changed to Search Pulse (home.searchpulse.net) search engine without your consent, then your Mac is infected with an unwanted/malicious program installed.

how to get rid of search pulse on mac

A reddit user shared the following complaint about Search Pulse virus on his Mac:

Posted byu/calciumlithium_
1 month ago
How do I get rid of Search Pulse from Mac?

Is anyone familiar with the search pulse virus? My Macbook acquired it last week. Whenever I open Safari, Search Pulse pops up (search.searchpulse.net). It also pops up when I open a new tab/window. I downloaded a malware software when I first noticed that I got it. The software detected it, I followed the steps provided to delete it, and I then restarted my computer. But search pulse still popped up when I opened Safari. I then ran the malware program a second time but it came back as my computer being clean. I downloaded a second virus program and that one, too, showed my computer as being clean. I made sure the search pulse was not set as my homepage, it isn’t listed as an extension, and I deleted all caches and cookies. But this search pulse website continues to open up in each Safari window. Does anyone know how to remove this malware for good? Any help would be very, very much appreciated!

As an unwanted application Search Pulse is being distributed via shady techniques that trick you into installing it without noticing it. It is most likely that freeware installers and bundled packages are used for its spread. So you may have unnoticeably installed it on your Mac along with another desired app. This nasty side effect usually happens due to the fact that the presence of potentially undesired extra apps is not disclosed properly in the installers of freeware apps. Sometimes the unnoticed installation of unwanted apps like Search Pulse can be avoided with a thorough read of the information listed under the Advanced or Custom configuration option. There you may find out apps you don’t need and opt-out their installation.

Suspicious websites are another approach for the distribution of PUPs like Search Pulse. By visiting such a website you can let the undesired app infiltrate your macOS on the back of your browser. For the installation process, the rogue app may trigger a pop-up that forces you to install a fake software update or follow certain steps that will help it bypass active security measures.

Yet another online place where the deceptive Search Pulse app (searchpulse.net) is offered it its official website.

search pulse virus mac

As of November 2019, the Search Pulse Mac virus is propagated with the help of fake Adobe Flash Player updates. And in February 2020 this technique is still in use for the propagation of this nasty application.

What else do you need to know about the Search Pulse virus on Mac?

Many users whose systems get infected with Search Pulse consider the app as a Mac virus. But is Search Pulse a virus? In fact, Search Pulse is a browser hijacker that aims to alter browser settings, spy on users’ online behavior and display intrusive ads in an attempt to monetize its presence on an affected system. Hence, Search Pulse is classified as a potentially unwanted program.

Once started on your Mac the undesired app Search Pulse modifies main settings of installed browsers. To investigate the behavior of Search Pulse virus we installed it as an extension on a Chrome browser. In fact, it became clear that the potentially unwanted program wants to be authorized to perform all of the following actions in order to be installed:

  • Read and change all your data on the websites you visit
  • Replace the page you see when opening a new tab
  • Read and change your browsing history
  • Communicate with cooperating websites
  • Change your search engine to: search.searchpulse.net
  • Manage your apps, extensions, and themes

search pulse permissions in affected browser

After all these issues occur Search Pulse virus becomes able to collect various sensitive details from the affected browser. It keeps a record of collected data on its servers. To record certain details the undesired app activates tracking technologies like cookies, javascript, web beacons and other. All of the following details may be collected by the app and used by its unknown owners:

  • Browsing history
  • Browser’s home page
  • Search queries
  • Type of used browser
  • Operating system type
  • Internet protocol (IP) address
  • Geographic location
  • The domain name of current Internet service provider (ISP)

As it appears the nasty Search Pulse virus app replaces your default search engine with search.searchpulse.net or home.searchpulse.net. These domains host hoax search engines that affect trustworthy browsers with the goal to obtain search queries, track browsing history and generate sponsored results. The homepage box in the preferenced of an affected Safari can appear as an unclickable blank. Hence, you may be unable to add a preferred homepage.

After entering a search query in an affected browser, the hijacker redirects users to search.yahoo.com results. This issue is related to the so-called Yahoo virus. By redirecting affected browsers to Yahoo search the Search Pulse virus app aims to generate revenue for its operators. Beware as the searching results generated by the hijacker may present misleading content and links to hacked websites. The results are also likely to be flooded with lots of sponsored content.

As long as Search Pulse virus app is running on your Mac and has access to your Safari/Chrome or another installed web browser, it may be generating other types of ads in the browser including pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, redirects, and in-text links. This issue is caused for the purposes of money revenue too. Apps like Serch Pulse are designed to spy on users’ online behavior, provide data to their owners and generate ads based on the collected data. Their owners often bet on the pay-per-click advertising model as it enables them to get paid for every click on an ad generated by their tool. What may be the consequences? Do these ads pose a certain risk to your online security?

On the one hand, the performance of your system and browser may be slowed down. On the other hand, the security of your system is at high risk of infection with serious malware like is the Shlayer Trojan. Hence, the data stored on system drives may be endangered too.

If you want to keep your system protected against malware and your personal data private, you need to remove Search Pulse virus from Safari and Mac as soon as possible.

How to Remove Search Pulse Virus from Mac

In order to remove Search Pulse virus from Mac make sure to complete all the steps listed in the removal that follows. It will help you to remove Search Pulse from Safari and Chrome too. Unfortunately, Search Pulse is not always in the extensions list. Hence, its associated files cannot be uninstalled by simply closing the browser and dragging the undesired app to the Trash. This nasty program creates “profiles” in the system preferences and you have to delete them. If you want to remove the Search Pulse from your Mac OS in full we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware for Mac. The program will scan your operating system and terminate files with malicious patterns. It will also clean up any malicious code in your repositories. With a specific anti-malware program, youр Mac will be protected better in the future.

In case you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy. She has been with the STF team for four years, researching malware and reporting on the latest infections.

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4 Comments

  1. AvatarJohnson

    When I remove it from Safari, it keeps coming back. Can you assist ?

    Reply
    1. AvatarVentsislav Krastev

      After you download the removal tool – Combo Cleaner, make sure to scan your Mac. If the Combo Cleaner doesn’t detect SearchPulse virus, you should activate the full Combo Cleaner by purchasing it and then you should contact Combo Cleaner’s live support team – they will remove it manually from your computer so that you don’t have to deal with it anymore :). I hope this helped.

      Reply
  2. AvatarDiana

    What is you can’t find the file? I looked in my utilities and apps–nothing comes up that looks like it doesn’t belong there, necessarily.

    Reply
    1. Milena DimitrovaMilena Dimitrova

      Hi Diana,
      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. We have instructions for this as well, they are right under Step 1 (with a disclaimer you should read carefully). Hope this helps.

      Reply

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