Yet another browser hijacker based on Google Custom Search results has been spotted on the cyber-security radar by researchers. It sets the host Search.So-V(dot)com as a home page of your Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer and other web browsers. It may look like a useful browser extension and may also be software installed directly onto your Programs and Features in Windows. Since it is capable of displaying different ads, leading to third-party websites, the hijacker is considered riskware. Users are advised towards its swift removal.
|Short Description||The software may do various dangerous or unhealthy to the PC activities.|
|Symptoms||The user may witness fake Update downloads as well as redirects and advertisements leading to other potentially harmful domains.|
|Detection Tool||Download Malware Removal Tool, to See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware|
|User Experience||Join our forum to discuss Search.So-V(dot)com.|
Search.So-V(dot)com Browser Hijacker – How Did I Get It
There are several methods, used to distribute such software out in the open. The primary ones include bundling which is the most often used tactic to slither such programs into a PC. It is essentially the including of such suspicious ad-supported program in a setup of a free software that is often sought after and downloaded via the web. There are many websites offering to bundle any app for profit and they are the ones users should stay away from. It is strongly advisable to look for the official site of the software and always check for “free extras” in the “Advanced” and “Custom” options of your installer.
Search.So-V(dot)com – How Does It Work
After it has been situated onto your PC, the So-V browser hijacker may create different files in several locations of your Windows device:
- %Program Files%
This hijacker also makes several registry values and keys with custom data in them to support it’s activity and assure it goes uninterrupted. Examples of keys are the following:
→ “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy\History
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel
Values created in those keys may exist with different purposes – to conceal the application’s processes, to make it harder to uninstall, etc. They may not be malicious but they are risky since this application may use tracking technologies to obtain user information such as:
- IP address.
- Browsing History.
- Online searches.
- Online clicks.
All of this information may be collected to display different types of advertisements to the user. Ads may include pop-ups, banners, highlighted text and ad-supported search results. When we searched for “smartphones” this browser hijacker displayed the same advertisements as another one, called Searchinworld(.)com.
Alexa has classified the world ranking of this website at pretty decent at the moment of writing this – 600,232 with most users visiting it from Brasil.
Furthermore, we have established that this site uses different types of tracking tools such as cookies, pixels, LSOs and others:
The primary reason this suspicious search engine is considered indirectly dangerous is the third-party websites it may advertise to the user. It may redirect the user or advertise websites of malicious content. There are two main types of such sites that exist at the moment:
- Scamming sites that may extract different information from the user (ex. Tech Support scams, Phishing, etc.)
- Malicious websites that may directly infect the user’s computer with malware.
Remove Search.So-V(dot)com Completely
In order to fully get rid of this software residing on your PC, you should focus in taking methodological steps towards swiftly erasing its files. Since it may modify the registry entries and gain permissions we recommend following the step-by-step instructions below.
Delete Search.So-V(dot)com from Windows and Your Browser
Remove Search.So-V(dot)com automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Search.So-V(dot)com from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Search.So-V(dot)com from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Search.So-V(dot)com from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Search.So-V(dot)com from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Search.So-V(dot)com from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Search.So-V(dot)com from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Search.So-V(dot)com from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Search.So-V(dot)com from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Search.So-V(dot)com
Step 2: Uninstall Search.So-V(dot)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.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Search.So-V(dot)com 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 Search.So-V(dot)com there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Search.So-V(dot)com from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Search.So-V(dot)com 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 Search.So-V(dot)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:
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 Search.So-V(dot)com files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Search.So-V(dot)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.
Remove Search.So-V(dot)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.
Erase Search.So-V(dot)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.
Uninstall Search.So-V(dot)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.
Remove Search.So-V(dot)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".
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 Search.So-V(dot)com will be removed.
Eliminate Search.So-V(dot)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.