What is Search Mine?
Search Mine is am irritating search engine that can lead you to websites that are unsecured and could have Malware. Search Mine will intentionally change your default web search engine and will redirect you to it every time you use.
Irritating ads invading your screen each time you open Chrome, Safari, Firefox or another browser? Search Mine “Malware” is likely the culprit behind them. Of course, you’ll need to know where each one of these emerging pop-ups originate from and precisely why your browser redirects you to suspicious promo sites every time you search for something online. A generic name to identify programs that result in the above described symptoms is “browser hijacker”. At the conclusion of this article, you will discover a meticulous removal guide along with instructions on the way to remove it and protect your computer in the future from the aggravating pop-ups.
A side door for Malware
When the majority of people encounter the frustration of a browser hijacker such as Search Mine, SelectMaker or Idle Buddy their very first instinct is to conclude that their system has been infected by a virus. To make the difference between browser hijackers and viruses more clear, we should tell you that the former category of software is legal in contrast to the latter. The real forms of malware are used to carry out cyber crimes like, for instance, data theft and espionage. Ransomware is a good example for a dangerous form of computer malware that we will use as an example.
A Ransomware virus would lock all personal files inside the computer and blackmail its owner for a ransom payment for the data’s rescue. Everyone worried that their computer was virus infected can have a breather now – a browser hijacker can typically be taken care of with little to no harmful consequences. The browser hijackers shouldn’t trigger fear and panic. However, the very best solution when faced with such software always is to get rid of it from as quickly as possible.
One pretty annoying and distressing truth that we need to bring up is the fact most browser hijacker applications like Search Mine “Malware” are legal in spite of how hard they may be to get rid of or how annoying the ads they generate can be. Do not be surprised in case the ads you see on your monitor are overly-intrusive and difficult to bypass – this is a common trait for nearly all browser hijacker programs.
You’d probably find it very difficult to use your browser due to the constant barrage of pop-ups, box-messages and banners coming from Search Mine “Malware”. This behavior is very often mistakenly referred to as a computer virus infection. Despite the resemblances between hijackers and real malware, the browser hijackers must not be regarded as computer viruses simply because they are not malicious by definition.
Identifying Malware From Search Mine
You can tell whether a certain software is harmful by looking at its behavior and at the way it interacts with the elements of your system. The browser hijacker software is primarily designed to show pay-per-click advertisements through which the owner of the app can make money. With a hijacker in your machine, you are likely to see pop-ups, banners, box messages and url links all over the place.
Of course, the main reason as to why browser hijacker programs usually make their commercials so irritating is because they want you to click on as much of them as possible. The browser hijackers are considered to be the nastiest expression of the so-called pay-per-click marketing model used by the web advertisers as means of making money.
|Danger Level||Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)|
|Symptoms||If your homepage is replaced with an unknown site and there is a new search engine in your browser, you likely have a hijacker.|
|Distribution Method||It is typical for hijackers to be bundled with and to get distributed alongside other programs.|
Remove Search Mine “Malware”
Step 1: Closing Safari (or any other browser that you may be using at the moment)
First, you will need to close your browser if it is still open. If you can’t do that normally, you will need to Force Quit it:
Open the Apple Menu and select Force Quit to do that. You can also use the ⌘ key + Option Key combination to open the Force Quit Applications dialog box. In this box, select the Safari browser (or whatever browser you are using) and then click on the Quit button. Confirm the action by selecting Force Quit again.
Step 2: Killing suspicious processes
Open Finder and go to Applications > Utilities and then open Activity Monitor. Now take a careful look at the processes there – look for any that seem suspicious, unknown and questionable. If you think that a given process may be the culprit behind the issue or may at least be related to it, highlight it with the mouse and select the i option at its top.
In the box that opens, click on Sample.
Scan the sample files with the online scanner we have on this page and if any of them get flagged as malicious, delete them and then kill their processes.
Step 3: Safely launching the browser
Hold the Shift from your keyboard and then launch Safari – holding Shift will prevent any previously opened pages to load again, just in case any of them were related to the problem.
If any problematic pages still load after you safe-launch the browser, then do the following:
Force-Quit the browser (Safari) again and then turn off your Wi-Fi connection by clicking on the Wi-Fi off option from the Mac Menu. If you are using cable Internet, simply disconnect the cable from your Mac.
Step 4: Uninstalling suspicious extensions
After you safe-launch Safari and are sure none of the previously opened pages load now, go to Preferences > Extensions.
Select and uninstall (by clicking on the Uninstall button) all extensions there that are unfamiliar to you or that you think may be suspicious. If you are not sure about a certain extension, it’s better to uninstall it – no extension is required for the normal functioning of the browser.
Step 5: Cleaning Safari
If you have other browsers aside from Safari, do the following:
In Safari, open Preferences from the browser’s menu and go to Privacy.
Select Remove All Website Data and then Remove Now. Note that this will delete all stored site data including any saved passwords and usernames. In other words, you will have to manually log-in to every site where you have a registration so make sure you remember your usernames and passwords.
Back in Preferences, click on General and see what your Safari’s homepage is. If it has been changed without your permission, change it back to what it used to be or to whatever you like it to be now.
Now go to the History menu and select the Clear History option.
Do the same to all other browsers you may have in your computer – here are examples with Chrome and Firefox.
Open Chrome and open its main menu, then go to More Tools > Extensions. Click on the Remove button next to all of the extensions that you do not trust.
Next, from the main menu, go to Settings and type Manage Search Engines in the search bar. Open the result that shows up and then delete all search engines other than the one you normally use by clicking on the three-dot icon next to the other ones and selecting Remove from list.
Back in Settings, type Reset and clean up and open the option that shows up (Restore settings to their original defaults). Confirm by selecting Reset Settings.
Open Firefox and then open its main menu. Go to Add-ons and open the Extensions menu from the left. Look at the extensions and Remove the ones you do not trust.
Next, open the menu again, go to Help > Troubleshooting information and in the page that opens, select Refresh Firefox and then confirm the action in the window that opens.