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Remove Search Genius from Safari, Chrome and Firefox on Mac OS X

Use these directions to get rid of SearchGenius malware hijacking the default browser search and homepage settings on Mac OS X computers.

Browser hijacking is such a drag. It may affect users of both desktop computers and mobile gadgets, where Macs are somewhere in the middle by the prevalence of these attacks. A frequently reported instance involves an online service named Search Genius. Currently parked at search.searchgenius.com, the resource is safe to just visit and browse around. The displeasing situation where users get that page returned when they try to do a web search or simply open Safari, Chrome or Firefox is a completely different story. What makes the drastic difference is whether or not the associated malicious extension is on board a Mac box.

Browser hijack by Search Genius

A close-up analysis of this sample reveals its affiliation with a trojan dubbed ‘mediahm’. If the infection is inside, the LaunchAgents folder will typically contain the following entry: com.mediahm.operator.update.plist. Also, a subfolder named ‘mediahm’ is likely to be in the Application Support directory. If spotted on a machine, both of these should be sent to trash without hesitation. A more conspicuous sign of this infection is the Search Genius extension installed in Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers without the administrator’s consent. The troublemaking add-on is dropped as a result of a covert bundling workflow – the user installed something, usually a free app, which silently dragged in the adware along with it. The user agreement request to give Search Genius considerable privileges on the system tends to be deliberately concealed on the setup stage, therefore the application needn’t ask for approval to make alterations afterwards.

Having fallen victim to this intrusion, users cannot set any preferred pages for the browser start page and default search engine parameters. The landing page, search.searchgeniusinfo.com, hence takes over the custom settings and gets repeatedly visited on the Mac despite the user’s reluctance to hit it. The site itself is just a layer between the infected people and another search provider, so it has barely any functionality of its own. To fix the problem, delete the items listed in the previous paragraph and follow the steps below which will complete the remediation.

Search Genius manual removal for Mac

To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by the Search Genius virus should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:

1. Reset Safari

• Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Reset Safari in the drop-down list

• Make sure all the boxes are ticked on the interface and hit Reset

Resrt Safari

2. Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome and click the Customize and Control Google Chrome menu icon

• Select Options for a new window to appear

• Select Under the Hood tab, then click Reset to defaults button

Reset Chrome

3. Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox and select HelpTroubleshooting Information

• On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button

Reset Firefox

 

Search Genius virus automatic removal for Mac

1. Download and install MacKeeper application (read review). In addition to security features, this tool provides a vast arsenal of Mac optimization capabilities

Download MacKeeper

2. Get your Mac checked for malicious software by going to System Scan and starting the scan procedure

MacKeeper: Analysis

3. When the app comes up with a list of detected security issues, get those fixed by clicking the respective button. The Search Genius adware should now be completely gone.

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