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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

 

Get rid of Search Genius virus using Freshmac automatic removal tool

When confronted with malicious code like the Search Genius on Mac, you can neutralize its toxic impact by leveraging a specially crafted system utility. The Freshmac application (read review) is a perfect match for this purpose as it delivers essential security features along with must-have modules for Mac optimization.

This tool cleans unneeded applications and persistent malware in one click. It also protects your privacy by eliminating tracking cookies, frees up disk space, and manages startup apps to decrease boot time. On top of that, it boasts 24/7 tech support. The following steps will walk you through automatic removal of the Search Genius infection.

1. Download Freshmac installer onto your machine. Double-click the Freshmac.pkg file to trigger the installer window, select the destination disk and click Continue. The system will display a dialog asking for your password to authorize the setup. Type the password and click Install Software.

Download Freshmac

2. Once the installation has been completed, Freshmac will automatically start a scan consisting of 5 steps. It scans cache, logs, unused languages, trash, and checks the Mac for privacy issues.

Freshmac scan start

3. The scan report will then display your current system health status and the number of issues detected for each of the above categories. Click the Fix Safely button to remove junk files and address privacy issues spotted during the scan.

Freshmac scan report
System Status verdict by Freshmac
Cache Cleanup section of Freshmac scan report
Privacy Cleaner

4. Check whether the Search Genius virus has been fixed. If the lock screen is still there, go to the Uninstaller option on Freshmac GUI. Locate an entry that appears suspicious, select it and click Fix Safely button to force-uninstall the unwanted application.

Uninstaller pane

5. Go to Temp and Startup Apps panes on the interface and have all redundant or suspicious items eliminated as well. The search.searchgeniusinfo.com fraud shouldn’t be causing any further trouble.

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