Use this post to solve the problem of irritating advertisements by VSearch popping up on websites which are accessed from the compromised Mac box.
The event that has been reportedly causing the web browsing snag stemming from VSearch adware, also known as OSX/VSearch-(letters A through D), is downloading or watching streaming videos on non-official media resources. While the temptation to enjoy some new movie that hasn’t been released elsewhere is understandable, you cannot predict the consequences. The media player recommended on those shady pages may state that you need a plugin update or similar, and when this allegedly obligatory action is performed you suddenly start encountering tons of ads during Internet surfing. How are these things related? A Trojan infection sneaks into the Mac machine during the above-mentioned pseudo customization process, and there appears a new extension in all browsers that the malicious code detects in the system. Unlike normal add-ons, this one won’t even ask for permission to reset some parameters – and there you go, the ads are going to be all over the place.
In fact, though, the malware distributors may also leverage the technique with open source software bundles to inject their bug, but the tactic above prevails. So, let’s assume the user got hit. Not only does the infection insert its frustrating advertisements into every visited web page, but it is also likely to change the browsing preferences. Those are custom settings such as the new tab page, start page and default search. The ultimate idea behind this activity is to either embed sponsored data into sites or make the victim constantly go to landing pages with ads everywhere. The hijacked browser is forcibly reconfigured to generate pop-ups with freebies and coupons, interstitial adverts and links in the text.
The obstacle to removing OSX/VSearch is that the standard, commonplace techniques don’t work, that is, the adware won’t vanish if you simply send the extension to the trash. Experts who have done extensive research of this malware suggest a workaround that makes the eradication smooth and efficient.
VSearch manual removal for Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by VSearch 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
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
3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
• Open Firefox and select Help – Troubleshooting Information
• On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button
Get rid of VSearch virus using Combo Cleaner automatic removal tool
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove VSearch (OSX/VSearch agent) virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.
Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the VSearch (OSX/VSearch agent) issue using Combo Cleaner:
- Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.
- Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run an update of the malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
- Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.
- Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).
- In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove VSearch (OSX/VSearch agent) threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.
- Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.