How to remove malware that redirects to Searchroute

Also Known As: Searchroute redirect virus
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Searchroute browser hijacker from Mac?

What is Searchroute?

Searchroute (an abbreviation for searchroute-1560352588.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws[.]com) is a website used by cyber criminals to promote the bing.com search engine in malicious ways. If you continually encounter redirects to Searchroute, your system is probably infected with adware-type applications. These potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) can also deliver intrusive advertisements and record information relating to browsing activity.

Searchroute browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Searchroute is a subdomain of a legitimate domain (amazonaws.com). Cyber criminals can gain access to this subdomain by using a service called Amazon AWS provided by Amazon Inc. Although the service itself is legitimate, cyber criminals often misuse it to generate revenue in malicious ways (as is the case here). They use adware-type applications to redirect users to Searchroute, which then redirects users to bing.com, a legitimate search engine developed by Microsoft. These redirects typically occur when users attempt to search the internet. Adware copies the search query and carries out the aforementioned redirects. In this way, adware-type apps force users to search using bing.com. Be aware, however, that Microsoft has nothing to do with these applications - criminals simply generate revenue using affiliate networks. There are many adware-type applications that promote Searchroute including Spotlight.app, Spaces.app, ScreenCapture.app, and MacSecurityPlus.app. Therefore, if you encounter redirects to Searchroute, uninstall all dubious applications and scan the system with a reputable anti-virus suite to remove all remnants and malicious apps (which are complicated to remove manually).

Adware-type applications also deliver intrusive advertisements such as coupons, banners, pop-ups, and similar. These are deployed via tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site, thereby concealing underlying content and significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, intrusive ads often redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar). They can also run scripts that download/install rogue apps. Thus, even a single click can result in system infections. Additionally, unwanted apps often gather information such as IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other data relating to browsing activity. Collected data is later shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, the presence of a data-tracking applications might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. You are advised to remove all adware-type applications immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name Searchroute redirect virus
Threat Type Redirect, Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 52.43.26.254
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Additional Information The Searchroute website is a subdomain of amazonaws.com, a legitimate domain of the Amazon AWS service provided by Amazon Inc. This service is legitimate, however, criminals misuse it to generate revenue in malicious ways.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate Searchroute redirect virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

There are hundreds of PUAs online, all of which are very similar. By offering "useful features", these programs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install. Note that these programs have just one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, they cause redirects, gather information, and deliver intrusive advertisements.

How did Searchroute install on my computer?

Adware-type applications are typically proliferated using intrusive advertisements, a deceptive marketing method called "bundling", and fake software updaters/installers. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software. Developers are not honest enough to adequately disclose installation of third party applications with regular software. Therefore, they are hidden behind "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Adware is also distributed using fake update/installation tools (e.g., Adobe Flash Player's installers/updaters) promoted on deceptive websites. These sites typically deliver fake error messages claiming that the system is missing certain applications (or those that are installed are outdated) and encourage users to install/update them. In fact, users end up downloading and installing malicious apps. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Bear in mind that intrusive advertisements usually seem legitimate. Once clicked, however, they can redirect to dubious websites such as gambling, adult dating, and pornography (these are just some examples from many). If you experience these ads/redirects, eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins immediately. Furthermore, carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Opt-out of additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue applications, and thus these tools should not be used. The same applies to software updates. Keep installed applications and operating systems up-to-date, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of adware causing redirects to Searchroute, which then redirects users to bing.com (GIF):

Appearance of redirects to Searchroute

Instant automatic removal of Searchroute redirect virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Searchroute redirect virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Searchroute redirect removal:

Remove Searchroute-related potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select "Applications". In the applications folder, look for "MPlayerX","NicePlayer", or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove searchroute redirect virus related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar, choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example, “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Searchroute redirect virus homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove searchroute redirect virus related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser. From the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing homepage in safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "General" tab. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage field. You can also click the “Set to Current Page” button if you wish to set your homepage to the website you are currently visiting.

Change your default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Safari browser

In the "Preferences" window, select the "Search" tab. Here you will find a drop-down menu labelled "Search engine:" Simply select your preferred search engine from the drop-down list.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove searchroute redirect virus related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing mozilla firefox homepage

To change your homepage, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. To set your homepage, type the preferred website URL (for example: www.google.com) in the Homepage Page.

Change default search engine:

mozilla firefox about config

In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button.

changing mozilla firefox default Internet search engine

In the "Search:" field, type the name of the browser hijacker. Right click on each of the found preferences and click "Reset" from the drop-down menu.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove searchroute redirect virus related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

Change your homepage:

changing Google Chrome homepage

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "On Startup" section, click the "Set pages" link near to the "Open a specific page or set of pages" option. Remove the URL of the browser hijacker (for example trovi.com) and enter your preferred URL (for example, google.com).

Change default search engine:

changing the default Internet search engine in Google Chrome

Click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button and choose "Settings". In the "Search" section, click the "Manage search engines..." button. In the opened window, remove the unwanted Internet search engine by clicking the "X" button next to it. Select your preferred Internet search engine from the list and click the "Make default" button next to it.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Searchroute redirect virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Searchroute redirect virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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