How to remove Cyber Search from a browser and the operating system?

Also Known As: Cyber Search browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove Cyber Search browser hijacker from Mac?

What is Cyber Search?

Cyber Search is a browser hijacker which changes certain browser settings to cybersearch.xyz, adds the "Managed by your organization" feature to Google Chrome browsers and collects sensitive information. As a rule, users download and install apps like Cyber Search (browser hijackers) unknowingly. This particular app is distributed via fake installer for Adobe Flash Player. Therefore, it is categorized as potentially unwanted application (PUA).

Cyber Search browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Typically, browser hijackers change settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. Cyber Search changes them to cybersearch.xyz. Therefore, its users are forced to visit cybersearch.xyz when they enter search queries into URL bar, open a browser or new tab. In most cases fake search engines display results generated by some other search engine. On Chrome browser cybersearch.xyz redirects users to bing.com (displays results generated by Bing), on Safari browser it redirects users to webcrawler.com (displays results generated by another questionable search engine which could include links to untrustworthy pages in its results). As a rule, address of a fake search engine can be removed from browser settings only when a browser hijacker that is designed to promote it is no longer installed on a browser. Therefore, to be able to remove cybersearch.xyz users need to uninstall the Cyber Search browser hijacker first. As mentioned in the introduction, this app can read sensitive information, such as credit card details, telephone numbers, passwords. Such information could be misused to make fraudulent purchases, transactions, steal identities, personal accounts and/or for other malicious purposes. It means that Cyber Search's users could become victims of identity theft, lose access to stolen accounts, suffer monetary loss, experience problems related to web browsing safety, online privacy, and/or other issues.

Threat Summary:
Name Cyber Search browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (Fake Installer) Avast (BV:Bundlore-C [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.AdLoad.UQ), Emsisoft (Adware.MAC.AdLoad.UQ (B)), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Bnodlero.am), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (cybersearch.xyz)
162.255.119.250
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.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

More examples of fake search engines are d2sri.com, 6v5f3l.com and search.locatorunit.com. As a rule, they appear in browser settings after installation of some browser hijacker. It is worthwhile to mention that even if a browser hijacker is advertised as useful, legitimate, it is useless to its user - the main purpose of an app of this type is to generate revenue for its developer. Therefore, apps of this type should never be downloaded and installed.

How did Cyber Search install on my computer?

Cyber Search is distributed via fake installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is worthwhile to mention that fake, deceptive installers can be used to distribute malware, e.g., ransomware, various Trojans. Also, quite often users download and/or install potentially unwanted applications together with other programs - when PUAs are included in download and/or installation setups as extra offers. In most cases offers to download and/or install PUAs can be declined via "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of setups, or via available checkboxes. When users leave those settings unchanged, they allow for included apps to be downloaded and/or installed as well. This method to distribute potentially unwanted apps is known as "bundling". Also, in some cases PUAs can be downloaded and/or installed through deceptive advertisements. To be more precise, by clicking ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to download programs and files from official pages and via direct download links. Other sources like third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, etc., can be used to distribute/promote PUAs. The same applies to third party installers. Also, it is advised not to leave "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings of any download and installation setup unchecked - it is common that such settings can be used to decline offers to download and/or install unwanted software. Advertisements that appear on untrustworthy, shady pages should not be clicked as well - it is common that those, if clicked, open various questionable websites. Sometimes they are capable of causing downloads, installations of unwanted apps by executing certain scripts. If some unwanted apps (extensions, add-ons or plug-ins) already are installed on a web browser, then they should be removed. The same applies to programs that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

In order to prevent Cyber Search browser hijacker from re-installing be sure to delete LiveInfoUpdates directory from the Applications folder:

Cyber Search browser hijacker removal requires deletion of LiveInfoUpdates directory from the applications folder

Cybersearch.xyz redirects to bing.com on Chrome (GIF):

cyber search browser hijacker chrome appearance

Cybersearch.xyz redirects to webcrawler.com on Safari (GIF):

cyber search browser hijacker safari appearance

Fake installer for Adobe Flash Player designed to install Cyber Search:

cyber search browser hijacker deceptive installer

Screenshot of a deceptive website promoting such fake installers:

Deceptive website that promotes installers used to spread Cyber Search browser hijacker

Screenshot of "Managed by your organization" feature added by Cyber Search on Chrome browser:

cyber search browser hijacker managed by your organization feature added to chrome

Cybersearch.xyz assigned as a default search engine in Chrome settings:

cyber search browser hijacker cybersearch.xyz in chrome settings

Cyber Search installed on Safari:

cyber search browser hijacker safari extension

Appearance of a fake Google Docs extension (titled "Google Docs Offline") designed to control browser settings and promote browser hijackers (such as cybersearch.xyz):

Fake Google Docs extension (Google Docs Offline) promoting browser hijackers

Appearance of this fake Google Docs extension managing Google Chrome search engine settings:

Fake Google Docs extension (Google Docs Offline) controlling search engine settings

This browser hijacker modifies the Google Chrome web browser itself, thereby making it unfixable. For this reason, in order to use it you have to re-install a fresh copy once all the malicious files are removed.

Browser hijacker corrupting Google Chrome web browser (Mac)

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the Cyber Search website are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles"

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote Cyber Search (Step 1)

2) Select the "Chrome Settings" profile and delete it.

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote Cyber Search (Step 2)

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this browser hijacker.

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: 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 Mac malware. 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. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove Cyber Search browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

Cyber Search redirect removal:

Remove Cyber Search 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 cyber search browser hijacker 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.

Cyber Search browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove cyber search browser hijacker 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 cyber search browser hijacker 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 cyber search browser hijacker 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Cyber Search browser hijacker 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 Cyber Search browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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