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How to remove software causing redirects to fireseerch.com?

Also Known As: fireseerch.com browser hijacker
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove fireseerch.com browser hijacker from Mac?

What is fireseerch.com?

Fireseerch.com is the URL (address) of an illegitimate search engine. Fake web searching tools usually cannot provide search results, and they collect users' browsing data. Search engines within this classification are typically promoted by browser hijackers. This software operates by making modifications to browser settings. Browser hijackers are categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) due to the dubious techniques used to distribute them. Proliferation via fake Adobe Flash Player updates is common for browser hijackers and other PUAs. It is noteworthy that fraudulent updaters/installers are employed to spread not only PUAs but also malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).

fireseerch.com browser hijacker on a Mac computer

Following successful infiltration, browser hijackers reassign browsers' default search engine, new tab/window, and homepage URLs - to fake web searcher addresses. These seemingly minor alterations seriously affect the browsing quality. To elaborate, with a browser hijacker promoting fireseerch.com installed, every single new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to fireseerch.com. Illegitimate search engines are rarely able to generate search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other genuine ones. Even when fake web searchers can provide search results - they tend to be inaccurate and may endorse untrustworthy or malicious websites.

Furthermore, browser hijackers can ensure persistence by undoing any changes users try to make to their browsers. Alternatively, this software can restrict or deny access to the browser settings outright. Therefore, restoring a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it. What is more, most fake search engines and browser hijackers have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes (but is not limited to): visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, IP addresses/ geolocations, and personally identifiable details. The collected data is monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third-parties, likewise intent on misusing it for financial gain. In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on browsers/systems can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name fireseerch.com browser hijacker
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
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.

Illegitimate web searching tools appear genuine and may also offer additional perks (e.g., quick searches, easy access to specific databases, etc.). Searchmarquis.comsearchmy.cosearcher4u.com, and searchfox.me are a few examples of such search engines. The same applies to browser hijackers (e.g., ProType, Conf Search, OpticalRatePro, AccessibleSearchEngine, etc.), which appear legitimate and offer various "handy" functionalities to entice users into download/installation. However, despite how good the promised features may sound - they are usually nonoperational. In fact, this is typical of practically all PUAs. The only goal of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user privacy are irrelevant. Instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private information.

How did fireseerch.com install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" promotional/download webpages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites. However, these applications are most commonly downloaded/installed alongside other programs. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". These supplements are typically left unmentioned or hidden within the "Custom/Advanced" download/installation settings. Hence, rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements are also used to proliferate PUAs. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is highly recommended to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and trustworthy sources. Dubious download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - can offer bundled and harmful content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, and so on. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate and innocuous; however, they redirect to unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this type, the system must be inspected and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Delusive installer used to distribute a browser hijacker promoting fireseerch.com:

Deceptive installation setup of a browser hijacker promoting fireseerch.com

Deceptive website endorsing a browser hijacker promoting fireseerch.com:

Dubious website used to promote fireseerch.com browser hijacker

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote fireseerch.com browser hijacker 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"

Removal of fireseerch.com profile (step 1)

2) Select the "Fire Search" profile and delete it.

Removal of fireseerch.com profile (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 fireseerch.com browser hijacker using Combo Cleaner:

fireseerch.com redirect removal:

Remove fireseerch.com 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 fireseerch.com 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.

fireseerch.com browser hijacker homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove fireseerch.com 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 fireseerch.com 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 fireseerch.com 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.

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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
fireseerch.com 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 fireseerch.com browser hijacker on your mobile device.
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