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How to remove applications force-opening the Serch domain websites?

Also Known As: Serch pop-up
Damage level: Medium

What are the Serch websites?

Serch is the common domain of rogue websites (e.g., serch02[.]biz, serch05[.]biz, etc.). These webpages are designed to load dubious content and/or redirect visitors to other sites (likely unreliable, deceptive/scam, compromised, or malicious ones).

The Internet is rife with webpages similar to Serch; boustahe.comfewergkit.comleefmylife.info - are just some examples. Users seldom intentionally access such websites; most get redirected to them by untrustworthy pages, intrusive adverts, or installed PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

This software can infiltrate systems without explicit consent; hence, users may be unaware of its presence. PUAs can have harmful functionalities, including - force-opening sites, running intrusive advertisement campaigns, and collecting browsing-related data.

Serch pop-up redirects

Serch websites in detail

The behavior of Serch websites depends on visitors' IP addresses/ geolocations. In other words, whether visitors are presented with questionable material and/or redirected elsewhere - is determined by their IP addresses/ geolocations.

Furthermore, rogue sites typically use clickbait, fake CAPTCHA verification, and other deceptive content - to lure visitors into enabling their browser notifications. This applies to the Serch webpages as well. Should their notifications be allowed, the websites will start running intrusive advert campaigns.

The displayed ads are more than just a nuisance, they also endanger device and user safety. Intrusive advertisements endorse various sale-oriented, unreliable, deceptive/scam, and malicious sites. Some can even be triggered (i.e., by being clicked) to download/install software stealthily.

How do potentially unwanted applications operate?

Potentially unwanted applications can have varied functions, which can be in different combinations. For example, these apps can cause redirects to dubious websites and/or deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. Most PUAs have data tracking abilities.

They can record browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information inferred from it (IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, etc.). PUA developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties.

To summarize, the presence of unwanted software on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Serch pop-up
Threat Type Push notifications ads, Unwanted ads, Pop-up ads
Serving IP Address 188.166.68.96
Observed Domains serch02[.]biz; serch05[.]biz; etc.
Symptoms Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution Methods Deceptive pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications (adware)
Damage Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Potentially unwanted applications in general

PUAs appear ordinary and harmless. They also tend to offer various "useful" features. However, the functions rarely work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all. Functionality and user safety are irrelevant since the only aim of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can force-open sites, run intrusive advert campaigns, and gather private information.

How did adware install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other products. This false marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted/malicious additions - is named "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Intrusive advertisements are used to spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. Some PUAs also have "official" promotional webpages from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer bundled and/or dangerous content.

When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so forth).

In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with rogue applications, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of a Serch website (GIF):

Serch website appearance (GIF)

Instant automatic 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 malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Disable unwanted browser notifications:

Video showing how to disable web browser notifications:

Google Chrome logoRemove spam notifications from Google Chrome:

Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and select "Settings". In the opened window select "Privacy and security", then click on "Site Settings" and choose "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome (step 1)

In the "Allowed to send notifications" list search for websites that you want to stop receiving notifications from. Click on the three dots icon near the website URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome (step 2)

Android logoRemove spam notifications from Google Chrome (Android):

Tap the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and select "Settings". Scroll down, tap on "Site settings" and then "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome - Android (step 1)

In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and tap on them one-by-one. Once the pop-up shows up, select either "Block" or "Remove" (if you tap "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome - Android (step 2)

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove spam notifications from Mozilla Firefox:

Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen. Select "Settings" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen. Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Mozilla Firefox (step 1)

In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and block them using the drop-down menu or either remove them by clicking "Remove Website" at the bottom of the window (if you click "Remove Website" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Mozilla Firefox (step 2)

Microsoft Edge logoRemove spam notifications from Microsoft Edge:

Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window and select "Settings". Click on "Cookies and site permissions" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen and select "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Microsoft Edge (step 1)

Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL under "Allow" section and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Microsoft Edge (step 2)

Safari logoRemove spam notifications from Safari (macOS):

Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences...". Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane.

Disable web browser notifications in Safari - macOS (step 1)

Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option using the drop-down menu or either remove them by clicking "Remove" at the bottom of the window (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Disable web browser notifications in Safari - macOS (step 2)

How to avoid browser notification spam?

Internet users should be very skeptical when being asked to allow notifications. While this is a useful feature that allows you to receive timely news from websites you like, deceptive marketers frequently abuse it.

Only allow notifications from websites that you fully trust. For added security - use an anti-malware application with a real-time web browsing monitor to block shady websites that tries to trick you into allowing spam notifications. We recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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