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How to remove the PlatformDeploy browser hijacker?

Also Known As: search.rktz9.com redirect
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is PlatformDeploy?

PlatformDeploy is a browser hijacker promoting the search.rktz9.com fake search engine. This browser extension modifies browser settings to cause redirects to its web searcher. Additionally, PlatformDeploy likely has data tracking abilities, which are employed to spy on user browsing activity. Due to the questionable methods used to proliferate browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

PlatformDeploy browser hijacker installed onto Google Chrome

PlatformDeploy browser hijacker in detail

Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs - to fake web searcher addresses. PlatformDeploy operates in this manner as well. Therefore, with it installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to search.rktz9.com.

Fraudulent search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other genuine ones. Search.rktz9.com is not an exception to this; it has been observed redirecting both to Google (google.com) and Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) search engines (possibly others).

Browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browser settings and/or undo any permitted changes made. Due to these persistence-ensuring techniques, it is impossible to restore a hijacked browser without removing the software affecting it.

What is more, browser hijackers typically have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, and so forth. The gathered data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

In summary, the presence of data-tracking software on devices can result in severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To protect device and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name search.rktz9.com redirect
Threat Type Browser hijacker, Mac malware, Mac virus
Browser Extension(s) PlatformDeploy
Promoted URL search.rktz9.com
Detection Names (search.rktz9.com) N/A, Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (search.rktz9.com)
99.84.160.5
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Browser hijackers in general

MainSearchAdvise, ProType, Conf Search, and OpticalRatePro are a few examples of browser hijackers. They appear legitimate and offer various "useful" and "advantageous" features. However, the functions seldom work as advertised, and in most cases - they are utterly nonoperational.

In fact, nearly all PUAs use fake functionalities to lure users into download/installation. The sole purpose of unwanted software is to generate profit for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can hijack browsers, cause redirects, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (adware), and collect private data.

How did PlatformDeploy install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed through download/installation setups of other programs. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is named "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

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

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised to research software before download/installation. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - commonly offer bundled and harmful content.

When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from additional apps, tools, etc. Intrusive ads appear legitimate; however, they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so forth).

In case of encounters with adverts and/or redirects of this type, the system must be checked and all suspicious 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.

Appearance of search.rktz9.com redirecting to the Yahoo search engine (GIF):

PlatformDeploy browser hijacker redirecting to Yahoo (GIF)

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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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

PlatformDeploy redirect removal:

Remove PlatformDeploy 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 search.rktz9.com redirect 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.

search.rktz9.com redirect homepage and default Internet search engine removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove search.rktz9.com redirect 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 search.rktz9.com redirect 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 search.rktz9.com redirect 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.

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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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