How to remove the Baro box extension that hijacks browsers
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is Baro box?
While inspecting dubious software promoting websites, our researchers discovered one endorsing the Baro box browser extension. Our analysis of this extension revealed that it operates as a browser hijacker - changes browser settings to cause redirects to the barosearch.com fake search engine. Baro box also spies on users' browsing activity.
Baro box browser hijacker overview
Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, and new tab/window URLs to the addresses of fake search engines. In the case of Baro box, it changes these settings to the barosearch.com site. Hence, with this extension installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - result in redirects to barosearch.com.
Furthermore, Baro box uses persistence-ensuring techniques to complicate its removal and prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Illegitimate search engines usually cannot generate search results, so they redirect to genuine ones. During our analysis, we observed barosearch.com redirecting (via secure-checker.com) to Bing and Google. However, it might land elsewhere as redirects can be dictated by user geolocation or other factors.
What is more, Baro box has data tracking abilities. Targeted information may include: visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance/banking-related data, and so on. The collected information can be monetized via sale to third-parties.
In summary, the presence of browser-hijacking software like Baro box on devices may lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Browser Extension(s)||Baro box|
|Detection Names (barosearch.com)||Heimdal Security (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (barosearch.com)||18.104.22.168|
|Affected Browser Settings||Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine|
|Symptoms||Manipulated Internet browser settings (homepage, default Internet search engine, new tab settings). Users are forced to visit the hijacker's website and search the Internet using their search engines.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Browser hijacker examples
Internet Download Manager, Extension Settings, My Keypro, and UltraCouponSearch are merely some examples of browser hijackers that we have analyzed recently.
Browser-hijacking software typically appears legitimate and useful. However, its functionalities rarely work as advertised, and in most cases- they are utterly nonoperational. Therefore, not only are browser hijackers useless, but they also endanger device and user safety.
How did Baro box install on my computer?
We acquired Baro box from a dubious download page. In addition to such sites, browser hijackers are promoted on scam webpages. Most users access such websites via redirects caused by spam browser notifications, pages using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, or installed adware.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser-hijacking software as well. Once clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
Browser hijackers can also be bundled (packed together) with ordinary programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading it from official and verified channels. When installing, it is crucial to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additions.
We advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually looks legitimate and innocuous. For example, intrusive ads appear harmless yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such advertisements and/or redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Baro box, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Permissions asked by Baro box browser hijacker:
Websites promoting Baro box browser hijacker:
Appearance of barosearch.com redirecting via secure-checker.com to the Bing search engine (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:
- What is Baro box?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Baro box application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Baro box browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove barosearch.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove barosearch.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Baro box browser hijacker removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window: look for any recently installed suspicious applications (for example, "Baro box"), select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the barosearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Baro box browser hijacker removal from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove browser redirects:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Baro box" and other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section, disable "Baro box", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.barosearch.com) below the "Open a specific or set of pages" option. If present click on the three vertical dots icon and select "Remove".
Change your default search engine:
To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Settings", in the "Search engine" section, click "Manage search engines...", in the opened list look for "barosearch.com", when located click the three vertical dots near this URL and select "Delete".
- If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the barosearch.com redirect, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate "Baro box", as well as all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), then select "Settings", in the opened window disable "Baro box", remove hxxp://barosearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.
Change your default search engine:
In the URL address bar, type "about:config" and press Enter. Click "Accept the Risk and Continue".
In the search filter at the top, type: "extensionControlled". Set both results to "false" by either double-clicking each entry or clicking the button.
Computer users who have problems with barosearch.com redirect removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.
Change your homepage and new tab settings:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".
Change your default Internet search engine:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the barosearch.com redirect, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users to visit barosearch.com website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through redirects to websites like barosearch.com.
Is visiting barosearch.com a threat to my privacy?
To a certain extent, yes. Websites like barosearch.com typically collect (and sell) information about their visitors.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are most commonly distributed through misleading promotional webpages, program bundling, freeware and free file-hosting sites, P2P sharing networks (Torrent clients, eMule, etc.), third-party downloaders, online scams, fake updates, spam browser notifications, and intrusive ads.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove Baro box browser hijacker?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate detected browser-hijacking applications. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal, particularly when multiple browser hijackers have infiltrated the system. Since when one is removed - the others may simply re-install it. What is more, removal-related settings might be inaccessible with this software present. Hence, it is paramount to remove browser hijackers thoroughly and all at once.
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