What kind of application is App?
Our team has tested the App browser extension and found that it functions as a browser hijacker. The purpose of this extension is to promote various fake search engines. Also, the App extension adds the "Managed by your organization" feature to Chrome browsers. We discovered it on a deceptive web page.
App browser hijacker overview
Most browser-hijacking apps promote fake search engines by changing the settings of web browsers. They replace the default search engine, homepage, and (or) new tab page with a certain fake search engine. We found that the App browser extension promotes gosearches.gg or goodsearchez.com (depending on the user's location). Other search engines might be promoted as well.
Gosearches.gg generates results that can include shady ads and links to untrustworthy websites. Goodsearchez.com shows results generated by Bing (redirects to bing.com). It is worth mentioning that in some cases, the App extension promotes fake search engines without changing any settings.
|Threat Type||Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab|
|Detection Names (Installer)
||CrowdStrike Falcon (Win/grayware_confidence_60% (D)), Elastic (Malicious (moderate Confidence)), Gridinsoft (Ransom.Win32.Wacatac.sa), K7AntiVirus (Trojan ( 0059a7651 )), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Wacatac.H!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Promoted URLs||gosearches.gg and goodsearchez.com|
|Detection Names (gosearches.gg)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (gosearches.gg)||188.8.131.52|
|Detection Names (goodsearchez.com)||N/A (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (goodsearchez.com)||184.108.40.206|
|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.
More about browser hijackers
Pretty often, users cannot remove fake search engines (their addresses) from the settings of hijacked web browsers while apps promoting them are present. In such cases, users must remove a browser hijacker to be able to modify the affected settings.
Also, apps of this type can be designed to gather browsing-related and other information. Collected data may be misused for marketing purposes, sold to third parties, or monetized in other ways. It is also common for browser hijackers to be promoted and distributed using deceptive methods. Thus, most users add them unintentionally.
How did App install on my computer?
This application is distributed using a deceptive web page instructing visitors to click the "DOWNLOAD button to start downloading. There can be several shady pages promoting and distributing this app. Either way, this browser hijacker gets added after completing the provided steps.
Also, apps of this type are often distributed via software bundles (they are bundled with other programs). Users agree to add or install browser hijackers when they finish software installations without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or similar settings provided in installers. Sometimes, browsers can be hijacked via deceptive ads designed to cause unwanted installations.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
Download applications from trustworthy sources such as official web pages and verified stores only. Read reviews before downloading apps. Do not trust advertisements on dubious pages or allow such pages to show notifications. Examine downloaders and installers and deselect any unwanted apps before finishing downloads and installations.
If your computer is already infected with App, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this browser hijacker.
Deceptive websites distributing App browser hijacker:
App browser hijacker promotes gosearches.gg (GIF):
App browser hijacker promotes goodsearchez.com (GIF):
App browser hijacker's download source information:
Another example of App browser hijacker which promotes searchesmia.com:
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 App?
- STEP 1. Uninstall App application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove App browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove gosearches.gg homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove gosearches.gg redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
App 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, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted applications (which cause browser redirects to the gosearches.gg website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
App 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 "App" 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 "App", look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.gosearches.gg or hxxp://www.goodsearchez.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 "gosearches.gg" or "goodsearchez.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 app browser-hijacking extension, 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 "App", 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 "App", remove hxxp://gosearches.gg or hxxp://www.goodsearchez.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 app browser-hijacking extension 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 app browser-hijacking extension, 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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on app browser-hijacking extension or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of forcing users visit gosearches.gg and goodsearchez.com websites?
Fake search engines are more profitable when the number of their users and visitors is higher.
Is visiting gosearches.gg and goodsearchez.com a threat to my privacy?
Fake search engines can be designed to track users. In such cases, using them can cause issues related to online privacy.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are promoted and (or) distributed mostly via browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, and software bundles. Users rarely add browser hijackers to their browsers knowingly.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove a browser hijacker?
Combo Cleaner will run a system scan and remove detected browser-hijacking applications. It is recommended to remove browser hijackers using specialized apps since it can be difficult to remove browser hijackers that can reinstall one another. Also, some settings cannot be modified while a browser hijacker is present. In such cases, all apps of this type have to be removed at once.