What is search-good.com?
While investigating rogue installation setups, we found one promoting the search-good.com illegitimate search engine. Websites of this kind are typically endorsed (through redirects) by browser-hijacking software. During our analysis, we discovered search-good.com being promoted by a browser hijacker called Apps. However, other malicious extensions can cause redirects to this fake search engine as well.
How do browser hijackers promote search-good.com?
In most cases, browser hijackers promote illegitimate search engines by assigning them as browsers' default search engines, new browser tab/window URLs, and homepages. Hence, new browser tabs/windows opened and Web searches performed via the URL bar – result in redirects to the endorsed website.
However, while investigating search-good.com, we learned that the researched software did not modify browser settings in all instances.
Fake search engines usually cannot generate search results, and this is true of the search-good.com site. At the time of research, search-good.com redirected both to Yahoo (search.yahoo.com) and Bing (bing.com). However, it might land elsewhere since redirects can be dictated by various factors, such as user geolocation.
It is pertinent to mention that browser-hijacking software often employs persistence-ensuring techniques to prevent users from recovering their browsers.
Furthermore, illegitimate search engines and browser hijackers tend to collect user data. Information of interest may include: searched queries, visited URLs, viewed webpages, IP addresses (geolocations), bookmarks, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, and so on.
The collected information can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals) or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of browser-hijacking software on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|search-good.com browser hijacker
|Browser Hijacker, Redirect, Search Hijacker, Toolbar, Unwanted New Tab
|Affected Browser Settings
|Homepage, new tab URL, default search engine
|Detection Names (search-good.com)
|Serving IP Address (search-good.com)
|Detection Names (installer)
|Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.65544060), Emsisoft (Trojan.GenericKD.65544060 (B)), Kaspersky (UDS:Trojan-Dropper.Win64.BroDrop.gen), McAfee (Artemis!BB6E6CBA08E3), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
|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.
|Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling).
|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.
Fake search engine and browser hijacker examples
Lax-search.com, newgensearch.com, and greatselections.co are just a few fake search engines we have investigated recently, while World Clock Tab, Games Day, SearchIT New Tab – are some examples of browser hijackers.
This software and the websites they endorse typically appear legitimate and offer "useful" features. However, they seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. It must be stressed that operational functionalities are not proof of an app's/extension's or website's legitimacy and safety.
How did search-good.com promoting software install on my computer?
Browser hijackers can be bundled with regular software. The bundled installers can be obtained from various untrustworthy sources, e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc. Rushing through installation processes (e.g., skipping steps, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently permitting bundled content into the system.
Browser-hijacking software can also have "official" promotional pages, and it is spread via deceptive sites. Most users enter these webpages via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, webpages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware.
Intrusive advertisements proliferate browser hijackers as well. When clicked on, some of these adverts can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of browser hijackers?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading it only from official/verified channels. When installing, it is crucial to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out of supplementary apps, extensions, features, etc.
Another recommendation is to approach browsing with caution, as fake and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements may look innocuous, yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, check the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with browser hijackers, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Screenshot of the download source information of a browser hijacker promoting search-good.com:
Appearance of search-good.com redirecting to the Yahoo search engine (GIF):
Appearance of search-good.com redirecting to the Bing search engine (GIF):
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 search-good.com?
- STEP 1. Uninstall unwanted applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove search-good.com browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove search-good.com homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove search-good.com redirect from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Search-good.com redirect 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, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Search-good.com redirect 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 all 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 the malicious extension (if present), look for a browser hijacker URL (hxxp://www.search-good.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 "search-good.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 search-good.com browser hijacker, 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 plugins 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 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 malicious extension (if present), remove hxxp://search-good.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 search-good.com browser hijacker 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 search-good.com browser hijacker, 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 search-good.com website?
Cyber criminals (i.e., developers of fake search engines and browser hijackers) generate revenue through redirects to websites like search-good.com.
Is visiting search-good.com a threat to my privacy?
Most likely, yes. Websites like search-good.com usually collect (and sell) visitor data.
How did a browser hijacker infiltrate my computer?
Browser hijackers are mainly spread via bundled installers, deceptive promotional webpages, freeware and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, online scams, spam browser notifications, and intrusive advertisements.
Will Combo Cleaner help me remove browser hijackers?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate installed browser-hijacking applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution, particularly in cases where multiple browser hijackers are present. In these instances, after one is removed – the others may simply reinstall it. Furthermore, browser-hijacking software might deny access to removal-related settings and/or undo user-made changes. Hence, browser hijackers must be removed thoroughly and all at once.