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Remove gosearches.gg virus from Chrome, Firefox, Safari

5 min read
Remove gosearches.gg virus from Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Stay on top of another browser redirect campaign that promotes a junk search service at gosearches.gg by changing victims’ Internet preferences.
  1. What is gosearches.gg?
  2. Automated removal of gosearches.gg virus
  3. Gosearches.gg redirect removal for Android
  4. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

What is gosearches.gg?

The present-day cybercrime comes in many different shapes and forms, of which browser hijacking is king in terms of the prevalence. This method of exploitation is such a lure for bad guys for a number of reasons. Firstly, it pays off. With users’ Internet traffic being the target commodity, there are plenty of monetization options that run the gamut from black hat SEO to revenue generated in collaboration with sketchy advertising networks. Secondly, it is relatively effortless, at least when compared to ransomware attacks and the use of custom exploits that imply significant programming resources and malicious infrastructure maintenance costs. For the most part, browser redirect stratagems rely on social engineering and fairly simple applications that don’t do much more than tweaking one’s web surfing customizations. The Gosearches.gg virus fits this description. Still, this campaign is giving numerous users a hard time due to its wide reach, persistence, and nuisance hallmarks.

Landing page used by gosearches.gg redirect virus makers
Landing page used by gosearches.gg redirect virus makers

This infection got its name from the web page it’s promoting. Just like its clone privatesearches.org that we analyzed previously, it mimics a garden-variety search engine with the design elements while adding a bit of uniqueness through an oak tree logo. Some deeper examination reveals that the site is crammed up with ads above the fold that take up the greater part of the results space, with the rest being “borrowed” from This characteristic suggests a clue about the main goal of gosearches.gg operators. It comes down to converting user hits into money. The only silver lining is that even a long stay on that site won’t lead to security issues, as it contains no surreptitiously embedded code and doesn’t trigger any drive-by downloads in the background. Problems kick in when someone falls victim to the underlying malware that has been running amok around the PC and Android ecosystem lately.

Threat details:
Name GoSearches virus
Threat Category Browser hijacker, redirect virus
Domains involved gosearches.gg
Symptoms Browser redirects, unwanted pop-up ads, fraudulent permission requests, browser slowdown
Distribution techniques Malicious software bundles, ads on social networks, search engine poisoning, hacked websites
Severity Low
Damage Intrusive ads, unauthorized changes of browsing preferences, Internet activity tracking
Removal Scan your PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows to detect all files related to gosearches.gg virus. Free scan determines if your system is infected. To get rid of the threat, you need to purchase the full version of the anti-malware tool.

The dodgy application is focused on modifying the custom settings in a browser, including the default search, new tab, and homepage. This activity isn’t browser-sensitive. Therefore, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, Safari, and others are vulnerable to this attack to just about the same extent. There are subtle differences when it comes to maintaining persistence. To hold sway over Chrome, for instance, the infection creates an enterprise policy without asking. This is common practice in corporate environments, especially ones that involve remote work and need additional employee control mechanisms to foil cybersecurity incidents. But, crooks often repurpose it to keep their grip tight. If this condition is in place, Chrome will display a notification on its settings page that says, “Your browser is managed by your organization”. This is a prominent symptom of most adware attacks, in general, and the gosearches.gg trespass, in particular.

As far as distribution goes, the malefactors have a special trick up their sleeve. They disguise their offending code as a Google Docs add-on, which laces the hoax with a deceptive aura of legitimacy. The rogue extension is being pushed through malvertising schemes that lead to shady software marketplaces. While the copycat app appears to provide the cloud-based word processing functionality people expect to see, it contains hidden attributes that seize control of a browser’s default configurations. The malicious actors may switch to other spreading methods going forward, so it’s recommended to exercise caution with application bundles and other suspicious installation scenarios. If you have slipped up and unwittingly got your device plagued by the gosearches.gg redirect virus, here is a roundup of the removal steps and the ways to bring your web browsers back on track.

Use Combo Cleaner for Windows to remove gosearches.gg redirect virus

When faced with malware like gosearches.gg, one of the best shortcuts in terms of removal is to use Combo Cleaner, a lightweight and incredibly effective application with PC security and optimization features under the hood. It detects and thoroughly deletes threats while giving you insights into the overall health of your computer.

This program’s protection power spans modules that forestall all known types of malware, including ransomware and browser hijackers, and take your online security to the next level by blocking phishing sites and other suspicious web pages. Follow these simple steps to eliminate the infection for good:

1. Download Combo Cleaner installer.

Download gosearches.gg redirect virus remover

Combo Cleaner scans your PC with no strings attached, but you’ll have to buy its fully functional version to remove the threats it detects. The disk optimization tools that find large files and duplicates are free to use.

Download and run Combo Cleaner installer on your PC

2. Open the CCSetup.exe file to get started. Several subsequent screens will allow you to make initial customizations so that the program works exactly as you need from the get-go.Setup customizations

3. The installation will be followed by an update of malware signatures. Once this process is through, click the Start Scan button in the left-hand sidebar.Start initial scan

4. Combo Cleaner will then check system locations that are most often polluted by Windows malware. The first scan can take a while to finish.Combo Cleaner scan in progress

5. Combo Cleaner will display a system tray notification as soon as the scan is over. Click the Resolve found threats button to view the results.Scan completed

6. The scan summary shows the names and types of the detected threats as well as their statuses and locations. Click the Remove all threats button and follow further on-screen prompts to get rid of these items.Scan results

Use Control Panel to get rid of gosearches.gg redirect virus

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows. Depending on the OS build, select Uninstall a program (Windows 10, 7 and Vista) or Add or Remove Programs (Windows 8).Access program uninstall screen on Windows

• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find an unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.Uninstall unwanted program

Gosearches.gg redirect removal for Android

Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the gosearches.gg redirect virus issue on an Android device, which might also be a target in this malvertising campaign. Keep in mind, though, that uninstall attempts in regular mode may be futile due to the mechanics of this persistent infection. Therefore, you need to perform the procedure in safe mode. Go ahead and do the following:

• Press and hold the Power button. Then, tap and hold the Power off option on the screen. Doing so will boot your device into safe mode.Android power off

• Android will ask you to confirm that you’d like to enter safe mode. Tap OK on the dialog.Safe mode reboot confirmation

• You will now see the Safe mode inscription at the bottom left of your screen. Go to Settings and choose Apps.Go to Settings - Apps

• Scroll down the list of applications, focusing on the ones that were installed recently. Find gosearches.gg or another sketchy entry with a different name that could as well be the culprit.Spot the unwanted app

• Select the misbehaving app and tap Uninstall.Uninstall the PUA

• Confirm removal on the relevant dialog box and reboot your device. By default, Android will get you back into regular mode. You should now be good to go – the gosearches.gg redirect virus won’t be triggering any redirects or irritating popups anymore.

Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by the gosearches.gg redirect virus.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings.Go to Settings in Chrome

• Click Advanced in the sidebar, scroll down to Reset and clean up, and select this option.Click Reset and clean up in the sidebar

• Click Restore settings to their original defaults.Restore Chrome settings to their original defaults

• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset settings on the warning message.Reset Chrome settings

• Restart Chrome.

Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter. Alternatively, you can click on the Open menu icon in the top right-hand part of the browser window, then select the Help option and proceed to Troubleshooting Information.Access Troubleshooting Information page in Firefox

• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it.Refresh Firefox button

• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings.Complete refreshing Firefox

• Restart the browser.

Reset Internet Explorer

• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools (Alt+X).Open up Internet options in Internet Explorer

• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset.Locate and click the Reset button in IE

• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled.IE reset confirmation

• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.

Reset Safari

• Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences.Go to Safari Preferences

• When on the Preferences screen, select the Privacy tab and hit the Manage Website Data button.Hit the Manage Website Data button

• Click the Remove All button to purge all website data. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc. If you aren’t okay with this, proceed to the next step.Remove all website data in Safari

• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, select the unwanted site in the ‘Manage Website Data’ list and click Remove. Then, click Done.Erase website data in Safari

• Click the Develop menu in the Finder bar and select Empty Caches.Safari: Empty Caches

• Finally, expand the History menu from the Finder bar and click Clear History.Safari: Clear History

• Make sure all history is selected on the dialog that will appear and click Clear History to get rid of cookies and other potentially unwanted data.Click the Clear History

• Restart Safari.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download gosearches.gg redirect virus removal tool

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