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Remove Optimum Search virus extension from Chrome/Firefox/IE/Safari

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FGet the lowdown on the Optimum Search virus that hijacks one’s default web browser and forwards the traffic to its own landing page at search.optimum.icu.
  1. What is the Optimum Search redirect virus?
  2. Automated removal of Optimum Search redirect virus
  3. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults


What is the Optimum Search redirect virus?

Threat actors have always been tempted to look for shortcuts to rake in profits. Out of all these controversial initiatives, manipulating the browser side of computers seems to be one of their favorites. The numerous adware waves that have been breaking out for years and steadily continue to grow are irrefutable evidence of this trend. The elements of this strategy include a strain of malicious code and a treacherous distribution campaign usually relying on software bundles. This is precisely how the new Optimum Search redirect threat works. Its crafty operators have orchestrated a large-scale promotion hoax to deliver the intrusive browser add-on to computers alongside innocuous programs. When on board a system, the virus plagues the victim’s web browser with an imitation helper object while bypassing the permission to do so. This meddling entails recurrent redirects to search.optimum.icu page.

Optimum Search homepage replaces the victim’s browsing defaults

A particularly noxious facet of the Optimum Search hijack in Google Chrome is that the core application creates an enterprise policy and the inscription “Managed by your organization” will complement the standard settings drop-down list. This trick allows it to control the browser and manage the fundamental preferences, including the new tab, homepage, and default search provider. These tweaks are easy to spot: they are visible in the settings interface where the original set-ups end up substituted with search.optimum.icu beyond authorization on the victim’s end. As a result, the browser is literally enslaved and the user’s correct web surfing defaults can no longer be specified in the manual way. The ultimate upshot of this trespass is that the unwanted website becomes the most frequently visited one on the contaminated computer.

Threat details:
Name Optimum Search redirect virus
Threat Category Adware, browser hijacker
Landing Pages search.optimum.icu
Symptoms Browser redirects, fraudulent permission requests, unwanted popup ads, browser slowdown
Distribution techniques Malicious app bundles, search engine poisoning, compromised websites
Severity Medium
Damage Search redirects, Internet activity tracking, unauthorized changes of browsing preferences, malicious ads
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At first blush, the destination page doesn’t look dangerous or aggressive. Its design mimics the conventional layout of the average search engine, featuring a bar to enter keyword queries as well as a few standard technicalities such as links to the EULA and Privacy Policy. Nevertheless, there is a catch behind this external mundanity. Search.optimum.icu has no information lookup functionality of its own, so it redistributes all search requests to another service. In the best-case scenario, the redirects will lead to Google, Yahoo, or Bing. There is a less benign course of action, though. The forcibly imposed Optimum Search provider may reroute the browser to junk pages crammed up with ads above the fold, or to outright offensive ones that host drive-by downloads depositing other infections onto the computer.

To top it off, the activity of this unwelcome app can pose a privacy risk. When running inside the host, it collects personally identifiable information in the browser. These details include Internet history, bookmarks, and the sites visited the most recently. The purpose of this ruse is to get an idea of the victim’s interests, which is the basis for serving targeted advertisements down the road. It’s quite possible that passwords and credit card information can also be obtained by the malefactors in charge of the Optimum Search campaign. It goes without saying that this adware attack is a serious issue that needs urgent response. The first step is to get rid of the perpetrating code proper. Then, a number of fixes at the browser level should be applied so that the redirects discontinue.

A quick tip in terms of future prevention of such attacks is to avoid the ‘Express’ option in software installation clients, especially if they are downloaded from suspicious app portals. That’s because the default mode often hides dubious programs that will automatically run with privileges they shouldn’t get. Furthermore, the installation of fishy extras is absolutely inconspicuous in this case. With that in mind, proceed to Optimum Search virus removal covered below.


Automated removal of Optimum Search redirect virus

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download Optimum Search virus remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

Use Control Panel to get rid of the Optimum Search hijacker

• 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 doneUninstall unwanted program


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 search.optimum.icu redirect virus.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings
Go to Settings in Chrome
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Advanced down at the bottom
Advanced settings in Chrome
• Move on to the Reset and clean up sub-section and select the option that says Restore settings to their original defaults
Restore Chrome settings to their original default
• 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 Remove All Website Data button if you are up to erasing all website data stored on your Mac. Otherwise, you can use a site-specific removal option described below
Remove All Website Data button
• A dialog will appear, asking you to validate your choice. Click the Remove Now button if you are sure. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc.
Confirm website data removal
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, click the Details button under Privacy tab
Details button under Privacy tab
• Select the websites for which you would like to erase data and click the Remove button
Removing data for selected sites in Safari
• Click the Done button to confirm and exit. You can also select the Remove All option to remove all data stored by the listed websites.

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 Optimum Search virus removal tool

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