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Yahoo Search virus removal: how to block search.yahoo.com redirect

6 min read
Find out about the way cybercriminals use the search.yahoo.com service maliciously and get rid of the concomitant browser hijacking malware if infected.
  1. What is the Yahoo Search virus?
  2. Automated removal of search.yahoo.com virus
  3. Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

What is the Yahoo Search virus?

It’s a common thing when adware architects coin a junk, ad-stuffed search engine imitation and employ unethical methods to drive web traffic to it. It’s not very usual, though, when the malefactors add a legit service to the mix. This is what happens when a Windows user catches ‘digital cold’ that results in browser rerouting to custom search provided by search.yahoo.com. Unfortunately, a growing number of these attacks have been recorded since 2018, and the upswing continues to make itself felt in 2019. Just to make it clear from the start, the above-mentioned service is absolutely normal and clean from a security perspective. It’s the shenanigans of online criminals that give it a controversial reputation as they spread a virus triggering browser redirects to search.yahoo.com.

Browser redirected to search.yahoo.com
Browser redirected to search.yahoo.com

For the malicious code in question to gain a foothold in a host system, its authors tend to leverage a mechanism known as bundling. There are numerous freeware and shareware applications out there whose developers make a living by promoting other utilities. This is doable by means of specially crafted installation clients that push extra programs alongside the core ones. The problem is, these additional pieces of software are vaguely mentioned during the install, or not mentioned at all as long as the user chooses the default, or recommended, option. The custom setup can save people the trouble of subsequent malware cleanup as it lists the bundled items and allows deselecting the unwanted ones.

Setup client with search.yahoo.com hijacker on board
Setup client with search.yahoo.com hijacker on board

Having infiltrated a computer in such a tricky way, the infection incorporates a new browser add-on without the user’s knowledge and consent. The troublemaking extension supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari – if either browser is detected in the system, it is subject to the bad code injection. In the upshot, the culprit forcibly overrides the main online surfing settings defined by the admin, including the homepage, search engine and new tab page. Sometimes the URL may be different, for example, search.searchucp.com, search.searchtheweb.today, mybrowserbar.com, or go.deepteep.com. In this case, the phony search page simply performs an intermediary function and leads to search.yahoo.com anyway.

A big concern about the Yahoo redirect virus is that it monitors the victim’s online activities and retains this information. It means that its operators can form a profile of the infected user based on their history of visited sites, web searches, and e-services the person has accounts with. This type of knowledge is precious in today’s marketing-powered Internet world, so the criminals have an extra monetization channel up their sleeve. Furthermore, the offensively misconfigured browser skims across low-quality advertising networks before hitting Yahoo Search, which is yet another lure incentivizing the crooks to stick with this attack vector.

When redirected, the victim will be bound to view ads above the fold. The search queries entered will most likely return an error reading, “We did not find results for [keyword]” and will instead show sponsored suggestions that are no way related to the information being sought. In summary, search.yahoo.com has unfortunately become cybercriminals’ instrument to monetize traffic obtained in a shady way. The attack may also be a threat to the user’s privacy as browser add-ons of this sort are known to collect personally identifiable data. The underlying disruptive code, therefore, does not belong inside a smooth-running computer. The tips below will help eradicate the infection for good.

Automated removal of search.yahoo.com virus

The battle-tested security tool called WiperSoft can shore up the protection of your PC by identifying and removing all files associated with Yahoo Search threat automatically. It gets regular updates of its malware database to ensure a high detection rate, even if you’ve been hit by the newest strain of ransomware, adware, spyware, or a stubborn browser hijacker.

The following point-by-point instructions will help you get your computer back on track using this incredibly effective application.

1. Download the latest version of WiperSoft.

WiperSoft scans your PC with no strings attached, but you’ll have to register its commercial version to immediately remove the threats it detects. Alternatively, you can use a one-time free cleaning service that will activate in 48 hours after you opt for it.

Download Yahoo Search virus remover

2. Run the installer. As part of the setup, you’ll be asked to specify your preferred language and accept the End User License Agreement.WiperSoft installation progress

3. Once the installation is through, you’ll see the app’s Home screen that says, “Computer state is unknown”. Click Scan Now to check your system for threats.Start a scan

4. The first scan might take a while to be completed. This is normal, given that the app has to check hundreds of thousands of files along the way. It will reflect the current progress and other details at the bottom part of the GUI.WiperSoft scan progress

5. If WiperSoft finds malicious files, it will let you know via an updated computer security status as illustrated below. Go ahead and click the Review & Clean button.‘Malicious items were found’ alert

6. Go over the detailed scan report that’s split into three categories: malware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), and privacy issues. Make sure all unwanted items are selected and click Remove Threats to disinfect your PC.Remove detected threats

Use Control Panel to get rid of search.yahoo.com PUP

• 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

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 Yahoo Search 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 Yahoo Search virus removal tool


Is Yahoo Search a virus?

Is Yahoo Search a virus?

Absolutely not. It is a legit web services provider. Moreover, it was launched back in the mid-1990s and was one of the pioneers of the search engine industry as such. As of 2019, it is the world’s third most popular search provider. However, its name may have a shady overtone because of cybercriminals’ shenanigans. Some computer users may refer to Yahoo Search in the malicious sense because their browsers are redirected to search.yahoo.com without their permission.

This unauthorized redistribution of web traffic takes place because of malware activity isolated to specific systems. In other words, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) or browser hijackers are to blame for tweaking users’ Internet preferences. This perpetrating code infects PCs surreptitiously and then forwards the victims’ web traffic to search.yahoo.com while resolving a number of advertising networks along the way. Furthermore, the legit search results may be modified and include sponsored materials that normally don’t belong there. To recap, Yahoo Search is not a virus, but cybercrooks abuse it to generate fraudulent ad revenue while adding a false sense of legitimacy to their malvertising campaigns.

How do I stop Yahoo from hijacking my browser?

How do I stop Yahoo from hijacking my browser?

The fundamentals of stopping this obnoxious redirect activity stem from the logic of the virus attack in question. A web browser is rerouted to Yahoo Search because a piece of malicious code recurrently triggers the respective commands. The culprit is most likely an extension, add-on, or plugin that was installed and enabled in the browser behind the scenes. Therefore, to prevent Yahoo from taking over Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, IE, or Safari, the rogue helper object needs to be identified and removed.

A serious roadblock in terms of the fix is that this entity tends to be stubborn and may reappear after regular removal attempts on the victim’s end. That’s due to system registry changes and a scheduled task that keeps invoking the infection chain. To make sure the cleanup is thorough, it could be a good idea to use a trusted anti-malware tool that will detect every single component of the threat as well as the changes it made.

Once the harmful program is eradicated from the PC, the next important step is to revert the affected browser to its normal state. Resetting it to the original defaults is the most effective tactic in this context. The entirety of Yahoo Search virus removal and remediation techniques are described in the tutorial above.

How do I get rid of search redirect virus?

How do I get rid of search redirect virus?

There are numerous search redirect campaigns relying on reputable search engines as a smokescreen. Plus, some of these hoaxes involve custom search features to poison the results with sponsored content and malicious links. No matter if you are being redirected to Yahoo Search or Bing (which is another common scenario), your electronic adversary is a malicious app that infiltrated your computer in a stealthy way.

Therefore, you should start the repair process by finding and eliminating the root cause of the problem, which is the misbehaving software. Go to the list of programs installed on your PC, sort them by date, and scrutinize the recently added ones for a suspicious entry you didn’t knowingly install. Go ahead and remove the app once found.

Another important part of the fix is to remedy the web browser that’s acting up. Open the extensions pane and look for an item that was added to the list behind your back. If such a culprit is spotted, disable and delete it without a second thought. If it doesn’t allow you to get rid of it (for instance, the removal option is inactive), then reset the browser to its defaults. In case the issue is still there after these steps are taken, use an automatic cleaning solution to detect and wipe all the fragments of the hijacker. Read the guide above to get the how-to’s regarding every stage of the procedure.

How do I get rid of Yahoo search engine on Chrome?

How do I get rid of Yahoo search engine on Chrome?

Normally, you should be able to configure your search preferences by going to the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ menu. Then, select ‘Settings’ in the drop-down and proceed to the ‘Search engine’ sub-section. Click ‘Manage search engines’ and take a close look at the providers listed under ‘Default search engines’. Your default lookup service is the one displayed at the top of the list. If it’s Yahoo Search, then simply pick the preferred one by clicking the three dots icon next to it and selecting the ‘Make default’ option.

Keep in mind, though, that this procedure applies to non-malware situations or to the cases where the infection isn’t very persistent. If it doesn’t work, then you need to spot and eliminate the malware that’s causing the adverse changes in the first place. Then, consider resetting Chrome. Here’s how it’s done. Go to Chrome settings, click the ‘Advanced’ button, scroll down to the ‘Reset and clean up’ sub-section, and use follow-up prompts to restore the browser’s settings to their original defaults. Although this will cause your browsing customizations to vanish, the Yahoo Search engine won’t be taking over web searches in Chrome anymore.

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