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search engine switcher

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#1 Hajduk


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Posted 18 October 2017 - 04:40 PM

Perhaps this is not so much a Windows 7 problem as an Office 13 problem; if I am in the wrong forum, please redirect me.  I am running Office 13 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate.  I use several browsers:  Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.  Recently I have experienced a nuisance.  On all three browsers, I have set Google as the default search engine, but when I google anything, I am switched to another browser, either Yahoo or Bing.  Even on Chrome I am switched to Bing.  I have gone to Settings and removed Yahoo and Bing from the list of available browsers, to no avail.  I have run Malwarebytes, Spybot S&D, Superantispyware, and McAfee Security Scan Plus, and still the bugger is there.  What could be doing this, and how do I get rid of it?



Edited by hamluis, 19 October 2017 - 02:23 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Am I Infected - Hamluis.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 18 October 2017 - 05:43 PM

You seem to be talking about 2 different things.


Browser elections...and search engine elections.


Browser election is made by setting the default browser to be used when accessing the Internet.  There is only one default browser, any other can be used at any time without being the default.


Each browser, in turn, allows for default search engine selection.  Again, there can only be one.


I suggest you check your browser settings...and your search engine settings within each browser.


Browser hijacks...are considered malware.  Browser hijackers may replace home page, search engine, or error page without user consent.  If browser hijacking is taking place, this topic should be moved to the Am I Infected section.



#3 mightywiz


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Posted 19 October 2017 - 01:28 PM

on this website in the download section are JRT junkware remove tool & ADWcleaner.   download them both and run them.  let us know your results as i suspect you have some malware/adware issues causing your problems.

#4 dc3


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:28 AM

Please run Malwarebytes AntiMalware

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.2.

1)  Double-click on mbam-setup.exe, then click on Run to install the application, follow the prompts through the installation.

2)  Malwarebytes will automatically open.  You will see an image like the one below, click on Update Now.  


3)  Click on Settings, you will see a image like the one below.


When Settings opens click on Detection and Protection, then under Non-Malware Protection, click on the down arrow for PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs) detections and select Treat detections as malware.  Under Detection Options place a check in the box for Scan for rootkits

4)  Click on Scan (next to Settings), then click on Scan Now.  The scan will automatically run now.

5)  When the scan is complete the results will be displayed.  Click on Delete All.


6)  Please post the Malwarebytes log.

To find the Malwarebytes log do the following.  Copy and paste the log in your topic.

*Open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
*Click the Scan Tab at the top.
*Click the View detailed log link on the right.
*Click Copy to Clipboard at the bottom...come back to this thread, click Add Reply, then right-click and choose Paste.
*Alternatively, you can click Export and save the log as a .txt file on yout Desktop or another location.
*Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
Please download AdwCleaner and install it.

When AdwCleaner opens click on Scan to start the scan.


Once the search is complete a list of the pending items will be displayed.  If you see any which you do not want removed, remove the check mark next to it.

If there are no malicious programs are found you will receive a message informing you of this.  
Click on Clean to remove the selected items.  If you have any questions about any items in the list please copy and paste the list in your topic so we can review it.  

You will receive a message telling you that all programs will be closed so that the infections can be removed.  Click on OK.  The computer will be restarted to complete the cleaning process.
When the cleaning process is complete a log of what was removed will be presented.  Please copy and the paste this log in your topic.
Please download and install Junkware Removal Tool.

Open your browser and go to Downloads, then click on the Junkware Removal Tool to install it.  

Click on Run to initiate the installation.

To avoid potential conflicts, temporarily disable your antivirus and firewall.  You will want to be offline when you do this.

Run the tool by double-clicking it. If you are using Windows Vista, 7, or 8; instead of double-clicking, right-mouse click JRT.exe and select Run as Administrator.

The tool will open and start scanning your system.

Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system's specifications.

On completion, a log (JRT.txt) is saved to your desktop and will automatically open.  Copy and this and then post this in your topic.

Please run the ESET OnlineScan

This scan takes quite a long time to run, so be prepared to allow this to run
till it is completed.

***Please note. If you run this scan using Internet Explorer you won't need
to download the Eset Smartinstaller.***

ESET Online Scanner

  • Click here to download the installer for ESET Online Scanner and save it to your Desktop.
  • Disable all your antivirus and antimalware software - see how to do that
  • Right click on esetsmartinstaller_enu.exe and select Run as Administrator.
  • Place a checkmark in YES, I accept the Terms of Use, then click Start. Wait for ESET Online Scanner to load its components.
  • Select Enable detection of potentially unwanted applications.
  • Click Advanced Settings, then place a checkmark in the following:
    • Remove found threats
    • Scan archives
    • Scan for potentially unsafe applications
    • Enable Anti-Stealth technology
  • Click Start to begin scanning.
  • ESET Online Scanner will start downloading signatures and scan. Please be patient, as this scan can take quite some time.
  • If threats are found click on Save to text file in Documents.
  • Open Documents, find the report, copy and paste it in your topic.

Edited by dc3, 22 October 2017 - 09:28 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.





#5 Hajduk

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:38 AM

Thanks, Hamluis, Mightywiz, and DC3.  Since I posted I have found the source of the problem.  I was and apparently still am fighting the Kovter trojan.  It inserts a lot of "Mindspark" files and some others.  I have Malwarebytes, and as I mentioned in my first post in this thread, I have run it.  I have also done a full search with MS Security Essentials.  Since Kovter was using my Firefox browser, I uninstalled it and downloaded a new copy.  So far I have still not been able to kill the bugger; like a vampire, it rises from the grave and goes after more blood.  The symptom is the search engine switcher.  For example, if I am on Google Chrome, I start a search.  On all three of the browsers I use, I have set Google as the default browser, so this should be a no-problem operation.  But when I enter a search topic in Google, the browser is immediately switched to Bing, and the search results are displayed in Bing.  On other occasions the browser is switched to Yahoo, or to some other search engine that I have never heard of.  I have also run MS Malicious Software Removal Tool.  But this morning the bloody thing was back switching search engines.  I removed the MindSpark files with Malwarebytes. but Kovter is still hiding out somewhere, and they will be back.   

#6 dc3


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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:13 AM

Grinler has written instructions for the removal of the Kovter Trojan.  You will need to read through these instructions at least once before preforming this repair.  You should print these instructions so that you have them in front of you while you follow the instructions.


The first step in this process is to run RKill, this is a program Grinler wrote.  Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process.  RKill will not remove the malware, you will need to run the other scans suggested in the instructions to remove the malware.


If this is too difficult or if you are not comfortable doing this by yourself you can always open a new topic in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.  If you do decide to do this let me know and I will post the instructions you will need to start this topic, specifically what the forum wants to see posted in your first post in this topic.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.





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