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Search-operator.com Virus

Search-operator.com

Search-operator.com is a Browser Hijacker that can easily integrate with browsers like Chrome, Safari,Firefox and other commonly used online browsing programs. The invasive app typically installs a new web search engine or a new homepage that supposedly improves the web browsing experience with the best search results it generates.

Search-operator.com Virus

If you use Chrome as your browser and when you logged on and opened it up, instead of the typical google home page, you landed on a page where there would normally be google info, it says search-operator.com. Before it got to that, the search engine is changed to Bing from Chrome

After that you are booted out of your google accounts, your sync is disabled and “your browser is managed by your organization.” When you click the link on that quote, it brings you to the following : “This browser is managed by a company, school or other organization. Your administrator can change your browser setup remotely. Activity on this device may also be managed outside of Chrome” 

In addition, the hijacker generates different pay-per-click ads, and promotional messages in the form of banners and pop-ups and frequently page-redirects the users’ searches to some third-party websites, filled with advertising content. Judging only by its appearance, Search-operator.com may seem like a useful tool for people who like online shopping. Yet, a lot of web users find the activities that this application initiates to be annoying and intrusive, thus, they seek methods to uninstall Search-operator.com and to remove the changes that it has imposed on their browser. If you are on this page because you are looking for the same, stay with us. There is a removal guide below, which explains in detail all the steps that you need to take to quickly uninstall this particular Browser Hijacker from your system. First, however, let us tell you a few more words about the program that you are about to deal with and give you a few tips on how to prevent it coming back to your computer in the future.

Is Search-operator.com a threat to your computer?

A common confusion which a lot of web users face when a Browser Hijacker takes over their browser is to think that they must have been infected with a virus or some nasty malware, such as a Ransomware, a Trojan, or another similar threat. This is because most Browser Hijackers Search-operator.com and Weknow.ac are usually introduced into the system without the users’ permission and typically modify the settings in the browser in such a way that they cannot be uninstalled or removed. Those changes are not harmful, but users cannot initially undo them and that sets them in panic.

Search-operator.com, for instance, may continuously reset its custom browser settings every time you try to change them. Therefore, you may not able to restore your browser to its previous state until the hijacker is uninstalled.

In addition to that, you may be forced to visit different third-party websites when you search through the address bar or simply when opening a new browser tab. This may significantly slow down the browsing experience. Another important issue is the data processing: a hijacker such as Search-operator.com may have the ability to gather information about your browsing activity. The data collected usually contains information about your latest browsing queries, bookmarks, and likes, which the developers of the ad-oriented tool may sell to third parties, who may use it for more aggressive advertising.

Basically, if you are not a fan of the ads, pop-ups, banners and the redirects that constantly appear on your screen, it would be a good idea to uninstall the Browser Hijacker and restore your previous browser settings. Moreover, it is not excluded that some of the generated ads and search results may redirect to questionable web locations where real security hazards (Viruses, Ransomware, Trojans, Spyware, etc.) may lurk.

SUMMARY:

Name Search-operator.com
Type  Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms The symptoms you can expect from a hijacker are usually changes in your browser’s search engine tool or starting page address. 
Distribution Method The file-bundling method and spam message campaigns are what usually allows hijackers to get distributed.
IP Adress 18.232.146.247
Detection Tool

Remove Search-operator.com 

Search-operator.com Virus

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.

Search-operator.com Virus

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Search-operator.com Virus

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

Search-operator.com Virus

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Search-operator.com Virus

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users.
This file is not matched with any known malware in the database. You can either do a full real-time scan of the file or skip it to upload a new file. Doing a full scan with 64 antivirus programs can take up to 3-4 minutes per file.
Search-operator.com Virus
Drag and Drop File Here To Scan
Search-operator.com Virus
Analyzing 0 s
Each file will be scanned with up to 64 antivirus programs to ensure maximum accuracy
    This scanner is based on VirusTotal's API. By submitting data to it, you agree to their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and to the sharing of your sample submission with the security community. Please do not submit files with personal information if you do not want them to be shared.

    Search-operator.com Virus

    The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

    On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

    First, Force Quit Safari again.

    Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

    Search-operator.com Virus

    Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

    Search-operator.com Virus

    and then again on the Extensions tab,

    Search-operator.com Virus

    Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.
    Search-operator.com Virus

    The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

    Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
    Search-operator.com Virus

    Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

    Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

    Search-operator.com Virus

    Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
    Search-operator.com Virus

    Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

    Search-operator.com Virus How to Remove Search-operator.com From Firefox in OSX:

    Open Firefoxclick on Search-operator.com Virus (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

    Search-operator.com Virus

    The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.


    Search-operator.com VirusHow to Remove Search-operator.com From Chrome in OSX:

     Start Chrome, click Search-operator.com Virus —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  Search-operator.com Virus.

    Search-operator.com Virus

     Click Search-operator.com Virus again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

    If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!

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    About the author

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    Lidia Howler

    Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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