Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker
Browser Hijacker | 02/01/2019

Search.maps2go.net Removal Guide

About: Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker is a pernicious browser extension that is configured to display sponsored search results to generate revenue. It also collects important user information that is abused to yank user’s chain. Let us read mo...  Read More  

| Browser Hijacker | Search.maps2go.net Removal Guide

Guide to Remove Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker

Search.maps2go.net is a potentially unwanted program deemed as a noxious browser hijacker. Distributed via skeptical methods that obscure its presence, the malware once infiltrated exhibits intrusive behavior. The malicious program is designed to trick users into installing unwanted applications & display sponsored search results to generate unethical revenue.

Maps2go

Search.maps2go.net is a devastating domain that runs as an extension to browser program. The malevolent add-on is designed to specifically target Mac Operating System. It is however available for free download in Chrome web store as well. To inveigle users to download and install this disguised Browser Redirect Virus, the rogue application claims to:

 

  1. Assist drivers by providing appropriate driving directions to any place in the world.
  2. Navigate you to any desired place with the best route for your car, bike or even foot.

Maps2Go Download

In order to gain user confidence the application incorporates the complete address of its head office which is in Israel, the phone number & the email address. However, users are recommended not to install it as the authenticity of the application is not proven. Moreover, the Privacy policy of this browser add-on openly declares to access all important user information. Hence installation of this nasty app is not considered safe for the user.

Privacy Policy of Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker

This rogue application proclaims to:

  1. Collect information that may concern your identity & personal preferences.
  2. Fetch Anonymous information or non-personal information like IP address, number of page views, link clicks.
  3. Keep a track on browser cookies: both session cookies & persistent cookies.
  4. Share the collected information with third parties, affiliated companies & search providers.

Maps2go Privacy policy

The pernicious add-on affects all popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari etc. Users are therefore recommended to be cautions and not fall in the trap of this disguised map services application.

 

Search.maps2go.net Search Engine Description

This UI of this vicious application is appealing & appear legitimate & useful to compel users to download it. Among the many features it exhibits include:Maps2go Search engine

  1. The template design makes it easier for users to surf internet. For Instance, users have the provision to view images, videos, News & navigate to shopping sites as per the menus available in the UI of the web page.

The reality however is the News tab in the menu bar is non-functional, the Shopping tab serves no purpose.

 

  1. The Privacy Policy & Terms of Use link on the homepage gives 404 error on click depriving users from revealing the facts of this pernicious application.

 

This is not all! The time taken by the application to load search results is more than the time taken by the popular search engines rendering it futile.

 

Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker- Threat Behavior

The infestation of Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker encounters you with an endless array of negatives. These include:

 

  1. Modification of browser settings: The malicious browser add-on replaces the home page, search engine & new tab with its own. Search results are directed to https://search.yahoo.com to deceive users to believe that the search engine is authenticated. However, the search results are inaccurate & direct users to third party web pages that may be malicious.Maps2Go Yahoo
  2. Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker sieges browser screen with intrusive ads & pop-ups. The malware pervasively tracks important information related to user interest & identity. This is done to display relevant ads & links that attain undivided attention of users. It’s a mere trick to increase the probability of getting the ad clicked to generate pay-per click revenue.

 

Hence it is important to protect your system from this hazardous threat. As soon as its existence is discovered, victims are requested to act towards its deletion. The following guidelines will help you get rid of the malicious extension from the system.

 

Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker- Distribution Tactics

The cybercriminals use various strategies for Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker distribution which include –

 

  1. Software Bundling: Software bundling is the process in which a malicious program is distributed with other free software, to get an unnoticed entry into your computer system. When a user installs a free application, the malicious programs gains a front door entry with the free application, the user has downloaded. Thus, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the installation screens while installing these free applications.
  2. Infected Storage Devices: Your system can also get infected by using removable media such as USB hard drives and jump drives without scanning them with an anti-virus.
  3. Spam Emails – Spamming is the most economic and common method used for the distribution of such malware. The targeted users get genuine looking emails which contain .doc, .txt, and other similar attachments. These attachments can be named as anything which can grab the user’s attention and triggers him/her to open the attachment. As soon as the user opens this attachment, the malware infects the user’s computer system.
  4. Malicious Websites or Malevolent Advertisements: The malicious websites are the ones which are created just for promoting the malware infections. Such websites include but are not limited to porn sites, torrent sites and other free downloading platforms. By visiting such websites, the adware infects the user’s computer without permission. Fake advertisements and updates like Flash player and windows updates which ask the user to update to the latest version are a few examples. When the users click on such links, their computer system gets infected. That is why, it is highly recommended to resist clicking on such links. Also avoid clicking on advertisements offering free stuff such as Win an iPhones, cars or free overseas trips etc.

 

Threat Summary

Name: Search.maps2go.net

Browsers Affected: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari

Targeted Operating System: Windows & MAC

Category: Browser Hijacker

Symptoms: Homepage, new tab and search engine are replaced with https://search.yahoo.com.

Appearance of sponsored ads and pop-ups

Unnatural network activities

How to Remove Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker?

STEP A : Remove malicious extensions from your browser

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Google chrome menu icon ) i.e.Menu option which are located at the upper right corner of the Chrome Window.
  2. Find and click on More tools from the drop down menu that is displayed & select Extensions or you can open a Chrome window and type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar.google chrome menu options
  3. Check the developer mode option which is located opposite to extensions heading on the top of the Chrome window. By enabling the developer mode, additional details and option related to all the installed extensions will be displayed. One of the details that will be displayed is the ID. ID is the folder name created by the extension at the location “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”.enable chrome developer mode
  4. Locate the extension you want to uninstall or delete. Copy and paste the folder name opposite to the ID Tag of that extension into a notepad file. In this case the folder name is “ijekngkpdlgeldbcbeeabcmhinlhbkgi”copy the extension folder name in Chrome
  5. Now, uncheck the enabled option next to the extension in question. Make sure you also click the trash icon to delete the extension from the browser. It is important to note that even after uninstalling and deleting the extensions from the browser, the extension might not uninstall properly. Thus, it is a good practice to make sure that we have deleted the folder as mentioned in step 3.delete the malicious extension from Chrome
  6. Make sure that you have made the hidden files and folders visible.
  7. Open My Computer and go to “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions”. Now, look for folder with the name as specified in Step 4 i.e. “ijekngkpdlgeldbcbeeabcmhinlhbkgi”. Delete the folder if present.show hidden files and folder
  8. Close and reopen the browser. It is also advisable to restart your computer once done.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox, click on three horizontal lines (Mozilla icon ) at the top right corner of the Firefox Window and select the Add-ons option.Mozilla Firefox menu
  2. On the Add-ons manger page, select and click on the Extensions tab as shown below.FireFox manage Add-ons
  3. Find the extensions related to Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker and click on the remove button.
  4. In addition, try to remember how the extension got downloaded on your computer system. If this extension was bundled with some other software, then make sure to delete that as well.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer, Click on the Gear icon (IE menu icon ) which is at the top right corner of the Internet Explorer Window.
  2. From the newly appeared dropdown menu, click on the option that reads Manage Add-ons.Internet explorer settings menu
  3. A new window will appear on the screen. On this window choose the option that reads Toolbar and Extensions. Under the Show option, select the option that reads “All add-ons”. This option will allow you to see all the browser extensions. Mozilla-manage add-ons toolbars and extensions page
  4. Select the Extension related to Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker and click on the Disable button which is at the bottom right of the computer screen.

IE toolbar and extensions in Manage add-ons

Apple's Safari

  1. On your Mac Desktop, click on the option that reads “Safari”.
  2. A drop down menu will appear as shown below. From this menu chose the option that reads “Preferences”.Safari menu extension options
  3. The Preferences window will appear on the screen, where the list of all your safari extensions will be shown.Safari extensions window
  4. On the list displayed at the left side of the screen, select the Extension you want to uninstall.
  5. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid of the extension.uninstall a program from Safari

 

STEP B: Show Hidden Files and Folders

Windows 7

  1. Left click on the Organize button on the Windows Explorer. A drop down menu will appear.
    Folder and search options in windows 7
  2. On this menu left click on the option that reads “Folder and search options” as shown above. A folder options dialogue box will appear.
  3. On the View tab under the Advanced settings, Check the option that reads “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” and uncheck the option that reads “Hide protected operating system files“.
    Windows view tab advanced settings
  4. Click on the “OK” button to save your changes. This will make all the hidden files and folders visible to you.

Windows 8 and 10

  1. On the file explorer toolbar, click on the View
    windows 8 file explorer toolbar
  2. In the Show/hide section, Click on the “Hidden items” checkbox.
  3. Click on the options button.Windows explorer options button
  4. Under folder options, click on the “View” tab.
    Windows 8 - hide protected operating file system option
  5. Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option.
  6. Click the “OK” button to save your changes.

 

STEP C:  How To Reset Your Browser

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click on the three horizontal lines (Mozilla Menu icon ) which are at the top right corner of the computer screen.
  2. A Drop down menu will be displayed. On this menu click on the “Help” (Mozilla help icon) button as shown in the image below. The Help menu will be displayed on the screen.Mozilla firefox menu screenshot
  3. From this menu click the option that reads “Troubleshooting information“. A new tab will open up with the <strong”>Troubleshooting information.
    Choose troubleshooting information from Mozilla Firefox menu
  4. On the Troubleshooting Information page, click on the button that reads “Refresh Firefox” as shown in the image below.Mozilla reset option
  5. The “Refresh Firefox” message box will pop up on the screen. On this message box click on the “Refresh Firefox” button.Refresh Firefox
  6. After this Firefox will close itself and a new window will be displayed which will list the information that is imported. Click on the option that reads “Finish” to complete the task.

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google chrome and click on the three vertical dots (Menu Icon-Chrome ) which is at the top right corner of the computer screen. A drop down menu will appear on the screen. From this menu choose the option that reads “Settings”.Google Chrome menu
  2. The Chrome’s settings window will be displayed on the screen. On this screen scroll through the bottom of the page and click on the option that reads “Advanced option” as shown below.Google Chrome advance settings
  3. The Advanced setting options will be displayed on the screen. Scroll through the list of options till you find the “ Reset browser settings” section. Click on the icon as shown below.Reset Chrome option
  4. The reset dialogue box will pop up on the screen. From this dialogue box click on the button that reads “Reset”.

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon (Internet explorer gear icon ) which is at the top right corner of the browser screen. A drop down menu will be displayed on the screen. From this drop down menu, click on the option that reads “Internet options”.IE - internet options
  2. The “Internet options” dialogue box will be displayed. Click on the “Advanced” tab. In the Advanced tab click on the button that reads “Reset” as shown in the image below. The “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” section will be displayed on the screen. Now click on the button that reads “Reset” .Precautions: In this dialogue box make sure to uncheck the “Delete Personal settings” option to save your passwords and other important data.Reset Internet Explorer settings
  3. When it’s done, click on the button that reads “Close” to complete the task. Now close and reopen your browser.Close Reset Internet Explorer

 

Tips to prevent your computer system from getting infected from Search.maps2go.net Browser Hijacker –

  1. Keeping the Operating System Updated- In order to remain protected and avoid such infections, it is recommended to keep your Operating System updated by enabling the automatic update on your system. The systems with outdated or older versions of Operating System become an easy target for the attackers.
  2. Resist clicking on spam emails – One of the major techniques used for malware distribution is forwarding spam emails to the user. The system gets infected as soon as the user clicks on the attachment. These mails appear to be genuine, so be aware and resist falling for these tricks.
  3. Keep an eye on third party installations- It is quite important that you take due care while installing any third party applications for they are major source of such infections. Such malware programs come bundled with the free applications thereby requiring the user to remain cautious.
  4. Regular periodical backup- In order to keep your data and files safe, it is recommended to take regular back up of all your data and files either on an external drive or cloud.
  5. Use Anti-Virus Protection- We strongly recommend the use of antivirus protection/internet security in your PC like Kaspersky Labs Inc and Sophos so that it remains safe.
  6. Enable the Ad Blocker/Popup Blocker in your browser- Enabling the popup blocker/ ad blocker in your chosen browser will help you to stay protected from annoying adware.

 

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