Search Redirect Problems

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Pondulay, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Pondulay macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    Hey all, first post here, but I've been a fan of MacRumors for a while ... mostly just to get rumors on the newest ipod touch :)

    The other day I began noticing something strange: when I click on the search results in google (in firefox), I am redirected to some page trying to sell me antivirus software (PC antivirus software, curiously). My guess is that I have some kind of adware on my mac, though I don't know how I got it or how to remove it.

    The first thing I did was to clear all cookies/cache/everything but history, but that did nothing. Next, I searched around (copy-and-pasting results into the address bar), and found a few people with similar problems but no answers :-( I also tried using safari and didn't notice any problems. Finally, I created a new account, which seems to work fine, but it would be a bit of a pain to switch all my settings back, et cetera. I also checked my DNS servers; they look fine as well.

    Please note that although I am not a tech guru, I am also not an idiot -- I can take care of 95% of my computer problems without asking for help. This should make it clear that this is a somewhat tricky problem.

    One more thing: PLEASE do not get into the argument over whether or not this is a "virus", or whether or not macs can/will get viruses/adware/trojans/malware/etc. The fact is this: I am being redirected to malicious websites, through a very reputable one (google). Call it what you will, but all I want is a solution.

    Thanks a ton in advance, and if you want me to send screenshots / do more diagnosis / check setting {x,y,z}, I'd be happy to.

  2. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Sounds like you are saying it is firefox only -right? First thing I would do is check the proxy settings. Probably remove all plug-ins, maybe even remove firefox completely and reinstall. Something to also look at is the file in ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox. I would probably backup that directory somewhere else and remove it completely from it's current location.

    Doing all of this, you will probably loose bookmarks and stuff.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    What DNS servers do you show?
  4. Pondulay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    #4 I really don't know what that means, but it looks fine to me...

    UPDATE: This morning the problem appears to be gone. I suspect it may be linked to some other wireless network I was using last night. I don't think it is/was something mac-specific because the fake antivirus software was specifically for PCs.

    What I'll do now, just to be safe, is back up my bookmarks and remove and reinstall firefox. I'll repost if the problem shows up again.

    Thanks for your help; I really appreciate it!
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Follow the directions in this post:
    Yes, those bogus virus warnings are simply web pages designed to trick you into installing a trojan. They're obviously fake, since the screens typically show a Windows screen, even if you're on a Mac.

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