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need OFFICIAL mozilla help; firefox search provider, PUP.Optional.Legacy secure.start-pagesearch.com is it harmful or false flag?!

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  • Last reply by star

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IS IT A REAL 'FIREFOX SEARCH PROVIDER???!!! i've spent many many hours, gotten malwarebytes help, gotten suggestions from mozilla help forum, thanks folks, but this requires an actual mozilla techie's help.

 virus total flags the url as suspicious. 

adwcleaner calls the 2 things pups but can't clean or quarantine them they call them; firefox search providerPUP.Optional.Legacy secure.start-pagesearch.com

relevant part of my previous question adwcleaner keeps labeling 2 secure.start-pagesearch.com as threats in firefox url but cannot remove them. i spent 2 afternoons with their tech guy emailing and doing all kinds of things to figure them out. online searches say the secure.start-pagesearch.com are connected to cloudflare. are they malware? please answer!!

  1. -------------------------------
  2. Malwarebytes AdwCleaner 7.1.1.0
  3. -------------------------------
  4. Build: 04-27-2018
  5. Database: 2018-05-02.2
  6. Support: https://www.malwarebytes.com/support
  7. -------------------------------
  8. Mode: Clean
  9. -------------------------------
  10. Start: 05-02-2018
  11. Duration: 00:00:02
  12. OS: Windows 10 Home
  13. Cleaned: 0
  14. Failed: 2
          • [ Firefox URLs ] *****

Not Deleted secure.start-pagesearch.com Not Deleted secure.start-pagesearch.com

Chosen solution

star said

IS IT A REAL 'FIREFOX SEARCH PROVIDER???!!! i've spent many many hours, gotten malwarebytes help, gotten suggestions from mozilla help forum, thanks folks, but this requires an actual mozilla techie's help.

Firefox from www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ is a web browser and not a search engine and Mozilla themselves do not have search engine services like Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo etc.

As said this Start-pagesearch .com a browser hijacker that was installed by some means like being bundled with some free software you downloaded or updated recently.

See https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-start-pagesearch-com/ on options in trying to get rid of it on Windows.

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Hi star,

Good for you to be on the alert, cause that start-pagesearch.com is a browser hijacker - malware, that you will of course need to get rid of.

Not only is running as many malware scans as possible a must - you should also do this :

Go to the 3-bar menu (or 'Tools') => Add-ons => Extensions, and look for anything unfamiliar or suspicious.

When you find one : remove it.

Do the same in Windows Control Panel => Programs.

As most malware will be 'hiding' somewhere - running some more malware scans won't hurt : what one program doesn't pick up, the other one will.

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The Start-pagesearch.com browser hijacker is commonly bundled with other free programs that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed Start-pagesearch.com without your knowledge.

When the Start-pagesearch.com browser hijacker is installed on a PC, common symptoms include:

  • Changing the web browser’s default homepage to Start-pagesearch.com
  • Changing the browser’s search provider, built-in search box to Start-pagesearch.com
  • Ability to modify the ‘new tab’ functionality to launch the modified search portal page
  • Loads into the web browser via an extension or add-on
  • Web Browser shortcuts are hijacked to redirect to Start-pagesearch.com

Please Search for add-remove which is Programs and Features and remove the recently installed program that this was included with. Also search for it there Start-pagesearch.com Please check your add-ons/extensions from the 3 Bar Menu and if it is there please disable it but do the uninstall 1st. So if you can not remember any recent installs uninstall stuff that you do not need.

if you need help with the installed programs please take a screen shot and we will help. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/firefox-screenshots

Then have Malwarebytes finish the clean up. Please let us know if this solved your issue or if need further assistance.

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Chosen Solution

star said

IS IT A REAL 'FIREFOX SEARCH PROVIDER???!!! i've spent many many hours, gotten malwarebytes help, gotten suggestions from mozilla help forum, thanks folks, but this requires an actual mozilla techie's help.

Firefox from www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ is a web browser and not a search engine and Mozilla themselves do not have search engine services like Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo etc.

As said this Start-pagesearch .com a browser hijacker that was installed by some means like being bundled with some free software you downloaded or updated recently.

See https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-start-pagesearch-com/ on options in trying to get rid of it on Windows.

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star said

i've spent many many hours, gotten malwarebytes help, gotten suggestions from mozilla help forum, thanks folks, but this requires an actual mozilla techie's help.

Mozilla does not have the resources to have call centres for one on one Firefox support options by phone or chat if that is what you are hoping for, especially since it would be too costly to do it for free.

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thanks murphy and pkshadow for taking time to answer. i have unchecky so hrmfff to that not working maybe. i didn't notice any new or suspicious addons or programs. i did restart with my custom theme, gotten thru mozilla, disabled and the addons disabled. the pups remain and adwcleaner's clean and repair feature keeps failing to clean them and the quarantine in history shows nothing. i did notice there's a mozilla maintenance program below the mozilla listed in programs but they both have the same date of april 30, 2018 which i think is the newest upgrade. are they both true or is one a fake that keeps reappearing along with mozilla? i kinda think not. the only recent addons are; no coin block miners on the web their homepage is https://github.com/keraf/NoCoin and quick js switcher home page https://github.com/meetDeveloper/Quick-JS-Switcher

  • both thru mozilla which is where i search for addons.

i'm pretty careful and 4 virus and malware programs fail to find this. only malwarebytes adwcleaner found them at all and CAN'T CLEAN THEM. so now i see james gave tips, thanks james. i'm going to go thru those tips on this page; https://malwaretips.com/blogs/remove-start-pagesearch-com/#uninstall. i can't help but wonder; if i reset firefox losing settings, addons themes, etc (bummer) will that help since the adwcleaner can't help? will uninstalling firefox, (bigger bummer) and reinstalling it find i still have that problem? help, help, i'm being repressed! you saw em oppressing me, didn't you? first i'll try those other things james suggested.

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Hi, as suggested do a screen shot of your installed programs. I can not remember the program that it was installed with, but it was a respectable company. Yes the Mozilla Maintenance is part of Firefox.

No you do not need to reset Firefox as this can be removed as i had it also a while back, just do not remember what program it was loaded in that when uninstalled it the rest was easy.

Follow the Link James supplied. or go to the link I supplied.

Can try : https://www.adlice.com/download/roguekiller/ Malwarebytes bought AdwCleaner from them.

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The program that installed it on me was Web Companion from Lavasoft. If you have it uninstall it.

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i did shift prtsc which pasted into an email but not this window or onto desktop

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hoorah!!! it's fixed by zemana. thanks james for that web page link. thanks also to pk shadow and murphy. i still don't know how i got infected. i looked in my c drive and found 'usb file rescue' that doesn't show up in programs or apps. i thought i did enough searching on it but i think i'm gonna delete it anyway.