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Somehow SEARCH.SEARCHPULSE.NET got loaded in Firefox and I want to get rid of it. How?

Posted

In a moment of madness that I can’t recall why or how, I thought I was doing some legitimate update on my MacBook Air. Instead I must have installed some add-on or extension to Firefox. When I open Firefox I get this as a browser and not my usual Google window:

http://search.searchpulse.net/?_pg=CC8A940F-0229-54AB-BB6E-E5220BFF983A&affid=dhm_A0SLV_set_bfr_H&type=h&pid=dhm

When I Google with Safari how to dump it, none of the instructions fit Firefox - only Chrome and Safari. AppleCare wouldn’t help, saying it is a 3rd party app and to contact Firefox. The Google search also hinted broadly that this problem could have or will compromise my computer.

Firefox is my browser of choice for well over a decade. My password manager (with over 150 contacts) is linked to Firefox. I want to use Firefox but need to dump this unfortunate add-on or extension.

How do I dump this junk?

Also, have I compromised my sensitive info on my computer?

Tom


edited out phone# from public and search/spam bots view as this is a forum.

In a moment of madness that I can’t recall why or how, I thought I was doing some legitimate update on my MacBook Air. Instead I must have installed some add-on or extension to Firefox. When I open Firefox I get this as a browser and not my usual Google window: http://search.searchpulse.net/?_pg=CC8A940F-0229-54AB-BB6E-E5220BFF983A&affid=dhm_A0SLV_set_bfr_H&type=h&pid=dhm When I Google with Safari how to dump it, none of the instructions fit Firefox - only Chrome and Safari. AppleCare wouldn’t help, saying it is a 3rd party app and to contact Firefox. The Google search also hinted broadly that this problem could have or will compromise my computer. Firefox is my browser of choice for well over a decade. My password manager (with over 150 contacts) is linked to Firefox. I want to use Firefox but need to dump this unfortunate add-on or extension. How do I dump this junk? Also, have I compromised my sensitive info on my computer? Tom edited out phone# from public and search/spam bots view as this is a forum.

Modified by James

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0 (I don't know how to verify this one way or the other)

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.14; rv:64.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/64.0

More Information

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71658 answers

Hi Tom, you can view, disable, and often remove unwanted or unknown extensions on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Command+Shift+a (Windows: Ctrl+Shift+a)
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons
  • type or paste about:addons in the address bar and press Enter/Return

In the left column of the Add-ons page, click Extensions.

Then cast a critical eye over the list on the right side. Any extensions Firefox installs for built-in features are hidden from this page, so everything listed here is your choice (and your responsibility) to manage. Anything suspicious or that you just do not remember installing or why? If in doubt, disable (or remove).

Next:

Check whether you can now regain control of and fix the following settings:

Any improvement?

Hi Tom, you can view, disable, and often remove unwanted or unknown extensions on the Add-ons page. Either: * Command+Shift+a (Windows: Ctrl+Shift+a) * "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons * type or paste '''about:addons''' in the address bar and press Enter/Return In the left column of the Add-ons page, click Extensions. Then cast a critical eye over the list on the right side. Any extensions Firefox installs for built-in features are hidden from this page, so everything listed here is your choice (and your responsibility) to manage. Anything suspicious or that you just do not remember installing or why? If in doubt, disable (or remove). ''Next:'' Check whether you can now regain control of and fix the following settings: * [[How to set the home page]] * [[Change your default search settings in Firefox]] Any improvement?

Question owner

I have done these procedures early on my own and again with an Apple tech and we can't find it on the computer and can't delete it from the Firefox browser window. We also dumped the Firefox app and downloaded it anew. Searchpulse was still there.

I have done these procedures early on my own and again with an Apple tech and we can't find it on the computer and can't delete it from the Firefox browser window. We also dumped the Firefox app and downloaded it anew. Searchpulse was still there.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71658 answers

Is the unwanted address set as your home page? To check on that, launch a new window, for example, using Command+n.

Is the unwanted address set as your home page? To check on that, launch a new window, for example, using Command+n.

Question owner

I have a MAC and your kind & gentle instructions seem more oriented to a PC. Regarding home page, I have opened Firefox and find home page set to 'Google,' as it was before this disaster started. I go back periodically and make sure it is set to 'Google.'

I have a MAC and your kind & gentle instructions seem more oriented to a PC. Regarding home page, I have opened Firefox and find home page set to 'Google,' as it was before this disaster started. I go back periodically and make sure it is set to 'Google.'
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71658 answers

Hi Tom, Command is a key found only on Mac keyboards, not Windows keyboards. On Windows, you open a new Firefox window using Ctrl+n. So I am trying to give you advice for Mac.

So if I understand correctly, when you start Firefox you get an unwanted page. Your home page seems to be set correctly on the Preferences page. And if you launch a new window using Command+n or whatever method you prefer (for example, the menu), you get Google in the new window?

Hi Tom, Command is a key found only on Mac keyboards, not Windows keyboards. On Windows, you open a new Firefox window using Ctrl+n. So I am trying to give you advice for Mac. So if I understand correctly, when you start Firefox you get an unwanted page. Your home page seems to be set correctly on the Preferences page. And if you launch a new window using Command+n or whatever method you prefer (for example, the menu), you get Google in the new window?

Question owner

Sorry ... you are giving MAC instructions and I apologize - I am very flustered and having a terrible day by several measures. Doing what you suggest just yields the same browser window over and over (by search.searchpulse.net.). After more research I have found the problem described as 'browser hijacking' sometime associated with a fake upgrade to FLASHPLAYER, which did have on my computer until I dumped it a few hours ago. However, despite finding a lot about how to avoid browser hijacking there is little to nothing about how to solve it. It is dangerous since it tracks your contacts through the fake browser. Fortunately, to the best of my knowledge I haven't used it directly but may have through my password manager program (1PASSWORD). The site lists several browser hijackers but not this one.

Sorry ... you are giving MAC instructions and I apologize - I am very flustered and having a terrible day by several measures. Doing what you suggest just yields the same browser window over and over (by search.searchpulse.net.). After more research I have found the problem described as 'browser hijacking' sometime associated with a fake upgrade to FLASHPLAYER, which did have on my computer until I dumped it a few hours ago. However, despite finding a lot about how to avoid browser hijacking there is little to nothing about how to solve it. It is dangerous since it tracks your contacts through the fake browser. Fortunately, to the best of my knowledge I haven't used it directly but may have through my password manager program (1PASSWORD). The site lists several browser hijackers but not this one.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71658 answers

Okay, could you share a list of your extensions? Even if they look innocent to you, we may be able to spot one of them that is causing this problem. Here's how:

Open the Troubleshooting Information page. Either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Return

Scroll down past the "Application Basics" and "Firefox Features" headings, until you get to "Extensions". Then you can select and copy the table that follows (not the entire page, please, that's too much information) using either Command+c or right-click > Copy and then paste it into a reply. It will be messy, but we're used it.

Okay, could you share a list of your extensions? Even if they look innocent to you, we may be able to spot one of them that is causing this problem. Here's how: Open the Troubleshooting Information page. Either: * "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste '''about:support''' in the address bar and press Return Scroll down past the "Application Basics" and "Firefox Features" headings, until you get to "Extensions". Then you can select and copy the table that follows (not the entire page, please, that's too much information) using either Command+c or right-click > Copy and then paste it into a reply. It will be messy, but we're used it.

Question owner

Busy, sorry I am not prompt. Not much there ...

Busy, sorry I am not prompt. Not much there ...

Question owner

What I just sent is the critical link to my Password manager (1PASSWORD6).

What I just sent is the critical link to my Password manager (1PASSWORD6).
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71658 answers

Hi Tom, if you change your home page to "Firefox Home" does it work -- when you launch a new window click the Home icon, does Firefox show the same internal page that you normally see on a new tab?

Hi Tom, if you change your home page to "Firefox Home" does it work -- when you launch a new window click the Home icon, does Firefox show the same internal page that you normally see on a new tab?
McCoy
  • Top 10 Contributor
545 solutions 5139 answers

Hello tggm,

Have you run malware scans yet  ?

Like the ones listed in this article :

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/troubleshoot-firefox-issues-caused-malware

Especially this one for Mac :

https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/

Hello tggm, Have you run malware scans yet ? Like the ones listed in this article : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/troubleshoot-firefox-issues-caused-malware Especially this one for Mac : https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac/

Question owner

I ran Apples Malwarebytes and it popped up several items with 'searchpulse' and I used the tool to delete those but that didn't help. I have been to the sites in your first link and they also were no productive.

I ran Apples Malwarebytes and it popped up several items with 'searchpulse' and I used the tool to delete those but that didn't help. I have been to the sites in your first link and they also were no productive.

Question owner

I think the solution is somewhere like here (see attachement). But, this overwhelms me. Tom

I think the solution is somewhere like here (see attachement). But, this overwhelms me. Tom

Question owner

I haven't tried you latest. But, but while waiting I found the included attachment. I think the answer is here somewhere but it overwhelms me at this point. I will look into your latest suggestion later tonight.

I haven't tried you latest. But, but while waiting I found the included attachment. I think the answer is here somewhere but it overwhelms me at this point. I will look into your latest suggestion later tonight.
Scribe 729 solutions 3471 answers

Hi, please check your Firefox Desktop shortcut for corruption: Right click on it > Properties, and in Target, make sure there is no sign of anything other than Firefox. If there is, delete that part of it. Or if it's easier, you can just delete it and recreate a new shortcut. More: Wrong home page opens when I start Firefox - How to fix.

Hi, please check your Firefox Desktop shortcut for corruption: Right click on it > Properties, and in Target, make sure there is no sign of anything other than Firefox. If there is, delete that part of it. Or if it's easier, you can just delete it and recreate a new shortcut. More: [[Wrong home page opens when I start Firefox - How to fix]].
McCoy
  • Top 10 Contributor
545 solutions 5139 answers

tggm said

I haven't tried you latest. But, but while waiting I found the included attachment. I think the answer is here somewhere but it overwhelms me at this point. I will look into your latest suggestion later tonight.

Unless you have received one of these fake update notifications or have (re)installed Adobe Flash Player lately; I don't see how this could have anything to do with your current problem ......

''tggm [[#answer-1186751|said]]'' <blockquote> I haven't tried you latest. But, but while waiting I found the included attachment. I think the answer is here somewhere but it overwhelms me at this point. I will look into your latest suggestion later tonight. </blockquote> Unless you have received one of these fake update notifications or have (re)installed Adobe Flash Player lately; I don't see how this could have anything to do with your current problem ......

Question owner

I did in fact received what was apparently a fake up-date to FlashPlayer. Thinking it was real, I went through the process and that is when the hijacked browser would open when I opened Firefox as I normally would.

I did in fact received what was apparently a fake up-date to FlashPlayer. Thinking it was real, I went through the process and that is when the hijacked browser would open when I opened Firefox as I normally would.
McCoy
  • Top 10 Contributor
545 solutions 5139 answers

Helpful Reply

tggm said

I did in fact received what was apparently a fake up-date to FlashPlayer. Thinking it was real, I went through the process and that is when the hijacked browser would open when I opened Firefox as I normally would.

Well, all I can say is : good for you to remember that and putting two and two together  ! All the more reason to run all of those malware scans .....

''tggm [[#answer-1186895|said]]'' <blockquote> I did in fact received what was apparently a fake up-date to FlashPlayer. Thinking it was real, I went through the process and that is when the hijacked browser would open when I opened Firefox as I normally would. </blockquote> Well, all I can say is : good for you to remember that and putting two and two together ! All the more reason to run all of those malware scans .....

Question owner

UPDATE: I just spent another hour+ with a very patient, friendly, helpful Apple tech on AppleCare. Unlike her 2 previous colleagues, she didn't give up. Bottomline: All the help from you form volunteers apparently were on the right track and may have solved the problem except for one last and final step. In my layman terms she describes our final task as taking back ownership of the Firefox browser by specifically identifying 'www.google.com' as the home page, not just using the pull down menu to choose 'Google.'

UPDATE: I just spent another hour+ with a very patient, friendly, helpful Apple tech on AppleCare. Unlike her 2 previous colleagues, she didn't give up. Bottomline: All the help from you form volunteers apparently were on the right track and may have solved the problem except for one last and final step. In my layman terms she describes our final task as taking back ownership of the Firefox browser by specifically identifying 'www.google.com' as the home page, not just using the pull down menu to choose 'Google.'
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8758 solutions 71658 answers

Hi tggm, for future reference, this article describes the method for setting the home page if you don't want to use the built-in Firefox Home page:

How to set the home page

Hi tggm, for future reference, this article describes the method for setting the home page if you don't want to use the built-in Firefox Home page: [[How to set the home page]]