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It appears my search engines (Google, Bing and possibly others) have been hijacked by something called GOODTASKSEARCH.
In Firefox (but NOT in IE) when I go to Google the first thing I notice is that when typing in a search, the autocomplete function doesn't work (also, yesterday Jan 18, it did not display the 'blackedout' graphic of that day). Then, looking at my search results, I also notice that I cannot get the usual Google preview display of a web page. And when pointing to a link, the URL displayed is NOT the correct URL, but instead is '...google...' ending with a string of numbers. Finally, when I click on a link in the search results I am blocked from going any further by a McAfee warning screen advising me that I don't want to go to this web site - and every time, the URL displayed by McAfee is '...goodtasksearch...' . I get similar results on Bing. On Yahoo, attempts to use the Yahoo search result in a '999' error.
What I've done so far: Every time I clicked on a search result and got the McAfee warning screen, I backed out - I did NOT continue to the site! First I did a complete scan of my computer - not a single virus or other problem was found. I discovered that when I use Google via https: it is the REAL Google - no hijacking, no redirect. So I changed my home page to that address. I also installed your BrowserProtect add-on. But the hijacker is still there. I still cannot use Bing, or Yahoo Search, or Google via http: . How do I get rid of it?
Alla svar (2)
Your issue may be because you've been hit with some Malware. There is some good information in that article to help you neutralize it.
Hopefully this helps!
I saw that article before I posted my question. At your suggestion, I reread it and then downloaded, and ran, the 'Malwarebytes' free program listed in the article. This 'free anti-malware' program does NOT actually do any system scanning. The closest it comes to actually 'scanning' for malware is, it checks your system to see if you have a good anti-malware system running. Period. So, it told me that I have McAfee and that it is up and running, all secure (which I already knew). The only real system scanning it does is to check for registry errors, junk files, etc. Then if you click 'repair' it repairs a small percentage of them and asks you for money, if you want to repair all of them. No thanks.
I suppose I could go out there into the big wide web and start looking for other free anti-malware programs, and start running one after another. But let me ask a follow-up question: If I UNINSTALL and then REINSTALL Firefox would that solve the problem? Or is it likely that the malware will still be lurking on my system? Has anyone out there actually been hijacked by GOODTASKSEARCH? They are apparently one of many pseudonyms of something called LIGHTSSEARCH. Thank you very much for your time.