Google Search Redirect? There's hope

By thorshammer
Jan 10, 2010
  1. Wow is that problem pervasive this week...

    Although a newbie HERE, I'm not an inexperienced user. I'm a web consultant and know my way around my computer (though that doesn't automatically follow). I've successfully duked it out with some viruses, malware and hacks in the past - but a month ago I got that same god-forsaken IE Google search redirect hack. I tried and failed to solve it, and after a week simply resigned myself to restricting searches to Firefox (which is a great browser but I have all my bookmarks etc. in IE from several years...). I suspected it was a rootkit, and since my Kaspersky rootkit scan didn't detect it, thought not much I could do.

    Yesterday I got serious about it, and came across the 3-year-old (and of course closed) thread here on Techspots: I downloaded ComboFix and tested it on my #2 computer (which I can afford to take chances on). It ran without incident, but I was oh so careful and I understood virtually everything in the Log it produced afterward.

    I DID then run it myself on the problem computer - and it found and fixed the problem (rootkit detected, then located an infected driver and successfully disinfected it). My IE searches are back to normal.

    Having said that... I strongly second the Intro post on this forum regarding ComboFix (same thing urged and emphasized at in the tutorial from whence I downloaded ComboFix). Post your problem and your logs, and let someone guide you who's been there before and has the expertise. It's a good thing there's people available and willing to do so.
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    You're going to have to excuse me because I'm confused. The sticky at the top of this forum clearly says:

    Do Not Run Combofix without our guidance
    But then you go on to say you ran it! Are you suggesting other follow you or our sticky NOT to run it.
  3. thorshammer

    thorshammer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for caring, Bobbye :) (though we both know you're not confused at all - just scolding me for running ComboFix on my own). Seriously though, you volunteer guys are very much appreciated.

    The purpose of my post was to encourage the huge numbers of people experiencing that ubiquitous and infuriating Google search redirect hack - there's definitely a cure for it. (It can get pretty frustrating sometimes.) The best way for me to do so was to relate my experience despite "breaking the rule" - and I was pretty clear that I'm no novice. For example (to elaborate), having read the tutorial, I realized that disabling my Antivirus and Malware software wasn't enough - since ComboFix reboots the PC (per tutorial) I would need to ensure that software didn't start up again and interfere upon reboot. Lots of other details I attended, that I won't go on about here

    I was also clear in urging others to observe the rule. Summary: ComboFix works, but use it under guidance.
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Almost every malware infection is causing what has come to be known as the "Google redirect." It's now a catchall phrase for whenever someone can't access a site- for whatever reason. And while a 'redirect' may happen, the causes can be different.

    We use Combofix frequently because it's a good program. But it is only suggested AFTER we see what is on the system. Once in a while we will make an exception if the description indicates it would be best to just go straight to Combofix- but that should be our decision.

    Member look through other threads and frequently add the programs that have been suggested for others- so in some cases, I open a thread and see Malwarebytes, Superantispyware> HijackThis, Combofix, an online AV scan and occasionally additional programs.

    Cleaning a system has to be an orderly process. Directions need to be followed, programs need to be run in specific order. And any help a member gets is addressing that member's problem only, not that of someone else who has "the same problem."

    It is fairly common for new members like yourself to pick up a thread and say "this worked for me- try it." but that is something to be avoided. Malware infections tend to panic many and they will do anything they think "might work." So we must be careful.

    As for disabling security, the site has a link that shows how to do this:.
    If the Recovery Console needs to be installed and is done, there is a reboot after that. But since you are manually disabling the security, it should not restart until you manually enable it. There is a link on the site with directions for temporarily disabling antivirus, firewall and anti-malware scanners. For example, for Norton 360:
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