What Is Search.openmacgates.com Mac Virus?
Search.openmacgates.com is categorized as a browser hijacker that infects Mac and replaces Safari’s default search. This hijacker can send queries to various third party domains and create a fake browser extension. When you open a site with the hijacker, it may have no effect but as soon as you open Safari, it opens these sites automatically.
This article provides steps on how to remove search.openmacgates.com from your system and also warns about other similar threats that try to infiltrate Mac systems via Apple’s App Store or software updates installed by Mac users themselves. The Search.openmacgates.com browser hijacker was created by a group of cyber criminals who use various techniques to distribute their IT threats to Mac users. Some of them are developed to exploit software vulnerabilities and disobeying user’s system security policy while others are promoted via ‘bundling’ method (also known as ‘malvertising’), that initiates pop-up ads, banners and other alert messages at the bottom or top of web pages or in-between displayed website content.
How Is Search.openmacgates.com Mac Virus Distributed?
The majority of Mac-related threats can be distributed on two main ways: installation from software vendors and via internet pop-up ads. The former method involves an official program vendor that distributes their software (or a bundle) in a safe manner to users. The latter is often used by hackers who create malicious ads that, when clicked on, perform an action automatically without asking user’s permission. The majority of such pop-up messages are displayed in the web browser but some of the most prevalent threats like Search.openmacgates.com hijack Mac browsers without user’s consent and exploit software vulnerabilities to get into the system and change or disable settings.
How harmful is Search.openmacgates.com hijacker?
The process of hijacking an application in order to display unwanted or malicious content occurs in two stages. First, the developer of hijacker creates a new browser extension or tab via their own extensions and plug-ins. Next, this extension is then installed in target’s browser (like Safari) and placed at the bottom or top of page for targeting. The pages that contain search.openmacgates.com and other third-party content are actually based on Google AdSense and the extension is created to display ads in the entire page. At first, everything seems normal but as soon as you visit a desired site, the hijacker will open a new tab with a search engine that may look legitimate. Such search engines often display results based on queries sent by hijacker and initiate redirects to unfamiliar/spam sites because they are promoted by cyber criminals (sponsors).
How did I get infected?
Mac users may not have received such threats via software installer or developers’ bundle but in order to make things worse, the Search.openmacgates.com browser hijacker is distributed via various other techniques. The most common way to get infected is when you open an advertisement that has been distributed by cyber criminals through online advertising services (like Google AdSense). The same affiliate program that promotes such pop-up ads can also be used to inject vulnerabilities into software in order for cybercriminals to obtain remote access and install Search.openmacgates.com in the target’s Mac system. Another method that is used to distribute this threat is via software updates installed by Mac users themselves. As soon as the new software version is released, you may receive alerts on your Mac (sometimes, even when running third-party applications) and install an infected file automatically without knowing what it does.
How can I Remove Search.openmacgates.com virus ?
Step 1: Uninstall Search.openmacgates.com and remove related files and objects
- Open your Finder –> Click on GO –>Click on Utilities
- Find Activity Monitor and open it
- Review all the processes in Activity Monitor and write down the ones related to Search.openmacgates.com virus
- Select Quit
- To kill the malicious process, choose the Force Quit option.
Step 2: Remove Search.openmacgates.com – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
The first thing you need to do is to make sure Safari is not running. If you have troubles closing it, you may need to Force Quit Safari - (Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Application --> Utilities --> Activity monitor. Locate the Safari process and force quit it.
Safely launch Safari again by holding the Shift key and clicking on the Safari application icon - This will prevent Safari’s previously opened malicious web pages.
In case that you still are having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages, please do the following:
- Force Quit Safari again.
- Disconnect form Internet and try again.
Then Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button to prevent pop-ups. Then, click on Preferences.
- Carefully take a look at your default home page and change it if the hijacker altered it.
- Then go to the Extensions tab and make sure there are no unknow extensions installed.
- Next step is to click on Privacy tab
- Manage website data
- Here you can remove any unwanted website data or just remove them all. Please, keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.
- The next step is to Clear History (if you want), select the tab.
- Click the menu next to clear and choose a time period — if you want to completely reset Safari, choose all history.
- Press Clear History
- To remove from Chrome, open the browser and click the icon with the three dots located in the top-right.
- Select to More Tools --> Extensions and review what Chrome Extensions are present in the browser
- Remove the ones that you do not recognize.
- If the parasite continues to disrupt your browsing with Chrome, this is what else you can do:
- Click again the menu of Google Chrome, and open Settings.
- Select the Search Engine from the left panel, review the available search engines and change the default to your preference.
- Then, click on Manage Search Engines, review the list of search engine availabilities and if any of the listed items looks suspicious, click the three-dots next to them, and delete.
- Click on Privacy and Security in the left panel, select the Clear browsing data option, check every box except the Passwords one, and click Clear Data.
- Next step is to clear Notifications, select the Site settings option in the Privacy and Security section, then locate Notifications.
- Review the listed websites in the Allow to send notifications section and if any of the entries shown there seem dubious or related to the browser hijacker, select the three dots next to the object and click on Remove.
- Start Mozilla Firefox
- On the top right click the three dashes
- go to add-ons and themes
- The add-ons manager will open
- Carefully review review four Firefox Extensions
- If any unwanted extension is present, click on the three horizontal dots and then Remove
- After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red dot in the top left and start it again.
Step 3: Scan for and remove Search.openmacgates.com files from your Mac
Fix your browser settings with SpyHunter Anti-Malware
Once you download and install SpyHunter for Mac run a scan.
Once the scan is complete, your mac will be virus free.
Search.openmacgates.com malware Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do I get rid of Search.openmacgates.com?
Search.openmacgates.com is a Browser hijacker – malicious software that can be installed by third-party applications or websites. They usually change the settings of web browsers and search engines to display certain ads, pop-ups, banners, etc.
- What are the symptoms of Search.openmacgates.com infection in your Mac?
Search.openmacgates.com becomes your web browser’s built-in search engine.
Your browser’ s search queries are redirected through Search.openmacgates.com.com
The “Search.openmacgates.com” browser extension or some shady software is installed on your Mac.
- How do I remove Search.openmacgates.com from my browser?
In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon on the top left and select Manage add-ons. Under Add-on Types, select Search Providers. Select your search engine from the list of providers and click Remove to remove it. In Google Chrome, go to Settings (at the top right) and choose Search in the On Startup drop down menu.
- How do I uninstall Search.openmacgates.com?
How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
You might be wondering how to make your Mac run faster? It is a common misconception that the more processing power you have, the faster your computer will run. In reality, it’s actually about what’s going on in your processor and memory. For the average person using a computer for just general applications like word processing and web browsing, you don’t need much in the way of computing power.
– Use an SSD drive instead of a hard disk drive.
– Double your RAM if possible.
– Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP). (Attention! – do this only if you know the consequences.)