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Google virus. The latest versions revealed (recovery guide for 2019)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Malware

Google virus – a term used to describe a variety of cyber infections and scams related to the name of the tech giant

Google virus
Google virus is a set of computer infections that uses the name of the legitimate company in order to proliferate malware onto victims' devices

Google virus is a set of computer infections and scams that use Google's name in order to steal personal user data, trick into installing malicious software, or spend money on useless programs. Of course, the malicious actors have nothing to do with Google, which probably the best-known company in the world, employing almost 100k employees.[1] Nevertheless, the massive corporation sometimes slips too by failing to block phishing links or letting in malicious apps into Chrome store or Google Play.[2]

Name Google virus
Type Trojan horse/backdoor/malware/potentially unwanted program/survey scam/tech support scam
Infection means Software bundling, third-party sites, spam emails, fake updates, misleading pop-ups, etc. 
Symptoms Symptoms of Google virus may vary:

  • PUP infections usually concentrate on advertising by redirecting to suspicious sites and displaying ads on all visited sites;
  • Ransomware viruses lock personal files and prevent their access;
  • Backdoors and trojans usually show no symptoms, although users might experience computer slowdowns, software/system crashes, unknown processes running in the background, etc.
Main dangers  Malware infections, installation of potentially unwanted programs, sensitive information disclosure to cybercriminals 
Examples
Termination  You can delete some of the infections manually, although most serious threats should be terminated with anti-malware software
Optimization To fix virus damage, we highly recommend scanning the device with Reimage

Google virus is not tight to one browser or a type of the operating system and can affect Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android users. The broad term also includes a variety of computer infections and, while some, like browser hijackers and adware, are less harmful, threats like trojans, backdoors, ransomware[3] or rootkits can result in serious consequences, such money loss, personal file destruction, or even identity theft.

Besides, many crooks rely on Google's name to make their Google virus scams believable, claiming that the system is infected with viruses, or that users' personal information is at risk. Additionally, survey scams might promise expensive gifts, but in reality, seek users' payment details or make them subscribe for useless services.

All in all, Google virus should be underestimated, and, if you are affected, you should take adequate measures to protect your computer from damage, as well as yourself from hackers who might abuse your sensitive information for evil deeds.

Propagation techniques used by Google virus

Malware can be transmitted in a variety of methods, as hackers behind it are usually sophisticated and look to multiple ways that are less noticeable. Additionally, malware can use a variety of evasion techniques, making Google virus removal complicated in some cases. Nevertheless, there is always the way to remediate infected machine and get rid of the threat for good.

Malware authors that spread Google virus might use the following propagation techniques:

  • Malicious spam email attachments or hyperlinks
  • Software bundles
  • Unprotected Remote Desktop connections[4]
  • Exploits[5]
  • Fake updates
  • Pirated or cracked software, etc.

Nevertheless, most of Google virus variants are mostly cases of adware infections, which are far less threatening. To find out if your machine is infected with malware or a potentially unwanted program, it would be best to scan your computer with security software to detect and terminate most of the viruses.

Some Google viruses might alter the way Windows OS operates, changing its registry[6] or altering the boot sequence. To revert these changes and fix infected system files, scan your device with Reimage.

It is not safe to use your machine until you remove Google virus, as some infections, such as trojans, might be able to steal your personal information that you enter into certain fields (for example, credit card details) or record all your keystrokes.

Alternatively, adware might lead you to phishing and scam sites that either will prompt you to install bogus software and then pay for its licensed version or deceptively subscribe you for some kind of service you do not want or need. On the other hand, threats like The HoeflerText font wasn’t found are using a simple trick to install such threats like Locky ransomware, Spora ransomware, or Zeus banking trojan.

Google virus variants

There are many types of infections that might refer to the Google virus term. In this section, we will describe some of the versions you might encounter in the wild.

Google redirect 

Google redirect virus is probably one of the most common Google virus variants, and it usually indicates adware, or other potentially unwanted program infection. PUPs often travel within software bundles or are downloaded from third-party sites intentionally, without knowing that the program is potentially dangerous.

As soon as Google redirect virus settles, it takes over the browser and starts displaying alternative search results, which usually come in the form of sponsored links that are located and the top. In such cases, users are often misled by this behavior and click on sponsored links – not genuine Google results, but the links that adware or other PUP is promoting.

This might not only prevent users from finding relevant information but also increase traffic to unknown websites, as well as artificially inflate their rankings. Additionally, not all of the links are secure, and users might end up on malware-compromised sites resulting in Google virus infiltration. 

Google virus redirect
Google redirect virus displays intrusive ads at the top of search results and redirects to suspicious websites

Google redirect virus can also be extremely annoying to deal with, as it can add a layer of pop-ups, deals, banners, offers, and other ads into all sites that users visit. Clicking on such advertisements is not recommended as ad space can be bought by cybercriminals that insert malicious code into the website.

Google Membership Reward 

Google Membership Reward belongs to survey scam category. While it has many similarities with technical support scams,[7] it uses different techniques to make users either disclose their personal information, such as credit card data or make them subscribe to a service they did not intend to. Nevertheless, both categories use deception and social engineering to work.

Most usually, users land on the Google Membership Reward accidentally when they visit a suspicious website or are redirected due to adware or PUP infection. There, users are informed that they are selected few among other Google users (which is a lie – the message is shown to every visitor), and are eligible to valuable prizes for free – all they have to do is allegedly answer very primitive questions in a survey. The offered gifts vary, but some examples include:

  • $1000 Walmart Giftcard,
  • iPhone X 256 G
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • PlayStation 4

What is more, users are also informed that they only have a mere few minutes to take the survey, as the prize will allegedly be given to somebody else. This tactic is often used by tech support scams too, providing a fake timer that creates an “immediate action” situation where users simply do not have time to think whether or not the claims are true.

However, there is no gift, and all the promises are fake. Do not trust Google Membership Reward if you encounter it, as nobody is trying to give you $1,000 or similar expensive gift for free.

Google virus Membership  rewards
Google Membership rewards survey scam tries to make users believe that they are eligible for an expensive gift

Google Lead Services

Google Lead Services, which is also known as GoogleLeadService.com, is a fraudulent website that promotes its advertising services, such as Zip Code Lookup. Nevertheless, this shady site has nothing to do with the original company, as it only uses the name of it in the hopes of providing a sense of legitimacy.

Thankfully, the developers of the servers are at least decent enough to describe what they actually are, as the fine print reads:

We are not affiliated with or related to Google Lead Services™ in any way. The term “Google” is used as a synonym for “Search”

The service itself offers to display banners and another type of ads, that might range from regular size to full page ones. In most cases, these pop-ups, banners, deals, etc., are delivered with the help of adware application that is secretly infiltrated during freeware installation.

Thus, to remove Google Lead Services ads from their browsers, they need to locate and delete adware that is installed on their devices. As usual, we suggest scanning the device with security software or delete the application manually with the help of our instructions.

Google Chrome 1111 virus 

Google Chrome 1111 virus is possibly one of the strangest Google virus variants. Once infected, the web browsers start displaying strange pop-ups with nothing by “111” or “1111” in them. While the dialogue can be closed, it can often return and spam the web browser.

Nevertheless, this is not the only activity that Google Chrome 1111 virus does. Allegedly, it can also spawn pop-ups that advertise a variety of services or display fake online job offerings, promising earnings of $20,000. However, please do not get lured by these advertisements, as they are all fake or might even be dangerous.

To stop the annoying behavior which constantly disturbs web browsing sessions, you will have to determine what type of malware is installed on your device and terminate it. The best way to do it is by using reputable security software.

To stay away from malware, use extra caution

Google virus distribution
Depending on the type of infection, Google virus can use simple software bundling for its distribution. Nevertheless, spam emails or brute-forcing can also be used by more sophisticated threats

While the internet has become much safer in the past 20 years, it does not mean that it is entirely secure. Nevertheless, some users are simply unaware of that or do not care about the consequences of a cyber infection, thinking that it will not affect them in any way.

While it is true that most potentially unwanted applications will not cause major harm as long as they are deleted on time, other viruses, such as trojans, ransomware or info stealers might result in permanent file/money loss or even identity theft. Besides, careless usage of the computer while infected with an adware might result in exact same consequences.

Staying away from potentially unwanted programs is relatively simple – you need to make sure you look at the installation instructions of shareware carefully and always opt for Advanced/Custom settings. This will allow you to terminate browser add-ons, system optimizers, uninstallers, driver updaters, and similar crapware.

On the other hand, to protect yourself from more sophisticated threats, you need also to do the following, as advised by experts:[8]

  • Install anti-malware software and keep it updated;
  • Patch your operating system as soon as updates become available (do not postpone);
  • Enable Firewall;
  • Only use Remote Desktop services with VPN enabled and select a secure port for it;[9]
  • Make sure you use strong passwords for all your accounts and enable two-factor authentication where possible;
  • Do now download pirated software or its cracks;
  • Make sure all your software updates are set to automatic setting;
  • Use ad-blocker;
  • Be careful with spam emails, as malicious attachments or hyperlinks might result in malware infections.

Delete Google virus from your computer to ensure its safe operation

Depending on the type of infection, Google virus removal will vary. In most cases, simple browser hijackers, adware and other PUPs can be uninstalled via the installed application list manually. If you are not sure how to do that, you can check our instructions below. Nevertheless, problems might arise even with unwanted programs, as it might not instantly be clear which program is the culprit of redirects and persistent ads.

However, if you downloaded some executable files or installed fake updates, you will have to use reputable security software to remove Google virus from your device altogether. Make sure you perform a full system scan with tools like Reimage, SpyHunterCombo Cleaner or similar.

Once you delete Google virus, you should also reset each of the installed browsers, as traces might still be present, and redirects might not stop right away.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunterCombo Cleaner, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with SpyHunter.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Google virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Uninstall Google from Windows systems

To terminate Google virus from Windows manually, please follow these instructions:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Google and related programs
    Here, look for Google or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Google from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Remove Google from Mac OS X system

Macs are not immune to cyber infections – the myth has been debunked many times. Thus, if your browsers show strange behavior, delete the potentially unwanted app from your device as follows:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Google or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Eliminate Google from Google Chrome

To make sure the virus does not return, Reset Google Chrome browser as explained below:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Google and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Google removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Delete Google from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Google and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Google removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Erase Google virus from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Google should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Get rid of Google from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Firefox is not immune to Google virus as the scam misusing its name can appear on this browser as well. Make sure you reset it if you were involved into this scam somehow.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Google and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Google removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XGoogle ChromeInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari

Uninstall Google from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Google or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Google, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Google removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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