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Remove SectionBrowser (Virus Removal Guide) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

SectionBrowser is a Mac virus that can be more dangerous than you might think

SectionBrowserSectionBrowser is an adware program that has several malicious traits

SectionBrowser is another Adload adware family member that attacks Mac users on a regular basis. These potentially malicious applications are mostly spread via fake Flash Player installation requests or are bundled with pirated software. Once inside the system, it abuses the built-in AppleScript in order to bypass the computer's defenses and establish configuration profiles.

Right after, SectionBrowser installs a browser extension on Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox, which is enabled to read user sensitive data, such as credit card details. Additionally, users can see that their homepage and new tab URL are changed to Safe Finder or another bogus search tool. All the searchers performed by such a hijacked browser might perform several redirects via domains such as akamaihd.net. 

Name SectionBrowser, Section Browser
Type Adware, Mac virus
Malware family Adload
Installation These type of applications are typically installed via shady third-party websites (torrents) what distributed pirated software; alternatively, users might be tricked by a fake Flash Player update prompt
Symptoms Unknown browser extensions/apps installed on the system; search and browsing settings altered to Safe Finder or another bogus tool; New profiles established on a Mac; browser redirects leading to malicious sites 
Removal You can get rid of Mac malware with the help of powerful security tools – we recommend using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes 
System optimization Malware and adware can meddle with your system, reducing its performance. If you want to quickly fix various issues, we recommend you try using automated tools like Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego 

What makes SectionBrowser virus dangerous is that it might be associated with other macOS infections, such as Shlayer Trojan – one of the most prolific Mac viruses out there. According to security researchers, this Trojan is present on 10% of all Macs.[1] However, many might not even know that the threat is present, as it is designed to be stealthy.

In most cases, users get infected with SectionBrowser after they download potentially dangerous files from software distribution sites. In most cases, the malicious app is bundled with a crack or pirated application installer. Once extracted, it delivers the malicious payload of SectionBrowser. Additionally, fake Flash Player updates can also be the cause of the infection.

Once inside the system, the SectionBrowser  virus performs a variety of changes:

  • installs a browser extension with elevated permissions;
  • changes new tab functionality and sets a new homepage;
  • redirects all searches to suspicious search providers;
  • drops several malicious .plist files to Library or other folders;
  • establishes a new malicious profile.

These activities might easily prevent SectionBrowser removal when trying to do it manually. The main goal of these modifications is to redirect users to various suspicious websites and display intrusive popups, banners, flashing windows, in-text links, deals, offers, coupons, and other commercial content. Ads can be particularly intrusive and disrupt normal web browsing activities.

SectionBrowser Mac virusSectionBrowser is a Mac virus that drops malicious files on the system in order t o prevent its removal

However, some SectionBrowser ads might also be of a malicious nature and display more fake updates, tech support scams, or phishing messages. In any case, you should never click on such popups, as you might infect your Mac even further. Besides, you might be tricked into subscribing to a service you never asked for and will be charged monthly via your credit card.

Even if you do not get tricked by malicious redirects and ads, SectionBrowser extension is capable of reading sensitive information, as it grants itself such permissions during the installation process. Due to this, cybercriminals might gain access to your online banking, social media accounts, and other personal details.

You should remove SectionBrowser as soon as possible, as keeping this malicious app might result in serious consequences, such as additional malware infections, identity theft, or monetary losses. To eliminate the virus, we suggest you employ a powerful security solution that can detect all the malicious files automatically and remove them for good. If you are unable to get rid of the browser extension, you should reset the installed web browsers.

Ways to avoid Mac adware and malware

Mac users for years believed that macOS is immune to malware, as well as lesser infections such as adware. However, research performed by experts in early 2020 showed that Mac malware is outpacing Windows one,[2], which came as a quite of a shock to many. This is just another sign that macOS users should not believe the hoax that has been busted many times and use adequate measures to protect their machines from online threats just as much as Windows users do.

While the built-in tools such as Gatekeeper and the sandbox environment might protect from some infections, nothing can be done about threats that are let in by users themselves. Apple has implemented a rule that makes users enter their login credentials each time they are trying to install an app from an unapproved source. However, if scamming techniques are used to make users enter their passwords, the malicious app will get in.

SectionBrowser distributionSectionBrowser virus is mostly spread via pirated software installers and fake Flash updates

Thus, the first step in Mac safety is to avoid potentially dangerous websites that offer free versions of paid applications (such as Adobe Photoshop or WinRar).[3] If you want a reliable app, simply pay for it, and you will avoid a lot of trouble, as well as more serious consequences such as identity theft.

You should also never neglect OS and software updates (although you should never install Flash or its fake updates) and install a powerful security suite to protect you from malware.

Terminate SectionBrowser malware

If you noticed unexpected browser changes, you should always be concerned. Once you let one malicious app in, it could potentially download more malware to your system, compromising it further. Therefore, you should remove SectionBrowser, along with other threats from your Mac as soon as possible.

For SectionBrowser removal, we recommend using automatic solutions. Anti-malware tools can find and delete malicious files that were dropped by the virus and save you a lot of time and effort. However, if you insist on terminating the infection yourself, you can check the following sections of your computer to look for malicious entries:

  • System Preferences > Accounts> Login Items
  • System Preferences > Users&Groups > Profiles
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
  • ~/Library/Application Support
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons

Additionally, if you can't get rid of the browser extension established by the SectionBrowser virus, you should reset your Safari and all the other browsers that you use.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove SectionBrowser, follow these steps:

Erase SectionBrowser from Mac OS X system

To terminate SectionBrowser malware from your Mac, follow these steps:

  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 SectionBrowser 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'

Delete SectionBrowser from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  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 SectionBrowser 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. 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'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete SectionBrowser removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate SectionBrowser from Google Chrome

  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 SectionBrowser 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. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. 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
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete SectionBrowser removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove SectionBrowser from Safari

If you use Safari as your primary browser and you can get rid of some extensions, reset it as follows:

  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 SectionBrowser or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. 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...'
  4. 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 SectionBrowser removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References