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Remove SpecialSearchOffer extension virus (Removal Guide) - Removal Instructions

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Browser Plugins

SpecialSearchOffer goes “wild” after you install it

The image displaying SpecialSearchOffer browser extension

SpecialSearchOffer virus functions as a browser extension[1] which employs Yahoo database and replaces the search engine into yahoo.com. Additionally, it may redirect you to startup.ssoextension.com.

Upon enabling this browser extension, you are informed that the add-on connects you to homepage.ssoextension.com and startup.ssoextension.com. It also mentions that it communicates with“native applications.“

The key problem is that it does not contain any EULA or Terms of Use. Furthermore, there is no information about its official distributors. No reliable browser extension, search engine or application does not possess such flaws. SpecialSearchOffer removal might be a better solution. ReimageIntego or Malwarebytes might be assistance.

Shady Special Search Offer add-on behavior

According to its name, its purpose seems to find relevant shopping offers faster. Alongside the supposed pros, you may soon notice its annoying behavior to cram you with ads.

Occasional pup-ups might become a frequent phenomenon. Since it mentions “cooperation with native applications,” it is likely that they present their advertising content[2] as well.

Assuming it partners with online advertising companies, it may be sold to them. As a result, your Inbox might be bombarded with spam emails. The latter often tend to serve as ransomware developers‘ tools in a cyber campaign.

Furthermore, due to such shady cooperation, you may soon blow a fuse from not only regular SpecialSearchOffer ads but other commercial offers as well. Since there is no privacy policy confirming or denying such speculations, the choice to leave or remove SpecialSearchOffer rests upon you.

Lastly, it is likely startup.ssoextension.com might turn out into a problem as well. You may find yourself in quite shady domains containing malicious elements. SpecialSearchOffer extension virusSpecialSearchOffer cooperates with dubious "native applications."

Ways to promote the browser extension

If you were aimlessly browsing the web, it is likely that you may have come across this web page. What is more, if you were looking for an additional tool to boost your online shopping, it is no wonder you were redirected to this domain.

Speaking of SpecialSearchOffer hijack, you may enable it if you dash through the installation guides without giving a second look. Such application may be promoted as add-ons to insecure and rogue shopping-related programs.

Uninstalling SpecialSearchOffer

You will not only need to remove its source add-on but delete the search engine and revert to the old one. In order to remove SpecialSearchOffer faster, you may use an anti-spyware application to help you get rid of the application faster.

In addition, it would be useful to look through the manual SpecialSearchOffer removal guidelines. They will instruct how to eliminate the extension and delete the associated browsing tool. You might especially benefit from full browser reset option.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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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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 SpecialSearchOffer extension virus, follow these steps:

Delete SpecialSearchOffer extension from Windows systems

  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 SpecialSearchOffer extension and related programs
    Here, look for SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension 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.

Eliminate SpecialSearchOffer extension from Mac OS X system

Mac OS users who frequently visited Yahoo sponsored domains, may get redirected to startup.ssoextension.com. In that case, exit the web page. In addition, you may scan the PC with malware removal utility as well.

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove SpecialSearchOffer extension from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for SpecialSearchOffer extension-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove SpecialSearchOffer extension, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to SpecialSearchOffer extension and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the SpecialSearchOffer extension-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall SpecialSearchOffer extension from Internet Explorer (IE)

You can

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for SpecialSearchOffer extension and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete SpecialSearchOffer extension removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase SpecialSearchOffer extension virus from Microsoft Edge

Full browser reset function eliminates all scripts related to this dubious extension.

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the SpecialSearchOffer extension-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Get rid of SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Delete SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension, 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 SpecialSearchOffer extension removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

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Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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