- Hijacks homepage
- Changes default search engine
You might think that Search.gomaps.co is a reliable search engine, but the reality is very different. We became interested in this search engine when we received reports of it replacing the homepage and new tab page addresses without user permission. After conducting our research, we classified it as a browser hijacker and, therefore, we recommend that your remove it from your computer as soon as possible. Apart from performing this malicious action, this hijacker will also collect information about your browsing habits and interests and subject you to promotional links that are included in its search results.
From the outset, it is important to get some perspective about this allegedly useful search engine, and there is no better way to establish its credibility than looking at where it comes from. We have found that this search engine was created by our old foe SaferBrowser, a company that is in the business of publishing browser hijackers and their accompanying browser extensions. This company is in the web monetization business, so do not expect it to provide you with a useful service.
Now, even though we have classified Search.gomaps.co as a browser hijacker, it does not necessarily mean that it is always distributed as such. It has a dedicated promotional and distribution website at Gomaps.co. This site hosts the download of its accompanying browser extension for Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. The extension called Go Maps New Tab is promoted as a useful tool while in reality, it does nothing useful. The mere fact that it features links to Google, Yahoo, and Bing maps does not make it useful, not by a long shot. In any case, the links are part of Search.gomaps.co’s main page — not part of the extension. Hence, you do not need the extension to access all of this hijacker’s “features.” The purpose of this extension is to modify your browser’s settings and replace the homepage and new tab page of your browser.
As far as its malicious distribution method is concerned, our research has revealed that Search.gomaps.co and its accompanying browser extension are being promoted via pop-up advertisements presented by ad-supported software. Yes, that is right. If you have Search.gomaps.co as your browser’s homepage and new tab page, then it is more than likely that your computer has also been infected with adware whose pop-up you clicked accidentally and triggered the clandestine download of this hijacker's browser add-on.
Irrespective of the distribution method, once on your browser, Go Maps New Tab will change the homepage address of Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome and the new tab page of the former two web browsers. This extension has been digitally signed by Sail Machine which is apparently a fake publisher name since we could not find any information about it. In any case, we have more than enough proof to suggest that Search.gomaps.co is malicious.
We want to point your attention to the fact that this browser hijacker redirects the search queries entered in its search box to a custom version of Yahoo.com. We say custom because its search results are altered to accommodate additional advertisements supplied by SaferBrowser. These ads come from unknown sources and we think that some of them can redirect you to shady websites that might even feature malicious software downloads. This hijacker will collect information about you and your browsing habits to customize and personalize the adverting campaign to improve web monetization campaign and make more money. Search.gomaps.co is set to collect automatically non-personally identifiable information that includes your IP address and, by extension, your approximate location, it will also collect and store information such as browsing history, entered URLs, entered search queries, and so on. At any rate, regardless that this information is anonymous, you should not allow SaferBrowser to obtain it.
We advocate for removing this browsing hijacker and its featured browser extension. All you have to do is uninstall the extension via Control Panel if you installed in on Internet Explorer and remove it from the list of extensions if you got it for Chrome or Firefox. Please check the guide below on how to get rid of this hijacker for good.
Uninstall the program from Control Panel (for Internet Explorer users)
Windows 10 & 8.1/8
Windows Vista & 7
Remove the browser extension