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This morning my wife's Firefox for Mac 10.9 kept redirecting to hmapsanddirections.co instead of Google when she opened a new tab.

She does not recall clicking on anything suspicious or opening a file.

Both Intego Virus Barrier and Malwarebytes show nothing.

Only thing we could do was to refresh Firefox.

What concerns me is that no virus program spotted it in real time or afterward and doing a Google search just results in lots of no-name, possibly malicious, sites. None of the major virus / security companies have any entries on this.

Can someone provide more information so we can ensure her system is clean?


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I strongly suspect that she did install that unknowingly as this is a common occurrence these days, including such things in an installer either disguised as or including with other 3rd party software. I'm sure that malwarebytes would like to see whatever installed it, so if she can recall what it was she did install around the time this problem started, that would be a good start. You can review all installations by holding down the <Option> or <Alt> key while selecting "System information..." from the apple menu. Then scroll down to "Software" in the left hand column and select "Installations". Clicking on the "Install Date" twice will sort them showing the most recent at the top.

Try removing that Firefox Add-On and be sure to check Firefox Search Preferences to make certain that Google is shown as her "Default Search Engine" then restart Firefox.

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Thanks. We actually did just that and looked at all previous installations by date. They were all legit. nothing suspicious.

We did refresh Firefox. So far, so good. My wife is very tech savvy and doesn't open emails and attachments she doesn't recognize so this is really odd knowing her, being mac and no programs installed.

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There are many ways that adware like this gets installed, but all of them require the user to open something. Most of these things will not register as installations, and thus will not be logged as such, as they often don't use Apple installer packages. The most common way of getting infected with this kind of thing is through fake Flash installers, though that's certainly by no means the only way.

Do you still have a copy of that New Tab Search extension? I'd very much like to see it, so I can determine why Malwarebytes for Mac didn't detect it.

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