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Question: Weird incident while using Safari. Spyware or something else?

I was using Safari (v. 11.0.3) to look at a Thai restaurant menu on a website I've visited before. When I clicked on the Dinner Menu tab today, however, I ended up at a totally different website. I believe it was financestar.co, with a featured article about the Truthfinder website, among other articles on the page. I don't think I could have ended up at this random site in any other way because the restaurant website doesn't have any ads that I would have inadvertently clicked on, nor have I ever been to the mystery site before. I Googled the site to try and see if it's legitimate but couldn't readily find it. I also noticed that the site did not have a padlock in the url window. And if I try typing the address in directly to go there, I end up at an MSNBC finance site. Weird.


Could this incident be due to something amiss with the Thai restaurant site specifically? Or was there already something lurking on my computer that would warrant the need for me to change my passwords on websites I visit? I'm just puzzled/freaked out as to how I ended up at that other website. I don't download questionable things, click on ads, or do any of the sorts of behaviors I'd expect would make someone susceptible to getting spyware. I think I'm a pretty low-level web surfer, actually. I've already cleared my browser history, deleted my cookies, and emptied the cache. I'm on an iMac 2017, running Sierra v. 10.12.6. Is there anything else I should do? I'd greatly appreciate any insight or advice to calm my extreme anxiety about this!

iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017), iOS 10

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Answer:
Answer:

1. Use MalwareBytes for Mac to remove malware/adware.


Install guide: https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-1817

Uninstall Guide: https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-1190

The installer may ask you to allow it in Security & Privacy /System Preference. Allow it.


2. Disable all extensions and test.

Turnoff or uninstall extensions.

Section: Manage extensions: https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/use-safari-extensions-sfri32508/mac

3. Choose a search engine.

Delete all text in the Smart Search field, click the magnifying glass , then choose a search engine from the list.

https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/customize-your-search-ibrwe75c2a3c/mac


4. Set your Home Page. https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/set-your-homepage-ibrw1020/mac

5. Restart your Mac.


6. Launch Safari holding the Shift key down.

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Mar 3, 2018 10:10 PM in response to moochpooch In response to moochpooch

Problems like this that only affect a particular site are almost always a problem with the site, and not with the computer. The site may have been hacked, or they may have introduced advertising that is causing the problem.

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Question marked as Solved

Mar 2, 2018 9:55 PM in response to moochpooch In response to moochpooch

1. Use MalwareBytes for Mac to remove malware/adware.


Install guide: https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-1817

Uninstall Guide: https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-1190

The installer may ask you to allow it in Security & Privacy /System Preference. Allow it.


2. Disable all extensions and test.

Turnoff or uninstall extensions.

Section: Manage extensions: https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/use-safari-extensions-sfri32508/mac

3. Choose a search engine.

Delete all text in the Smart Search field, click the magnifying glass , then choose a search engine from the list.

https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/customize-your-search-ibrwe75c2a3c/mac


4. Set your Home Page. https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/set-your-homepage-ibrw1020/mac

5. Restart your Mac.


6. Launch Safari holding the Shift key down.

Mar 2, 2018 9:55 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 3, 2018 10:10 PM in response to moochpooch In response to moochpooch

Problems like this that only affect a particular site are almost always a problem with the site, and not with the computer. The site may have been hacked, or they may have introduced advertising that is causing the problem.

Mar 3, 2018 10:10 PM

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Mar 3, 2018 4:48 AM in response to moochpooch In response to moochpooch

moochpooch wrote:


I was using Safari (v. 11.0.3) to look at a Thai restaurant menu on a website I've visited before. When I clicked on the Dinner Menu tab today, however, I ended up at a totally different website.

If you would provide the url of the restaurant site, someone else could check it out.

Mar 3, 2018 4:48 AM

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Mar 3, 2018 9:33 AM in response to moochpooch In response to moochpooch

I forgo to mention one other thing. In my frenzy to figure out if the finance site was legitimate, I clicked on a tab on that site that I thought would be a drop-down menu of Services. Instead, it took me to the Truthfinder site. I feel stupid for doing that, and I immediately cleared my history, deleted my cookies, and emptied my cache at that point. But now I'm wondering if that compromised my computer in some fashion. Or was it merely their ploy to redirect me to the Truthfinder site?

Mar 3, 2018 9:33 AM

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Question: Weird incident while using Safari. Spyware or something else?