Accessible Search Engine
The Accessible Search Engine is another intrusive application that is targeting Mac users. Exactly like the rest of other PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), it is being spread through deceptive and misleading distribution tactics, designed to mask the installation of the intruder application specifically. Users who do not check the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' setting of the programs they install may not even realize that Accessible Search Engine has been included as a preselected choice.
Once deployed on the Mac, the application will begin to monetize its presence almost immediately. The Accessible Search Engine is capable of acting as both adware and a browser hijacker. It can cause unwanted redirects to dubious websites where users could be exposed to online hoaxes. The generated advertising materials are equally as risky, as they also could lead to suspicious pages.
As for the browser hijacker functionality of the PUP, it will take control over the user's Web browser. More specifically, it will modify the homepage, new tab page, and the default search engine to generate as much artificial traffic towards a sponsored page as possible. Due to the actions of the PUP, opening the affected browser, starting a new tab, or trying to run a search via the URL bar will always lead to the promoted site.
However, most PUPs have even more worrisome capabilities. Away from the eyes of the user, they may be monitoring all browsing activities and collecting the data. These intrusive applications harvest device details, such as IP address, geolocation, browser model, ISP and more. Sometimes, the PUP could even try to collect credit/debit card details or payment information, if such data has been saved in the browser.