Threat Database Browser Hijackers GlobalSearchSystem


GlobalSearchSystem is classified as adware equipped with browser hijacker capabilities. The application is designed to target Mac users specifically and relies on deceptive and misleading distribution methods to spread itself. In fact, infosec researchers have observed GlobalSearchSystem posing as an updater for the Adobe Flash Player. The reliance on such underhanded techniques justifies GlobalSearchSystem being also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP).

If the application manages to install itself on the Mac system, it will begin to monetize its presence via an intrusive advertising campaign. Numerous annoying advertisements will be generated and displayed to the user. The advertising materials could even begin to overlay any legitimate content that is being viewed leading to a severely diminished experience. Furthermore, the advertisements themselves should be approached with caution. Through forced redirects, they may lead to various phishing pages, technical support tactics, fake surveys and giveaways, as well as domain promoting other PUPs.

In addition to the advertisements, GlobalSearchSystem also may take control over the user's Web browser to generate artificial traffic towards a sponsored address, usually that of a fake search engine. Users will notice that their homepage, new page tab, and the default search engine have all been modified to open the new address. Fake search engines lack the ability to produce any results on their own and instead redirect the search queries to a legitimate engine such as Yahoo, Bing or Google. 

Users should keep in mind that nearly all PUPs have data tracking functionalities. They collect browsing-related information such as conducted searches and visited websites, as well as device details that might include the IP address and geolocation. 


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