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I recently downloaded uTorrent (for the more ethically concerned: to get a wikipedia data dump as the official download server kept terminating my download, not to rip off copyright holders...), and as soon as the installation had finished my browsers were suddenly using Yahoo instead of google as their default search engine.

I've changed it back to google in the browser settings, but I'm concerned it's done all sorts of other nasties. Can anyone help me

  • Understand what I might have installed
  • Get rid of anything bad

I downloaded my copy of uTorrent from http://www.utorrent.com/downloads/mac, and simply clicked through the installation wizard.

I would rather manually remove any suspect files/revert any changed settings than use a tool. But totally open to suggestions of good tools if other people have had success with them before.

  • 1
    You didn't by any chance download from Sourceforge? Compare this about FileZilla downloads from Sourceforge: "This Sourceforge malware installer by default makes Yahoo your homepage on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, and makes Yahoo your tab page in Safari and installs a commercial cloud backup solution called ZipCloud." – user Sep 20 '15 at 17:02
  • Even if you did download from SF, did you read the installation options or blindly click Next Agree Next Accept Next Next? And it's best to download from official site, not 3rd party sites like SF. But then again, I suggest staying away from uTorrent 3 as it has become commercialized crapware, no longer the goodness that was once synonymous with the name. Now I use good clients like qBittorrent (Windows) and Flud (Android). – ADTC Sep 20 '15 at 17:05
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    Hi, it was from here utorrent.com/downloads/mac - all looked so shiny and legitimate :( – Jake_Howard Sep 20 '15 at 17:05
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    @ADTC I'm ashamed to admit I just clicked next repeatedly. – Jake_Howard Sep 20 '15 at 17:06
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    There ya go - 3 upvotes on your question gives you the requisite Rep to vote up – Tetsujin Sep 20 '15 at 18:10
6

Try these:

  • Edit your browser settings manually
  • Reset your browser settings to the default
  • Check if any new software is now available which you didn't explicitly install
  • Uninstall the offending software and repeat the above
  • Look through running processes and kill any suspects (Please be very careful here. If you don't know what you're doing, call an expert.)

As an extra tip: Kick the habit of clicking through installation wizards. Always scrutinize each step (except the License Agreement, of course* :P) and check if there are any default options you need to change. Common examples are "Install and try AwesomeCrapIDontNeed for 30 days!" and "Set AwesomeSearchIDontTrust as my default search engine".

* As @Doc explains, you should pay attention to the EULA you are agreeing to. Even if you're not going to read the entire legal mumbo-jumbo, at least give it a cursory glance to make sure the License Agreement is for the software you want to install, rather than something sneaky like Yahoo browser toolbar. If the EULA is for something unwanted, you are likely to find an option to disagree (and NOT install that) but continue with installation of the software you want.

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    Found: /Users/<your-username>/Library/Application Support/Spigot/ApplicationManager --protect running as a process for other people who come across this problem. You have to remove the folder first and then kill it (rm -rf /Users/j<your-username>/Library/Application Support/Spigot) then kill -9 PID (which you can get from ps -ef | grep Spigot) – Jake_Howard Sep 20 '15 at 17:29
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    @Jake_Howard Good find. Spigot is a known PUP. (Removal instructions for Windows and Mac) – ADTC Sep 20 '15 at 20:46
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    The utorrent osx installer has two panels that resemble an EULA, and are, but for Yahoo's sketchy activities. Yahoo has gone from 'lame' to 'extremely sketchy' in my books, because of this practice. And I'm now boycotting uTorrent due to their involvement as well. It's unfortunate. I used homebrew to install some other client, "xtorrent". – James T Snell Jul 2 '16 at 17:08
  • @Doc Good point. I will make a note about it. – ADTC Jul 6 '16 at 8:57
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    As of today, there is no disclosure of any of this. You run the downloaded app, and everything gets installed – Marcin Aug 30 '16 at 0:57

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