Even though Apple is known to offer top-notch and highly secured security software for most of its devices such as Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc., it is still not exempted from encountering security threats and malware.
You can still come across things like the Horizon centric that poss a threat to your devices and leak valuable information to hackers via ads and spam messages without your knowledge.
This article will walk you through what is Horizon Centric, what Horizon Centric does, and everything you need to know about it.
Horizon Centric is malware that attacks macOS specifically. It can also be referred to as a browser hijacker that is likely to appear on a Mac once a user installs a free or cracked app or launches a file downloaded from a non-reliable source.
What is Horizon Centric?
Horizon Centric is essentially a browser-hijacking malware that spams the default browser on your Mac with ads, and spam messages and it’s also capable of changing the settings which include your default search index. This malware can also add uncalled-for redirects and steal your browser’s data conveniently.
The malware is also known as VMware’s Horizon service which can easily sneak in on most computers. What is Horizon Centric has several definitions.
Another important thing to keep in mind about Horizon Centric is that while it might not be as severe as ransomware or trojan horse infection, it can still be rather malicious or lead to other more serious attacks.
Since the malware takes control of your browser, you can easily be led to phishing websites and fake redirects and can even end up leaking browser data or cookies, which can further lead to other attacks.
Recommended: What is Horizon Elite?
How does Horizon Centric Work?
Since Horizon Centric is also regarded as a browser hijacker, it’s also capable of changing Start Page, New Tab Page, or Search Engine on browsers and as well prevents users from changing these settings again.
Horizon Centric works by setting the default search engine on browsers to a fake search provider which redirects users’ searches to either Yahoo or Bing.
Since Malware authors usually name their malicious programs after legit software from big companies so they won’t be detected and they can easily trick unsuspecting users into installing them, thinking they are installing a legitimate program.
How to remove Horizon Centric from your Mac
There are several ways by which you can remove Horizon Centric from your Mac, check out the steps below:
Perform an Antivirus Scan
Most times, running an antivirus scan will help remove most if not all malware on your Mac. You can as well use a third-party antivirus or antimalware such as Malwarebytes to scan your Mac and remove any suspicious software.
Norton is one of the most powerful antiviruses that can help to protect you against malware, ransomware, spyware, and other types of internet threats. Norton is also available for Android devices, iOS, macOS, and Windows. Other alternatives for macOS and Windows include Spyhunter.
Delete suspicious Programs and Profiles
At times, malware can expand itself and install other payloads or create rogue profiles on your Mac. You can check the Applications tab in your macOS settings to see if there are no suspicious programs on your Mac, however, in case there are, you can uninstall them immediately. The same process applies to all profiles on your computer that you did not create. Follow the steps below:
- Open System Preferences.
- Tap on Profiles.
- Click the minus button below to remove the rogue settings.
Delete Rogue Applications
Here’s another way to remove Horizon Centric from Mac, follow the steps below:
- Go to the Applications folder and remove new and suspicious apps.
- At the top Menu, select Go >> Applications.
- Drag the unwanted application to the Trash bin.
- Then, right-click on the Trash and choose Empty Trash.
That’s it! You have successfully deleted rogue applications.
Check your Extensions
Suspicious extensions are one of the well-known infection vectors for browser-hijacking malware. In case you recently installed any new extensions, they may be responsible for the issue you are facing.
If you are using Chrome:
- Go to chrome://extensions/ and try disabling any suspicious extensions one after the other until you get your audio working again.
If you are using Safari:
- Disable extensions from the Preferences menu and then enable them again one at a time until the browser begins to work properly again.
- This is an effective way of separating any extensions that may be causing the issue.
- Restart your browser and Mac once you are done removing all the suspicious extensions and you should be free of the malware.
Use Chrome to scan for malware
Since Chrome has an inbuilt malware scanner that is quite very effective at fishing out browser-hijacking malware. Follow the steps below to run a scan:
- Go to chrome://settings/reset.
- Click on clean unwanted Software.
- Tap on the Find button and wait for Chrome to automatically do the discovery and remove unwanted apps or software that may be causing this problem.
- Now restart your Mac.
You should be good to go by now!
This is the last resort in case none of the above steps has helped to remove Horizon Centric. You may have to reset Safari and begin all over again. All you have to do is go to the Preferences menu and choose the Reset Safari option. This will help to remove all the data stored in your browser and fix the issue.
How to Protect Mac from Horizon Centric and other Browser Hijackers
In case of future precautions, here are guidelines to follow on how to protect Mac from Horizon Centric and other browser hijackers:
- Get strong anti-malware software that can detect and eliminate PUPs.
- You can have several on-demand scanners too.
- Ensure your OS, browsers, and security software are updated.
- Download and use uBlock Origin, Adblock, Adblock Plus, or any other similar reliable extensions for blocking third-party advertisements on websites.
- Never download software from unverified websites, you may easily download a trojan (malware that pretends to be a useful app) in the process or some other unwanted programs could get installed even with the app.
- Don’t rush while installing freeware or shareware.
- Select Custom or Advanced installation mode, search for checkboxes that require your permission to install third-party apps and uncheck them.
- Make sure you read the End User License Agreement to be certain nothing else is getting installed.
- In case you can’t decline from installing unwanted programs, we recommend you cancel the installation process completely.
With this; you should be able to handle the Horizon centric virus browser hijacker from entering your macOS.