For those uninitiated in cybersecurity, the phrase in the title might not make a whole lot of sense. Why would anyone ever need to block Bing on Mac in the first place? It’s a legitimate search engine trusted by millions, and if you aren’t willing to use it – then simply don’t. This is the ideal scenario, though. In practice, things can get more complicated than that as long as malicious software enters the scene.
The sketchy facet of the matter revolves around a strain referred to as the Bing redirect virus. It is a predatory app that surreptitiously infiltrates Mac computers and twists the custom web browsing settings without the victims’ consent. By triggering a series of rogue commands, the culprit redirects the default browser (Safari, Chrome, or Firefox) to Bing.com in a recurrent way.
It takes a little bit of attention to detail to grasp the point of this strange interference. Obviously, the operators of this malware campaign are not interested in driving traffic to Bing per se, because they can hardly extract any financial value from this activity. What they do benefit from is a set of domains being inconspicuously resolved in the hijacked browser when the redirect is underway. These include low-quality ad networks that pay the crooks for unique user visits and other types of leads. In this multi-pronged stratagem, the search engine by Microsoft appears to be a smokescreen making the attack look like a trivial browser glitch.
Every Bing redirect instance on a malware-riddled Mac starts with a search engine copycat, such as SearchBaron.com or SearchMarquis.com. This landing page replaces the victim’s custom settings, including the homepage and default search service. Whereas none of these sites is harmful, the fact that it supersedes the preferred source without the user’s approval is definitely a nuisance.
So, how do you block Bing if your Mac is acting up this way? First and foremost, you’ll need to remove the unwanted app that meddles with the macOS configuration in general and the browsers in particular. Find and eradicate a potentially unwanted and unfamiliar item in the Activity Monitor, Applications, Login Items, and the Library/LaunchAgents path. Be advised that the pest won’t be listed as something obviously malicious, so you should focus on suspicious, newly added entries – possibly ones with gibberish names – that don’t belong there.
Another important part of the fix is to undo the tweaks that the infection made to the malfunctioning browser. The most effective method is to restore the browsing settings to their defaults. Although this will log you out of sites and disable all the extensions, the browser won’t be forwarded to Bing anymore, and the right web surfing preferences will finally take effect without being defiantly revoked.