Google websites always redirect to arabic version but i never requested it

Description of the issue:
I am based in the UK but visiting the google search engine or google maps brings up the arabic version of the site. Even if language is changed back to english the problem happens again if the page is refreshed.

How can this issue be reproduced?

  1. By visiting google.com or maps.google.com on brave browser on macos (mac mini m1, somona v14.1.2)
  2. The problem doesnt happen with other web browsers.
  3. I am not using a VPN and have never used one to visit arabic websites.

Expected result:
It should load up either the UK or american version (i dont mind as long as its in english!)

**Brave Version( check About Brave): 1.62.162

**Additional Information: i have tried changing the language option in google, google maps and in the brave settings to english but the problem keeps happening.

What you describe sounds like a browser hijacker. Browser hijackers are described here: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/threat/browser-hijacker/

You may seek help at
https://malwaretips.com/forums/mac-malware-removal-help-support.183/
and
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/

@dbea3059 I’m going to walk through some things, a combination of questions along with some things I’d like you to try. Some of these questions are things you have already mentioned. I’m not asking again because I ignored what you said but because I want to confirm things. Not to mention, some areas (like language option in Google) have multiple places where language can be changed. So just making sure I’m on the same page as you and I’m not making wrong assumptions.

  1. You say you’re using 162.162. Current version is 163.162. Was this a typo or have you not updated since 162.162 was released 3 weeks ago?

  2. What language does your OS use?

  3. What country is your OS set for? ( choose Apple menu > System Settings, click General in the sidebar, then click Language & Region )

  4. What are your settings like at brave://settings/languages?

  5. Does the language display in English on all other websites? It’s just Google and Google Maps? What about YouTube?

  6. Does this happen in a private window?

  7. Are you signed into Google? If so, have you checked your account settings at https://myaccount.google.com/Personal InfoGeneral preferences on the web.?

image

  1. Would you try to create a second profile and test? You can do this through your Hamburger Menu imageMore ToolsAdd new profile. Don’t change settings or add extensions.

  2. Is it only the language changing or are they giving results for a different country?

  1. The browser is now updated to 163.162. Problem still occurs.
  2. 1st language in mac settings was always in english (working ok) 2nd was swahili.
  3. Region in the mac settings is set to Uganda (definitely not me who did this)

(The african languages were never chosen by me so i dont understand that.)

  1. Brave browser language is set to english.

  2. All other websites run normally including youtube.

  3. The issue does not occur when opening google sites in a private window.

  4. Google account settings are set to english.

  5. If i sign in with a different email account then all google sites display in english.

  6. I cant read arabic so its hard to know 100% whats going on but google maps when launched is focused on the UK. however the map starts off showing my current location. Ive tested google maps on other laptops and the same issue happens.

edit: Thanks for your checklist. When checking details I noticed someone had accessed my google account from another country. Ive updated my password now. The issue with the arabic language seems to happen with all web browsers so I’m assuming its a google account issue.

And in you saying your device info was different, it’s possible you had something even more than that be compromised. Do make sure you do some deep scans with antivirus and malware scanners. Also might want to fully remove or at least analyze anything like extensions you’re using.

Consider the idea if one or more of your things appear to have been compromised, then chances are others are as well. Definitely would check on accounts, history, and possibly changing all your passwords once you know your device is secured.

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