"yellow-search" redirects browser hijack Google Search Results

SOLUTION: Remove all extensions, clear temp files, restart, reinstall

I have an issue at the moment, it’s been a month or so, that seems to be cross device. My google search results within Brave (Default Search Engine) appear to be potentially hijacked by something called “Yellow-search”. Can’t find anything on this company, searching the internet doesn’t flag anything for me. I get normal search results, and then a tonne of relatively benign looking results at the top and bottom of the results as well as filtered in between my standard results. They could be Amazon, or eBay, they are coming in with page titles that aren’t exactly my search term but may not be too distant. You click on them and they sometimes redirect through yellow-search so presumably there is some sort of affiliate code the hijack is adding in here. I may also get very spammy sounding sites; “news-by-ai”, a mass of Untitled Page filled with random keywords.

What is boggling me is it’s cross device so it’s something in the Brave Sync potentially? Or, it’s linked to my Google Account. Logging out of Google does clean my results. But also logging into different Google accounts raises the issue. Chrome browser doesn’t give me these issues though, logged in or out, results are either better targeted or not. I recently went through Google as well to be extra secure with how it tracks me to try and reduce this issue however it’s a couple weeks on now and no change.

If I compare search results with Brave and Google Chrome, Chrome will serve me the normal results you’d expect. Ads hidden, all related search results, fairly useful. There is also the Three dots above one another at the end of page titles, you can click this and it gives you information about the search result. Swap over to Brave, clicking those three dots doesn’t do anything, or it essentially acts as a link.

Ran a variety of virus scans and malwarebytes etc. I’ve reset Brave on both devices. Deleted cookies, cleared temp, removed all Extensions, gone through the search engines added in my Brave - checked there isn’t one called Google that is actually yellow-search, done pretty much the expected and hopefully some advanced things for troubleshooting something like this.

Here is an example of a link. The three dots is circled for reference as well.

Thanks in advance,

Brave Browser: Version 1.51.110 Chromium: 113.0.5672.77 (Official Build) (arm64)
Operating System: Mac OS Catalina and Monterey

@Mattches and @fmarier would either of you have ideas here? I was trying to do some research on this and I find articles that speak of Yellow Search as a hijacker, but nothing from what I’d call credible sources. All of them wanted people to download software I’ve never heard of to address it.

Assuming OP did remove all extensions, did scans with Malwarebytes and antivirus, etc and it’s still there…trying to think best route to go here beyond trying to do deep dive into the system itself for things or purging the heck out of a lot of items.

@crystalpulse as I mentioned that to them, I have to ask if you’ve added any freeware or anything to your device. Obviously if you’ve added some third party thing that’s remaining on your device, nothing you do in the browser will resolve until it’s gone. But it is concerning that you’re saying Malwarebytes isn’t picking up a hijacker.

Oh, and also, if you go to brave://settings/privacy and run a safety check, does everything come up good?

Thank you for writing in and for providing the detailed report.
Not quite sure what is happening here but to me it does seem like some sort of extension issue, which does appear to be what “yellow-search” is:

You said that you removed all your extensions — if you go to brave://settings/searchEngines, do you see “yellow-search” listed here?

@Mattches @Saoiray

Hey guys, thanks for updates and suggestions on this. I did check the search engine and safety checks, all were clean and clear. I think I have resolved it now by uninstalling Brave an all devices, clearing away as much of a trace of the browser as possible, restarting everything and then reinstalling. Put all the extensions back one by one, checking in-between and we’re fine again so I’m none the wiser as to which one it was :man_shrugging: I’m going to place suspicion on “Great Suspender Original” which isn’t available as that name anymore, maybe someone made a dodgy version that got through the Google approvals for a bit and I just happened to install that one over the actual one!


I would too based, seeing as how Google and Microsoft removed Great Suspender from the store years ago for having malware.

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