Updated: Feb 2018 – Updated recent Fake Apple Support scam image.
Since adware is big business. Adware and Potentially Unwanted Program (PUPs) publishers have found their way to Mac OS. Specifically, the Mac OS browsers, Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
In our search for adware and Mac OS malware, we found lots of new adware applications for Mac OS in 2016, 2017 and recently 2018. For what we have seen at the end of 2017 and begin 2018 is that Mac OS malware is emerging to social engineering. Since Mac OS is a very secure operating system, cybercriminals deceive users into downloading viruses, adware and in some recent cases even Ransomware. Social engineering using adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) is the most common way for a Mac OS system to get infected. Below you’ll find a list of known Mac OS adware and malware.
Codec-M, FkCodec, Yontoo, Torrenthandler, ClickAgent, Fake Flash Player installations, ChatZum, Conduit, MyBrand, Trovi, Search Protect, SP, Searchme, Slick Savings, Amazon Shopping Assistant, Ebay Shopping Assistant, Domain Error Assistant, Set Search Settings, Searchtab, GoPhoto.it, Omnibar, GoldenBoy, Texiday, Listchack, InKeepr, Nariabox, Celipsow, savekeep, saVe keeep, suave keepo, jollywallet, Vidx, Viddxx, Vidox, Viidax, ViiDDx, MacVX, MacVaX, MacCaptain, MacPriceCut, SaveOnMac, Mac Global Deals or MacDeals, MacSter, MacXcoupon, Shop, Brain, SShoP Braaiin, MacMin, MaucMino, VidX, Awesome Screenshot, Shopy Mate, PalMall, FlashMall, Cinema-Plus Pro, Search App by Ask, MacShop, MacSmart, News Ticker Remover, Shopper Helper Pro, Photo Zoom, Best YouTube Downloader, ArcadeYum, Extended protection, Video, Download helper, FlashFree, RecipeHub, iLivid, CustomSearchForSafari, Media Player, MusixLib, GoMovix, MovixHub, AdBlock Super, Webpage, Screenshot, NewTabTV, WalletBee, PremierOpinion, Opti-Page, Toppy, Shoppy, CrossRAT, Mac OS Cryptominers, ColdRoot
What does adware on Mac OS do?
MacOS adware might display pop-up advertisements, inline-text or audio advertisements. Adware is also known to cause browser redirects to suspicious download sites or dangerous technical support web pages, pretend to work for Apple Support. These Tech Support web page state your mac is infected with a virus and a service telephone number should be called to remove the virus from your Mac.
Adware is built for revenue, adware serves all sorts of websites by redirecting the browser to a specific ad. Adware is also known to hijack the browsers default homepage and search engine. All the web browser traffic is then redirected using the by adware installed browser hijacker.
MacOS adware is not to be found keylogging, spreading itself throughout your network or infecting system files. Adware is known to collect both Personally and Non-Personally identifiable information (PII). For example, your IP address, your current location, which is based on the internet providers IP-address, your default installed browser, device screen size, operation system version and even your browsing history.
All this information is sold for marketing purposes. Some adware programs have information about how they handle and collect the information in an end user license agreement. However, no one reads the EULA and accept the EULA by default.
How to prevent adware on a Mac?
Adware for Mac OS usually installs itself together with other software application(s) the Mac user has downloaded from the internet. This technique is called bundling and the downloaded software is known as Pay Per Install software. Pay Per Install, as the name states mean the adware publisher in these cases gets paid for every adware application installation.
The user should be aware of what is downloaded and installed from the internet. Clicking the custom or advanced button during installation can reveal what other applications are installed on the Mac during installation. Find out if the installation process exposes any offers or additional applications. Uncheck any software you do not wish to install.
By overseeing the details using a software installation the Mac user might prevent the installation of unwanted adware, potentially unwanted programs or any malware in general.
Example of a Pay Per Install Mac OS Adware installer
Look carefully, clicking the Accept button results in a replacement of your default homepage with Yahoo Search and installs a Safari extension named “Search-Assist”.
This is an example of a download manager that offers additional software for revenue per installation.
To prevent the installation of additional software, select the advanced button and uncheck or opt out the quick installation button.
By doing so you have the change to deny any third party software installations.
Example of a Mac OS Adware Scam
pop-ups such as the Apple support scam picture on the right are deceptive and triggered by adware applications installed on the Mac OS device. There are many different kinds of pop-ups, some adware programs redirect the browser to shopping sites, gambling sites etcetera.
Adware for Mac OS is specifically designed to create income for its publisher or affiliate. Browser redirects are designed to sell products, make you click on a pay per click ad or provide personal information for marketing sale.
If you experience any of the following, your browser homepage has changed without your permission or many intrusive pop-up advertisements are shown. We recommend removing any malware from your Mac using these comprehensive Mac malware removal instructions.
Remove adware from Mac OSX Safari, Chrome or Firefox
This web page includes removal tools to clean your Mac from any malware automatically and manual instructions to clean and reset your browser.
Mac Malware Removal Tools
Mac Malware Manual Removal Instructions
Recommended: Combo Cleaner to Clean your Mac from Viruses, Junkware and Uninstall Unwanted Applications
Combo Cleaner is the utility toolkit to optimize and protect your precious Mac against malware, viruses, adware and potentially unwanted programs. Combo Cleaner is a professional Mac antivirus with hourly malware, viruses, and adware definition updates.
Combo Cleaner provides the following features, a Disk Cleaner, remove big files and find duplicate files using its comprehensive scanner to save gigabytes of valuable disk space. Combo Cleaner also has a Privacy shield that eliminates various information stored when browsing the Internet. It’s the all in one security solution for your Mac.
- Install Combo Cleaner by following the setup process.
- Open your Applications folder
- Open Combo Cleaner by double-clicking its Application.
- The first thing to do is to confirm your Home Directory and your Applications Directory.
- Select your Home directory (most of the time this is default) and click Allow access
- Select your Applications directory (most of the time this is default) and click Allow access
- Now Combo Cleaner is ready to clean your Mac, select the Start Combo Scan button.
- Hang on, your Mac is scanned, optimized and the latest virus definitions are downloaded to protect your Mac against the latest threats.
- If threats are found and you want to optimize your Mac, you must upgrade to Premium to do so. Combo Cleaner has a free feature Disk Cleaner. Using this feature will clear all Application cache, the Trashcan and Application logs.
- We highly recommend reviewing Combo Cleaner, try it and buy its Premium features.
Remove Junk and unwanted applications with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac is incredibly easy to use, including a powerful scanner that digs up all the junk on your Mac. Smart One click cleaning with health alerts to keep your Mac protected.
Remove adware with Malwarebytes for Mac
Malwarebytes technology crushes the growing threat of Mac adware. So you are protected and your machine and browser keep running silky smooth. Finally, cybersecurity smart enough for the Mac. Just download, follow installation and start removing mac malware.
Remove Browser Extensions from Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox MacOS
Adware on MacOS behaves almost the same on a Windows computer and often use a Browser Extension to promote its advertisement or redirects. In this manual removal instruction, we are going to remove the possible browser extension for Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.
We advise running an automated removal tool as advised in this instruction to check your computer for related adware files. Malware leaves traces, they should be removed to complete the malware removal process.
Remove Adware and Malicious Browser Extension(s) from MacOS Safari
- Open Safari
- Go to Safari in the MacOS menu and select Preferences
- Go to tab Extensions and remove all extension you don’t know or need, listed in the panel using the Uninstall button.
Remove Browser Extension(s) from Google Chrome for MacOS
- Open Google Chrome
- Select the Google Chrome menu in the menu select More Tools then select Extensions.
- On the left select Extensions and remove all extension listed in the panel using the trash can icon.
Remove Browser Extensions extension(s) from Mozilla Firefox for MacOS
- Open Firefox
- Go to Firefox MacOS menu select Preferences
- On the left select Extensions and remove all extensions listed in the panel.
Reset Browser(s) Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox
Reset Safari MacOS prior to version 8
When u need to reset Safari to default settings and thereby replace your default homepage back to the Apple website, follow this easy instruction.
- Open Safari from the MacOS menu
- Click Reset Safari
- Enable all items in the checklist
- Click Reset button
Hard Reset Safari for all MacOS versions.
If nothing works, and you want to completely reset MacOS Safari to default settings, this is the instruction for you.
Remember, nothing is saved from Safari!
- Close Safari first, open this website (https://www.fixyourbrowser.com/how-to/remove-adware-mac-osx-safari-chrome-firefox/#reset) in another browser or device. Or copy the text in a text editor.
- Press CMD+Spacebar the same time
- Enter Terminal
- Terminal is open now
- Copy the following text in the Terminal Window.
rm -rf ~/Library/Safari/;rm -rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.apple.Safari*;rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari*;rm -rf ~/Library/Cookies/com.apple.Safari*;rm -rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari*
- Restart Safari
- Enjoy a clean and brand new Safari. (this reset method is not supported by Apple).
Reset Google Chrome to default settings MacOS
- On your computer, open Google Chrome.
- At the top right, click More Settings.
- At the bottom, click Advanced.
- Under the section “Reset,” click Reset.
- Confirm by clicking Reset.
Resetting your browser settings will impact the settings below:
- Default search engine and saved search engines will be reset and to their original defaults.
- Homepage button will be hidden and the URL that you previously set will be removed.
- Default startup tabs will be cleared. The browser will show a new tab when you start-up or continue where you left off if you’re on a Chromebook.
- New Tab page will be empty unless you have a version of Chrome with an extension that controls it. In that case, your page may be preserved.
- Pinned tabs will be unpinned.
- Content settings will be cleared and reset to their installation defaults.
- Cookies and site data will be cleared.
- Extensions and themes will be disabled.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to default settings MacOS
- Click the menu button (3 stripes in the right top corner) and then click help (the question mark icon in the bottom).
- From the Help menu choose Troubleshooting Information.
- If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting Information page.
- Click the Refresh Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
- To continue, click Refresh Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
- Firefox will close to refresh itself. When finished, a window will list your imported information.
- Click Finish and Firefox will open.
Optimize your device, get rid of junkware