Most users don’t even notice the presence of Mac viruses. since the most dangerous threats are created to prevent users from detecting them immediately. However, if your Mac exhibits strange behavior, such as if you see applications such as Adware medic installed without your consent, or if Google Chrome, Safari or another browser displays ads continuously, it is likely that your machine has been the target of a Mac virus.
However, certain computer behaviors, such as slowdowns, can be associated with any infections and configuration problems, or are merely caused by outdated software. Therefore, it is important to know if your system is truly infected, and if it is – the elimination of the respective Mac virus must be carried out immediately to avoid additional consequences, such as malware infections, loss of money or even identity theft.
|Type||Adware, browser hijackers, scareware, spyware, trojans, ransomware, droppers, cryptomineradores, and other malware|
|Target systems||macOS, Mac OS X, iOS|
|Distribution methods||Software bundling (grouping), fake Adobe Flash updates, unwanted emails (spam), hacked websites, torrent websites, etc.|
|Risk factors||Installation of other malware, collection of sensitive data, referrals to phishing websites and other fraudulent pages, loss of money, identity theft or fraud, etc.|
|Elimination||In some cases, integrated system protection is not sufficient to eliminate Mac malware. Therefore, install a reliable security tool such as Adwaremedic perform a complete system scan|
|Recovery||To restore macOS to normal operation after virus infection, use Reimage|
Depending on the type of infection, Mac viruses can use a variety of methods to infiltrate the system. Typically, adware and browser hijackers are distributed as plugins for their browsers, or integral applications that pretend to be of some use – these types of threats are referred to as scareware by computer security experts. However, more severe forms of malware are typically propagated with the help of more sophisticated methods, such as:
- Hacked websites;
- Fake updates (especially from Adobe Flash or Java, which was eventually rejected by Apple in 2012);
- Torrents websites;
- Unwanted mail (spam);
- Exploits, etc.
These methods are usually used for more dangerous threats, such as backdoors, RATs, ransomware, cryptojackers, and many others.
To find out if your Mac is infected, you should perform a system scan with reliable security software, such as SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes and permanently remove the Mac virus. In other cases, however, it is possible to manually eliminate potentially unwanted programs , although it is not a general rule. Finally, if you find an infection, wipe it out and scan your system with Reimage – this program can restore Mac operations and correct any errors caused by the virus.
“Mac viruses don’t exist” is a total Myth
For several years, several users believed that Macs could not be infected by viruses, simply because of the way the machine and its system were designed. Yes, your device will not allow the installation of applications from other locations except the official App Store, at least by default. In addition, integrated protection tools, such as Xprotect, prevent malicious software from entering.
However, Mac viruses do exist, and are able to bypass Apple’s security measures as hackers develop increasingly sophisticated malware. It is true that Mac systems are not as vulnerable to infections as Windows machines, but they are not completely immune to viruses. Unfortunately, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Mac users who still believe the system is infallible and immune to infection, and ignore all basic security measures.
Mac virus is a type of malware that infects Macs and can result in loss of money, installation of fake software and even identity theft
Although Mac viruses are generally a rare occurrence, cases of Mac-related adware and phishing have increased dramatically over the years. In 2019, the percentage of infections on Mac systems increased by 60% compared to the previous year, and there was an increase of 270% between 2016 and 2017. So, do not ignore the alerts from cybersecurity experts and adequately protect your machine against attacks – install security software, keep your device up to date and apply preventive measures when installing new applications or while surfing the web.
The fake Mac optimization tools are more active
One of the most common examples of Mac viruses is fake system optimization software, also known as scareware. These tools are designed to deliberately mislead users into believing that their machines are in danger, claiming that there are multiple virus infections or accusing false positives.
However, the main purpose of this software is to make users pay for the full version, instead of truly helping them fix errors on their computers. In fact, in addition to failing to deliver on their promises, fake system optimization tools can disrupt the normal operation of the Mac, deleting necessary files or affecting other elements of the system.
Below you will find the most prevalent versions of Mac viruses, related to the category of scareware – guarantee the extermination of any program of this type, if they infiltrate your system.
The Adware medic is one of the most infamous Mac viruses on the loose – is installed on the system through software bundles, false updates of Adobe Flash, or infiltrated by other malware such as trojans Shlayer.
Adware medic is software of malwarebytes anti-malware for mac specially designed for Macs and belongs to the category of scareware. These potentially unwanted programs typically focus on circumventing users, forcing them to purchase the full version of the application. Advertised as “system optimizers”, this type of tool usually displays false results in its analysis, warning of the presence of dangerous infections on the computer or other discrepancies in the system that need immediate correction. See malwarebytes features here
Users are often frightened by specific timers, red text and other social engineering tricks. While most experienced users know the look and operations of the scam, older users or others who are unfamiliar with the computer world may believe your lies and end up spending money on useless software, such as Adware medic.
Mac Auto Fixer adware medic
The Mac Auto Fixer is another application of scareware which operates in much the same way to all the scams technical assistance created for Mac. Developed by PCVARK, one of the most controversial software developers today, the application is promoted as a tool to clean up and speed up your Mac computer, but it’s actually just a fake system optimizer, designed to trick users into buying their full version.
Mac Auto Fixer is a type of Mac virus that will not optimize, clean, or improve your computer’s performance. In fact, the software is often included on fraudulent websites that warn of fake infections – users are typically redirected to these types of websites through adware – a type of potentially unwanted program that focuses on showing ads on all the websites it visits.
Therefore, if you detect Mac Auto Fixer running spontaneous scans on your computer, it is best to remove the program immediately. Although the tool is not dangerous, it can result in loss of money and continue to alert you to non-existent virus infections.
The Mac Tonic is another fake system optimizer and a potentially unwanted program designed for Mac operating systems. Although many users detect this application on their computers after the freeware installation (free software) or shareware (shared software), the application is famous for travel through fake updates from Adobe Flash and Adobe Shockwave.
The application presents the common behavior of a PUP:
- it is installed without the user’s knowledge;
- performs immediate analysis of the system, alerting to the presence of various problems and infections;
- asks users to purchase its full version to correct problems on their machine;
- displays constant ads promoting its full version;
- adds entries to the system that prevent easy elimination of the Mac Tonic.
So, if you find this application on your device, do not pay attention to the application’s alerts and delete it immediately, manually or automatically – choose the last option if you are unable to remove the program yourself.
Protection from Top hijackers, adware and scams use adware medic
The qSearch is a browser hijacker created specifically for Mac operating systems, but can affect any kind of browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera and others. This potentially unwanted program specializes in dominating users’ browsers, setting the homepage and URL a new tab for qsearch.cc or analytics.qsearch.cc, and also displaying fake search results full of sponsored links.
The scheme is quite simple and very similar to adware – the creators of QSearch accumulate profits each time users click on the associated links – a system known as pay-per-click . Therefore, the more ads and pop-ups that appear, the greater the amount of money earned by their authors.
Unfortunately, the experience of end users is completely ignored, as they are forced to deal with the hijacking of QSearch, which in itself can mean certain security risks:
- Useless search results, occasionally preventing the obtaining of relevant information;
- Some text on websites is transformed into hyperlinks;
- Pop-up ads appear on legitimate websites that do not typically display advertising;
- Phishing websites can cause you to lose money or install useless software;
- The collection of information may expose private data to third parties.
The MyShopcoupon is a plugin that allegedly helps users find the best online business and save some money. Theoretically, it seems like a fantastic option to find the best coupons, offers and discounts while shopping online, but the activity of this potentially unwanted program often disappoints Mac users.
As soon as users install MyShopcoupon, their web browsers are filled with advertising, provided by pop-ups, text links, banners, alert windows and other intrusive content that disrupts their Internet browsing sessions, instead of helping really users to find relevant information or products of interest.
In addition to intrusive ads, MyShopcoupon also monitors users’ activities with the application installed. The data collected includes:
- IP adress;
- Research entries;
- Visited websites and duration of visits;
- Clicked links;
- System information, such as Operating System versions, etc.
Although this Mac virus is not as dangerous as keyloggers or data stealers , it still manages to impair the browsing experience and cause unwanted visits to unsafe websites.
Mac Detected a TAPSNAKE Infection
The Mac Did you detect one TAPSNAKE infection ( Mac Detected TAPSNAKE infection ) is a scam used to obtain personal details of users requesting that they phone them at certain numbers provided. There are numerous versions of this scheme, scaring users with the supposed presence of the Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses on their computers. You should avoid calling any number displayed in pop-ups or alert messages at all costs. The message provides a warning like the following:
**** Don’t Restart Your Computer ****
Mac Detected a TAPSNAKE Infection. The infections detected indicate some recent downloads on the computer that have created problems with the system. Call Apple professionals via 800-130-1949 and share the B2957E code with Technician to correct any errors. DO NOT PLEASE DO NOT TERMINATE OR RESTART YOUR COMPUTER TO PREVENT LOSS OF DATA AND POSSIBLE ERRORS IN THE OPERATING SYSTEM, AS WELL AS SEVERE SITUATIONS THAT PREVENT THE RESTORATION OF THE SYSTEM, CAUSING TOTAL LOSS OF DATA. CONTACT OUR CERTIFIED TECHNICIANS TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM FOR FREE: 800-130-1949
Close any window similar to this one, as any type of interaction with these alerts can cause severe problems on the Mac system itself. You need to obtain a reliable anti-malware tool and thoroughly clean the machine, because these symptoms are often caused by PUPs – computer intruders that appear unexpectedly.
Mac OS X infected by (4) viruses
Mac OS X infected with (4) viruses (Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses) is another social engineering campaign based on the screen saver that alerts users about malware activity on the system. This scam focuses on deceiving people by asking them to call the assistance number in order to obtain an immediate solution. However, this is an adware-related scam for technical assistance. As soon as the virus infects the system, it modifies it and begins to display false alerts.
Mostly, the malware seeks to steal logins from multiple accounts, other credentials such as passwords or credit card details. However, this fraud can also be used to infect the system with other malware. Just to subscribe the victim to useless services that will only be detected when inspecting the monthly telecommunications bill. Remember that the message, received in your browser as soon as you start browsing, is nothing more than a mere fraud! Ignore this message to not give the attacker remote access to your machine!
Macs are not immune to viruses – protect yourself properly by adware medic
As already mentioned, the most common infections on Mac systems are adware and potentially unwanted programs. Although they appear harmless, these applications can compromise the security of the device and cause much more severe infections, which means that the presence of adware is extremely dangerous.
To protect yourself from malicious software that continuously displays ads, forwards you to fraudulent or phishing websites, it is not advisable to download applications from third-party websites and you should only rely on official sources, such as the App Store or Chrome web store. Either way, your Mac is not yet immune to unwanted programs.
Therefore, you should pay close attention to the installation process for all the applications you install, including trusted programs. Always read the installation instructions, do not skip steps and remove all applications suggested in the Advanced / Custom installation mode.
In addition, one of the best security tips we can provide is to install and use robust security software, which prevents the entry of the most dangerous viruses for Mac, and to ensure that your system is up to date with the latest version. As with Windows, Apple’s software is not perfect and has several vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to automatically infiltrate your malware. Although threats are rare, it is always advisable to keep your system up to date to prevent infections.
Dedicated section to learn more about Mac viruses
Although the Mac system is generally considered to be a very secure operating system. As compared to Windows, this is not entirely true. Experts estimate that about 1 billion computers use Windows, while approximately 100 million users opt for the Mac. So it makes sense for cybercriminals to develop more malware for the most widely used operating system worldwide.
However, Mac viruses have the same diversity, sophistication, prevalence and other malware features. Consequently, users may encounter the following categories of Mac viruses:
- Browser hijackers
- Fake system optimizers
- Information thieves (info-stealers)
- Keyloggers, etc.
Regardless of the type of virus present on your machine, its elimination is vital, as this type of infections can result in unwanted collection of personal information by criminals, loss of money, installation of malicious software, etc. Your computer can be added to a botnet. Which would become an incessant spam machine that sends fake messages to all contacts on Facebook, email, Skype, etc. For more information about Mac viruses, visit our page on Mac virus categories .
Eliminate Mac viruses from your system to prevent additional problems
If your system shows symptoms of infection, you should act immediately and remove the Mac virus from your computer. However, there are two different ways to kill infections – manual and automatic. Although both are effective, the automated process allows users to prevent infections in the future. If your Mac is the target of a browser or adware hijacker. you are likely to be able to completely remove the Mac virus by simply moving the unwanted application. And cleaning the folders / Library / LaunchAgents, / Library / Application Support and / Library / LaunchDaemons . However, if you are not sure what to do, you should install security software and automatically eliminate all unwanted applications. In addition, there are more severe threats such as Trojans and similar viruses that make substantial modifications to Mac systems, so eliminating these infections manually would be virtually impossible.
So, download and install Malwarebytes in order to permanently eliminate the Mac virus and then scan your device with Reimage to ensure the best results.