What is ProgramOpen mac virus?
ProgramOpen mac virus has both hijacking and adware capabilities in addition to evasion techniques
Mac users can get infected by Adload – an aggressive version of adware
ProgramOpen is a mac virus that belongs to the Adload malware family. These types of viruses infect mac machines specifically. They have adware and hijacking capabilities. Adload may cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects.
It may also change the main browser settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine, forcing people to use only selected channels for browsing. This raises many user privacy and security concerns. However, mac adware is much more aggressive than adware designed to infect Windows machines.
|TYPE||Adware, browser hijacker, mac virus|
|SYMPTOMS||Different homepage and new tab addresses; redirects to some other search engine and shady websites; machine performs worse than before; unknown apps appear on the machine|
|DISTRIBUTION||Fake software updates, deceptive ads, installing programs from peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms|
|DANGERS||Altered search results can lead to dangerous websites; pop-up ads might be promoting scams; the virus can install other PUPs or even malware in the background|
|ELIMINATION||Eliminating this Mac virus manually can be quite complicated. The easiest and most effective way would be to open a professional security tool and scan your system to delete every related file|
|FURTHER STEPS||ReimageIntego should be used to completely wipe out any data left and fix the remaining damage|
ProgramOpen mac virus overview
The mac virus can also install PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or even malware without the users’ knowledge. Many people do not notice the intruder until it has already started making changes. It can bypass Apple’s own security system XProtect.
The notion that mac machines cannot be infected is outdated. Adload developers are constantly looking for ways to breach security systems. ProgramOpen mac adware may also use various evasion techniques preventing people from removing it easily.
The main file of the virus can be found in the “Applications” folder. We previously wrote about many other Adload variants, like ProgressBoost, SilkTopic, and CommandAccess. They all have the same icon – a magnifier inside a green, teal, or grey background. However, it generates multiple other files disguised as normal system files and scatters them across the system.
Follow security experts’ recommendations to avoid virus infections
Websites not affiliated with official developers are full of malware and other dangers. Platforms that allow users to share files, like Torrent sites and peer-to-peer file servers, often distribute software illegally. These downloads might seem safe, but it is impossible to know for sure if the packages are free of viruses or malicious code.
It is best to use official web stores and developer websites whenever you want to install programs. Apps that get listed on digital marketplaces, have to go through an extensive review process. It may get costly but you might save in the long run by keeping your system running smoothly. Besides, there are plenty of free alternatives to choose from.
The Fake Flash Player is a favorite among those who spread Adload because users are easily convinced that they need the plugin to view media content. However, in 2020 Flash Player was replaced by HTML5 due to its many vulnerabilities. So, if you see a message on an unfamiliar website prompting you to update your flash player, beware – it’s fake!
Hackers use software vulnerabilities to deliver their malicious programs. To prevent this, it is extremely important to keep your operating system and software updated by regularly installing security patches as soon as they come out.
Removal of ProgramOpen Mac adware
Manual removal may be a race against time. With launch agents, daemons, cronjobs, it can sometimes take several attempts to beat all of these before one of them manages to re-write deleted components back. You should not do this yourself unless you know what you are doing and what kind of files you need to delete.
Some of the files can have a .plist extension, a standard settings file, also known as a “properties file,” used by macOS applications. It contains properties and configuration settings for various programs. The app also uses different persistence techniques and drops many files across the system, complicating browser extension and application removal.
To keep your mind at peace, we recommend using professional anti-malware tools SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, which can detect unwanted programs and eradicate them. You also do not know if the virus installed any additional malicious programs, so this is the safest way to ensure the system is clean.
If you still want to try and delete it manually, proceed with these steps:
- Open Applications folder
- Select Utilities
- Double-click Activity Monitor
- Here, look for suspicious processes related to adware and use Force Quit command to shut them down
- Go back to the Applications folder
- Find ProgramOpen in the list and move it to Trash.
If you are unable to shut down the related processes or can’t move the app to Trash, you should look for malicious profiles and login items:
- Go to Preferences and select Accounts
- Click Login items and delete everything suspicious
- Next, pick System Preferences > Users & Groups
- Find Profiles and remove unwanted profiles from the list.
There are likely to be more .plist files hiding in the following locations – delete them all:
- Select Go > Go to Folder.
- Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
- In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.
The manual elimination process might not always result in full virus removal. Therefore, we still strongly suggest you perform a scan with security software.
Remove the malicious extension
An extension to your browser is also added by ProgramOpen which starts performing all sorts of unwanted tasks. It possibly collects sensitive data and sends it to tracking servers. Some of the data that could be exposed is – IP address, user name, macOS version, browser versions, computer ID, items in the “Applications” folder, a list of agents, daemons, and system configuration profiles.
You should eliminate the add-on as soon as possible after the dangerous files are eliminated from your system. You can delete cookies and cache automatically with the help of ReimageIntego. It will also fix any damaged files and system errors, so you should notice an improvement in the machine’s performance.
If you prefer doing this yourself without additional help, here are the instructions. You will find guides for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox at the bottom of this article:
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
Cookies and website data:
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
The simplest and quickest solution to this is completely resetting Safari:
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- Go to Advanced tab.
- Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
- From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.
There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals.
If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.
If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.