ActiveLink Mac virus (Free Guide)

ActiveLink Mac virus Removal Guide

What is ActiveLink Mac virus?

ActiveLink is a malicious application made for monetization purposes via malicious ads and data gathering

ActiveLinkActiveLink is malware that can compromise your personal safety and computer security

ActiveLink is a Mac virus that has been making rounds around the internet, infecting hundreds of users worldwide. It is a member of the rather large Adload malware family that has been extremely active since it was first spotted back in 2017. Although it does not propagate on its own, users are frequently duped into installing it as a result of different phishing strategies utilized by its developers.

Once installed, the ActiveLink virus adds a browser extension to Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or any online browser that enables it to carry out its nefarious tasks, including changing the homepage, new tab, search provider, and other settings (although this may vary from version to version). Due to the virus's ability to push sponsored links and ads, its creators generate income. Additionally, the extension is used to gather a variety of personal data, such as account and credit card information.

Malware can have a significant impact since it modifies the system and implements its own components. For instance, it may install extra payloads without first getting the user's consent. We strongly advise that you remove ActiveLink from your Mac as soon as you can because it poses a risk to both your personal safety and the security of your computer.

Name ActiveLink
Type Mac virus, adware, browser hijacker
Malware family Adload
Distribution Software bundles of illegal apps, peer-to-peer networks, fake Flash Player updates
Symptoms An extension installed on the browser with elevated permissions, along with an application of the same name; new profiles and login items set up on the account; malicious ads shown during web browsing activities; search and browsing settings altered to Safe Finder or another search provider
Removal The easiest way to remove Mac malware is to perform a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software. We also provide a manual guide below
Other tips Potentially unwanted applications often leave traces within web browsers – cookies, for example, are used for tracking. You should get rid of these leftovers with ReimageIntego or employ our manual guide

Distribution methods and avoidance tips

Adload is a pretty well-known strain, and it was able to achieve this by employing efficient distribution strategies. The first and most popular one involves tricking users into downloading fake Flash Player updates by displaying them on numerous websites. Usually, people come across them by clicking a malicious link on a website that is already risky or because adware[1] is already installed on their computers.

The plan is pretty straightforward: Users are informed that in order to access a particular sort of multimedia material, they must upgrade or install Flash Player. Since the plugin has been used for multimedia for such a long period, it is now thought to be a need. The calls to install Flash are false because it stopped being developed a few years now.

Malicious installers from peer-to-peer[2] networks and other distributors of comparable unlicensed software are the other often used technique for the distribution of Adload. We advise against using these as they are one of the main ways that people become infected with malware.

ActiveLink virusActiveLink is a Mac virus that is mostly distributed via fake Flash Player updates

ActiveLink elimination process

Everything you need to remove malware from your PC effectively is provided below. Since Adload is one of the more tenacious threats to Macs, we strongly advise against using the manual technique. In order to avoid being detected by local Mac defenses like XProtect[3] and to drop dozens of objects on the system, it uses the built-in AppleScript to grant itself elevated access after infiltrating the system.

We strongly advise regular users to use automatic removal solutions like SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes as a result, as doing otherwise may significantly complicate the removal procedure. You can prevent future infections with the aid of third-party security software by avoiding the malware's evasion techniques that damage Mac's protection measures. You could also pick the manual virus removal method, as explained below, although keep in mind that it may not be effective.

Delete the main application and the extension

Your first task is to find the malicious app and remove it – you should start by stopping its background processes via the Activity Monitor.

  • Open Applications folder
  • Select Utilities
  • Double-click Activity Monitor
  • Here, look for suspicious processes and use the Force Quit command to shut them down
  • Go back to the Applications folder
  • Find the malicious entry and place it in Trash.Uninstall from Mac 1

Your next task is to remove all the virus-related Login items and new Profiles that could be used by it.

  • 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.

Finally, it would be best if you got rid of the extension that is used by crooks to harvest various personal data. Proceed with the following steps (note: if you can't perform this step, skip it for now):

Safari

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Google Chrome

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Remove leftover files or reset your browsers

Small configuration files known as PLIST can hold various settings information. They might prevent the virus from being removed properly.

  • 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 delete all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2

You should also clean your web browsers to remove various trackers and other caches to ensure proper NetDivision removal. You can employ ReimageIntego for this job, or you can follow the manual steps below:

Safari

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Google Chrome

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If you were unable to remove malware components within your web browser, you could simply reset it, as we explain below. Your bookmarks and other preferences will not get lost as long as you remember your account details. Proceed with the following to reset your browser:

Safari

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to the Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Google Chrome

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings.Reset Chrome 2

You can find the instructions for MS Edge and Mozilla Firefox below.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of ActiveLink Mac virus. Follow these steps

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge
EdgeFirefox

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

How to prevent from getting adware

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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