CreedNetwork Mac virus Removal Guide
What is CreedNetwork Mac virus?
CreedNetwork is a Mac virus that could download and install other malicious apps without permission
CreedNetwork is a malicious app designed for Mac systems
CreedNetwork is a computer virus that was first observed in late September 2022. It belongs to the broad malware family of Adload and is distributed using fake Flash Player updates or cracked software installers, which fools users into giving permission for the virus to make system changes. Once given this power, it quickly takes over the device by installing multiple components on the system – all while avoiding all built-in Mac defenses such as XProtect.
With the help of the extension component, the CreedNetwork virus could change browser settings to something else – we have seen Safe Finder being used, for example, although it may vary from user to user. With the help of these changes, users can be easily exposed to thousands of ads they would otherwise not see. Encounters with malicious websites and phishing content are also more likely.
The ResolutionProduct virus is not only relatively persistent, but it can also start collecting your personal information via the web browser – account credentials and credit card details may be harvested. This poses serious security and privacy risk and should not be ignored. We provide all the information below in order to eliminate the threat as soon as possible.
|Type||Mac virus, adware, browser hijacker|
|Distribution||Third-party websites distributing pirated software, software bundles, fake Flash Player updates|
|Symptoms||A new extension and application are installed on the system; search and browser preferences are changed to use a different search engine; new user profiles and login items are created on the account; intrusive advertisements and redirects|
|Removal||The most straightforward way to get rid of Mac malware is by doing a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software. If you'd rather remove it manually, see the guide below|
|System optimization||Once you've removed the virus and all its components, we also recommend scanning your device with ReimageIntego to clean out your browsers and any other leftover or junk files|
Where does Adload stand?
Macs are becoming increasingly popular, therefore they are becoming a target for cybercriminals. Adload is one of the most prevalent threats that users face, with hundreds of variations being produced by cybercriminals already. While the principles behind each of the versions are similar, some functions may vary slightly and produce somewhat different infection symptoms.
CreedNetwork is just one of many versions of Adload – we have previously talked about AbsoluteValue, RankBet, PowerSet, IntranetLookup, and many others. These versions work almost identically, and infected users can even often find several of them running on the infected system at once. This is because Adload employs elevated permissions once it's approved to be installed, thus allowing it to download software behind users' backs.
CreedNetwork can establish persistence elements to prevent its easy removal
Cybercriminals behind the strain are very active, and with hundreds of virus versions, they seem to be doing good for themselves. In the meantime, victims keep struggling with this malware, as it can cause significant performance issues, prevent normal browsing sessions due to ads, expose their personal details to threat actors, and get infected with other malware due to malware being able to perform installations without user permission.
CreedNetwork removal explained
CreedNetwork malware is known to avoid built-in protection on Mac. We recommend running a full system scan with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another powerful anti-malware to remove all malicious components at once. Alternatively, you can opt for manual elimination; however, we recommend cleaning browser caches regardless of your chosen method.
Malware almost certainly runs background processes in order to fulfill its malicious deeds. Therefore, the first thing you should do is try shutting them down and then removing the main app by placing it in the trash bin:
- 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.
Upon infiltration, the virus might establish new User profiles and Login items for persistence. This might be the reason why you can't get rid of the app or the extension.
- 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.
You should get rid of Launch Daemons and other configuration data left by malware. Proceed with the following:
- 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.
If you opt to clean the infection manually, the extension may still be active in your browser and continue to collect data and execute other malicious activities, so you need to make sure that this component is removed at once:
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
You should also clear your browser caches to stop any more data from being tracked if you successfully removed the extension. The ReimageIntego maintenance utility is the simplest method to do this and get rid of all junk. As another option, you can follow these instructions:
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
If you were unable to remove the extension in a regular way, you should simply reset Safari. Follow these steps:
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- Go to the Advanced tab.
- Tick the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
- From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.
Tips to avoid Adload versions in the future
No one installs malicious software on their computer intentionally. Adload variants trick users into installing them by making fake updates or providing illegal software installers. To avoid falling for these traps in the future, here are a few tips (keep in mind that many other strains of malware use similar methods of distribution, so it can be useful for your overall security):
- The Flash Player was a multimedia plugin used on almost all websites; however, it has long been replaced by HTML5 and a few other technologies built into web browsers. Since Adobe discontinued Flash a few years ago, all requests to download it should be ignored as they are fake and would only result in malware infection.
- A number of illegal software distribution sites provide internet users with the ability to get free copyrighted programs that would otherwise require a fee. It is not only illegal, but it also poses significant risks of introducing malware to your system. Thus, you should avoid such websites in the first place.
- Run reputable anti-malware software and keep it updated at all times. The most important thing is not to ignore warnings coming from security software, as they are unlikely to be false positives.
How to prevent from getting adware
Protect your privacy – employ a VPN
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.
No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool
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.