ExpandedOrigin mac virus Removal Guide
What is ExpandedOrigin mac virus?
ExpandedOrigin is a virus with adware and hijacking capabilities that infects Macs
Mac viruses can change browser settings and cause ad spam
ExpandedOrigin is a virus that is capable of both adware and hijacking. It is part of the Adload adware family, which means it is designed specifically for Mac users. Many users have the mistaken belief that Apple devices cannot be infected, which has been proven false for quite some time.
People who have been infected with this mac adware may notice an increase in commercial content, pop-ups, banners, and redirects. Changed the homepage, new tab address, and search engine in the browser. Unknown applications and browser extensions can also appear suddenly.
|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||FortectIntego should be used to completely wipe out any data left and fix the remaining damage|
Adload evasion techniques
Adware designed for Mac devices is far more dangerous than adware that infects Windows computers. It employs a variety of evasion techniques to keep people from easily removing it. The malicious program's files are dispersed throughout less-known system areas, making detection difficult.
Malware developers are also devising new ways to infect computers. Adload creators have figured out how to avoid detection by Apple's security system XProtect. All they had to do was remove a single strand of code. Unfortunately, neither XProtect nor other simple engines detect it for many macOS users.
As a result, many users are unaware of the intruder until it has begun performing malicious tasks. The main file can be found in the “Applications” folder. Adload viruses typically have the same icon – a magnifying glass within a green, teal, or grey background. You can read about previously detected versions such as ArchiveTask, PromotePower, and TrueWander.
Fake Flash Player updates or installations are one of the most common causes of Adload infections like ExpandedOrigin. Threat actors use social engineering techniques to trick people into believing their Flash Player is out of date. They use misleading messages to convince people that if they do not install the latest version, they will be unable to access content.
Many people are still unaware that Flash Player was phased out in 2020 and replaced by HTML5. If you come across a website that tells you otherwise, leave immediately. You should also be aware that installing freeware increases the likelihood of viruses being included as bundled software.
You should also be aware of the dangers of torrent websites and peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms. Because they are unregulated, they are ideal breeding grounds for malware. You never know if the program you want to install is safe or if it contains a Trojan or another type of malware.
Be careful of social engineering that crooks use to get you infected
Removal of ExpandedOrigin Mac adware
You should not attempt this unless you are certain of what you are doing and what files you need to delete. Some of the files may have a .plist extension, indicating that they are standard settings files, also known as “properties files,” used by macOS applications. The app also employs a variety of persistence techniques and scatters numerous files throughout the system, making browser extension and application removal difficult.
To keep your mind at ease, we recommend using professional anti-malware tools SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, which can detect and remove unwanted programs. You also don't know if the virus installed any additional malicious programs, so this is the most secure method of ensuring the system is clean. If you still want to delete it manually, follow 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 ExpandedOrigin 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
ExpandedOrigin also installs a browser extension that begins performing a variety of unwanted tasks. It may collect sensitive information and send it to tracking servers. IP address, user name, macOS version, browser versions, computer ID, items in the “Applications” folder, a list of agents, daemons, and system configuration profiles are some of the data that could be exposed.
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 FortectIntego. 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.
Getting rid of ExpandedOrigin mac virus. Follow these steps
Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)
Remove dangerous extensions:
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
- Select Add-ons.
- In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.
Reset the homepage:
- Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
- Choose Options.
- Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.
Clear cookies and site data:
- Click Menu and pick Settings.
- Go to Privacy & Security section.
- Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
- Click on Clear Data…
- Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
- Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.
- Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
- Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox.
Remove from Google Chrome
Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
- Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
- 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.
Clear cache and web data from Chrome:
- Click on Menu and pick Settings.
- Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
- Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
- Click Clear data.
Change your homepage:
- Click menu and choose Settings.
- Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
- Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.
Reset Google Chrome:
If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:
- Click on Menu and select Settings.
- In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
- Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
- Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Confirm with Reset settings.
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.