ExploreParameter is a potentially unwanted program with plenty of malicious features
ExploreParameter is an adware application that targets Mac devices and injects malicious components for removal prevention
ExploreParameter is a type of computer infection that targets Mac computers exclusively and is spread via illegal software installers or fake Flash Player updates. Upon infiltration, the app installs a browser extension on Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox browser, and changes the homepage address to 0yrvtrh.com, search.adjustablesample.com, or another one. After that, the PUP begins intrusive advertisement campaigns: pop-ups, offers, deals, coupons, banners, and other forms of ads are a common sight on the infected users' web browsers.
However, intrusive ads are just a surface of what the ExploreParameter virus is capable of. In the background, the application drops several items on the macOS (such as Login Items and malicious Profiles) for persistence, so the infected users are not able to remove ExploreParameter in a regular way. This also applies to the extension that changes web browser settings – users are unable to uninstall it and are forced to browse via the hijacked search engine instead.
|Type||Mac malware, adware, browser hijacker|
|Distribution||Potentially unwanted programs belonging to this adware family are most commonly installed via fake Flash Player update prompts and pirated software installers|
|Symptoms||Unknown browser extensions installed on Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox browsers; homepage and new tab address set to 0yrvtrh.com or search.adjustablesample.com; all searches are redirected to Search Finder or another untrustworthy search engine; increased number of advertisements, etc.|
|Dangers||Installation of other dangerous software, personal data disclosure to cybercriminals, identity theft, monetary losses|
|Elimination||You can delete malware with the help of powerful anti-malware software, such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes, although we also provide manual removal guide below|
|Optimization||If you machine suffers from lag or other performance issues, we recommend using Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego after the virus is eliminated from the system|
Adware has become a huge problem for Apple, as more and more Mac users are getting infected every day. According to a research publication back in January 2020, the rate at which malware is produced for macOS outpaced Windows machines and jumped up by 400% on a year-over-year basis. Threats like Bundlore, Slayer Trojan, CrescentCore, and many others, are now often encountered on users' machines.
The presence of ExploreParameter might, unfortunately, mean that other malicious programs are installed on the machine. Developers of this deceptive programs use deceptive methods for their propagation, some of which include:
- Fake Flash Player installers and fake updates
- Software bundles
- Pirated software installers downloaded from torrent sites
- Fake virus infection notifications.
ExploreParameter belongs to a broad adware family known as Adload – it exploits the built-in AppleScript in order to establish persistence mechanisms and install the extension with elevated privileges. This campaign is quite prevalent, and new versions emerge on a regular basis – ArchimedesLookup, BufferKey, AccessibleBoost, and PracticalProcesser are just a few examples spreading in the wild.
All of these apps, including the ExploreParameter, use a distinctive icon that incorporates a magnifying glass and a teal or green circle round it. Nonetheless, distribution and operation principles remain the same – intrusive ads, unexpected browser changes, unknown extensions, and ExploreParameter removal problems.
The adware campaign is so intrusive and extensive that the potentially unwanted application is flagged as a virus by many security applications. According to Virus Total, the installer is detected under the following names:
- A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.C
- PUA:MacOS/Bitrepeyp.B, etc.
ExploreParameter is a Mac virus that steals sensitive information and injects ads into users' browsers
Another reason why the ExploreParameter malware is dangerous is that the attached extension can often be installed with elevated privileges, thanks to the AppleScript abuse. If you open the web browser and find the add-on installed, you could see the following notification:
Permissions for “ExploreParameter”
Can read sensitive information from webpages, including passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards on: all webpages
Can see when you visit: all webpages
It goes without saying that a browser extension of this type should never have such permissions enabled, as it would allow sensitive data (credit card details, login credentials, etc.) transfer to unknown parties. Such activity should never be tolerated, as it can cause victims to suffer monetary losses or even face identity theft.
The malicious activity of ExploreParameter does not end there, however. According to security experts' research, Adload variants are capable of intercepting traffic and redirecting it to attackers' remote servers. This is another way to monetize on advertisements, and is performed illegally.
You should remove ExploreParameter malware as soon as possible, as ramifications of keeping the parasite on the system might be disastrous. The only problem is that it might be difficult to do manually, as the virus inserts a variety of persistence mechanisms on the Mac system. Thus, the best way to do that is by employing powerful anti-malware software – experts recommend using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes for the purpose. Additionally, fixing performance issues is easiest with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or similar advanced software.
Fake Flash Player installers are one of the main reasons Mac users get infected with adware and malware
For years, users believed that Macs are completely immune to malware thanks to built-in defenses such as XProtect and Gatekeeper. However, defenses are quite useless when users themselves are convinced to allow malicious software to be installed on the system. For that, cybercriminals typically employ social engineering to make users install malicious applications on their devices. The technique typically involves using a well-established name and using it for malicious purposes.
Possibly one of the most abused names in the cybercriminal world is Adobe Flash Player – a plugin that was for years used to play multimedia on various websites. Notifications that were used to inform users about a missing Flash were relatively common until new technologies, such as HTML5, were released. Nonetheless, users are still unaware that most modern browsers, such as Google Chrome, have built-in technology for multimedia playback, and Flash is no longer needed.
Threat actors quickly adapted Flash Player update prompts to spread malware, as users are unaware of the deception. As soon as they see the familiar logo, they download and install software, thinking that it a required plugin for their browsing activities. In the meantime, they install malware on their Macs.
Adobe Flash Player is due to be shut down by the end of 2020, so there is no need to ever install this outdated and flawed plugin, even if it is a legitimate version.
ExploreParameter is mostly spread via fake Flash Player update prompts
ExploreParameter removal options
It is evident that you should remove ExploreParameter from your system as soon as possible to maintain your identity private and browsing safe. Unfortunately, the process of uninstallation might be very much complicated for most users, as moving the app to Trash will not suffice.
If you would like to attempt manual ExploreParameter removal, you could check the following locations on your Mac:
System Preferences > Accounts> Login Items
System Preferences > Users&Groups > Profiles
However, you might not be able to find all the malicious files yourself, and the infection might immediately come back. Instead, we suggest you download and install powerful anti-malware software and delete the ExploreParameter virus for good. Security tools are designed to look for all malicious components on the device and eliminate them automatically.
You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.
To remove ExploreParameter, follow these steps:
Get rid of ExploreParameter from Mac OS X system
To eliminate unwanted programs on macOS, follow these steps:
If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:
Remove ExploreParameter from Applications folder:
- From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
- In the Applications folder, look for ExploreParameter-related entries.
- Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)
To fully remove ExploreParameter, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:
- 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 related to ExploreParameter and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the ExploreParameter-related entries.
Remove ExploreParameter 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 plugins that are related to ExploreParameter and click Remove.
Clear cookies and site data:
- Click Menu and pick Options.
- 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.
In case ExploreParameter did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete ExploreParameter removal.
Erase ExploreParameter from Google Chrome
In case you are unable to eliminate some browser extensions, you should follow these steps to reset 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 ExploreParameter 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.
If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the ExploreParameter-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 to complete ExploreParameter removal.
Eliminate ExploreParameter from Safari
Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension related to ExploreParameter and select Uninstall.
Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:
- Click Safari > Clear History…
- From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
- Confirm with Clear History.
Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:
- 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.
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. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.
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 server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login.
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. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.
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.