LivingAware mac virus Removal Guide
What is LivingAware mac virus?
LivingAware is a virus with adware and hijacking abilities that specifically targets mac machines
Adload infections can cause total control loss over the browsing experience
LivingAware mac virus belongs to the Adload malware family. It has both hijacking and adware capabilities. When it infiltrates the system, it can cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects. It may also change the main settings of the browser, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine.
People are then forced to use only selected channels for browsing. This raises many user privacy and security concerns. However, that is not all – adware created for macs is much more aggressive than adware designed to infect Windows machines. It can automatically install PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and even malware without the users' knowledge.
|TYPE||Adware, browser hijacker, mac virus|
|SYMPTOMS||Changed homepage and new tab address, a different search engine; redirects to shady websites|
|DISTRIBUTION||Fake software updates, deceptive ads, software installations 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 complicated if you do not have experience. The most effective way to remove it is with a professional security tool that can 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 in general
We previously wrote about many Adload variants, like PlatformFormat, AssistSample, and ExpandedSystem. One thing that people notice immediately is that they all look the same with an icon of a magnifier inside a green, teal, or grey background. The main file of the virus can always be found in the “Applications” folder.
Many people wonder how such malicious programs manage to infect mac machines. The truth is that Adload developers are constantly looking for ways to improve. For example, it can bypass Apple's own security system XProtect. LivingAware mac adware also uses various evasion techniques to make it more difficult to remove.
It generates multiple other files disguised as normal system files and scatters them across the system in different folders. It becomes really difficult to eliminate such infections for average users. Often, such attempts result in the renewal of the infection as people fail to eliminate all the related files.
Crooks use multiple different channels to spread Adload online
Even though Flash Player was discontinued in 2020 and replaced by HTML5, users still fall for prompts that say they need to update their Flash Player to access some kind of content on the website. Adload developers use this to their advantage to deliver their malicious programs.
Another common way Mac adware is spread is through “cracked” software installations from peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms and Torrent pages. Such platforms are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of malware. Even though it might get costly to pay for software licenses, you may save in the long run by keeping your system running smoothly.
One of the most important things to do that many do not realize is keeping your operating system and software updated. Hackers like to use software vulnerabilities to deliver their malicious programs. Developers release security patches regularly to fix this so install them as soon as they come out.
Remove the LivingAware mac virus
Manual removal may be a race against time. With launch agents, daemons, and 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 LivingAware 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 suspicious 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 total virus removal. Therefore, we still strongly suggest you perform a scan with security software.
Remove the browser extension
An extension to your browser is also added by LivingAware that 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.
It would help if you removed 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 the menu bar.
- From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.
Getting rid of LivingAware 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.