PlatformFormat mac virus Removal Guide
What is PlatformFormat mac virus?
PlatformFormat mac virus can bypass XProtect and modify browser settings
Mac machines can be infected by Adload which has many capabilities
PlatformFormat is a mac virus that belongs to the Adload malware family. It specifically targets mac machines, and it has both adware and hijacking capabilities. It can cause an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects.
It may also change the main browser settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. However, adware created for mac systems is much more aggressive than adware designed to infect Windows. It can initiate scripts and install PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) or even malware in the background without the users' knowledge.
|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||ReimageIntego should be used to completely wipe out any data left and fix the remaining damage|
PlatformFormat in detail
Most people do not notice an Adload infection until it has already started making changes. One of the biggest reasons for this is the fact that it can bypass Apple's own security system XProtect. Malware and PUA developers are constantly looking for ways to reach mac users.
The main file of the virus can be found in the “Applications” folder. We previously wrote about many other variants of Adload, like AssistSample, ExpandedSystem, and CentralGeo. All of them have the same icon – a magnifying glass inside a green, teal, or grey background.
However, that does not mean that it is simple to remove. The malicious program generates multiple other files disguised as normal system files and scatters them across the system in different folders. That is why it is best to know about security experts' guidelines and avoid such intruders to prevent damage to your device.
It should not be surprising that most of the time users infect themselves when installing programs from unsafe sources. Torrent websites, and peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms where people can find “cracked” software, are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of malware. It is impossible to know if the listed packages do not contain any malicious files.
It is best to use official web stores and developer websites whenever you are looking for new programs. It might get costly but you may save in the long run by keeping your system running smoothly. Besides, “cracked” software installations are illegal and can have expensive consequences.
Another popular method that Adload developers use is fake Flash Player updates. Even though Flash Player was discontinued in 2020 and replaced by HTML5, many people do not know this. Crooks take advantage of this and create pages that display deceptive messages saying that users need to update or install Flash Player to access some kind of content.
Downloading software from legitimate sources can save people from viruses
Removal of PlatformFormat Mac adware
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 which is a normal 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 various persistence techniques and drops many files across the system, making browser extension and application removal difficult.
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 PlatformFormat 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
An extension to your browser is also added by PlatformFormat which 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.
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 ReimageIntego. 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 PlatformFormat 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
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.