PowerSet mac virus Removal Guide
What is PowerSet mac virus?
PowerSet is a mac virus that has various evasion capabilities and functionalities
Mac viruses can have hijacking and adware capabilities
PowerSet virus belongs to the Adload malware family. It specifically targets mac machines. The virus has both hijacking and adware capabilities. This means that 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 developed for mac machines is much more aggressive than adware that infects Windows systems. The most worrying thing is the fact that it can download PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or even malware in the background without the users' knowledge.
Crooks can also use rogue advertising networks that place ads leading to dangerous websites. Changed browser settings force people to use only selected channels for browsing which raises many user privacy and security concerns. Keep reading our guide to learn how to avoid such infections and how to remove the intruder.
|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||ReimageIntego should be used to completely wipe out any data left and fix the remaining damage|
PowerSet mac virus in detail
We previously wrote about many other Adload variants such as IntranetLookup, PhantomRich, and JourneyDrive. They all look very similar – a magnifier inside a green, teal, or grey background. The main file of the virus can be found in the “Applications” folder. However, that does not mean that it is easy to remove.
Most people do not notice the intruder until it already has started making changes. That is because it can bypass Apple's own security system XProtect. Adload also generates multiple other files disguised as normal system files to make it more difficult for the average user to eliminate. That is why it is best to avoid such infections in the first place.
Adload can infiltrate the system bypassing Apple's security
Just like any other malware, Adload viruses are also spread through Torrent websites and peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms. We urge you not to install “cracked” software. The websites that distribute them are unregulated because this activity is illegal. So it is impossible to know if the packages you are downloading do not contain any malicious files.
Another common infection channel is email. Threat actors use it to create convincing letters that look like urgent messages from well-known companies. They include malicious links or infected attachments. Do not open any attachments from unknown senders.
Finally, you should keep your operating system and software updated. Hackers can use software vulnerabilities to deliver their malicious programs. Software developers regularly release new security patches to prevent this from happening. They should be installed as soon as they come out.
Remove the PowerSet adware
Manual removal may be a race against time. With launch agents, daemons, 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 PowerSet 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 PowerSet 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 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 the menu bar.
- From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.
Getting rid of PowerSet 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
Stream videos without limitations, no matter where you are
There are multiple parties that could find out almost anything about you by checking your online activity. While this is highly unlikely, advertisers and tech companies are constantly tracking you online. The first step to privacy should be a secure browser that focuses on tracker reduction to a minimum.
Even if you employ a secure browser, you will not be able to access websites that are restricted due to local government laws or other reasons. In other words, you may not be able to stream Disney+ or US-based Netflix in some countries. To bypass these restrictions, you can employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN, which provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, not slowing you down in the process.
Data backups are important – recover your lost files
Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to personal data. Once it is executed on a machine, it launches a sophisticated encryption algorithm that locks all your files, although it does not destroy them. The most common misconception is that anti-malware software can return files to their previous states. This is not true, however, and data remains locked after the malicious payload is deleted.
While regular data backups are the only secure method to recover your files after a ransomware attack, tools such as Data Recovery Pro can also be effective and restore at least some of your lost data.