PureAdvantage mac virus Removal Guide
What is PureAdvantage mac virus?
PureAdvantage infiltrates mac machines through “cracks,” freeware, and deceptive ads
PureAdvantage infiltrates macs without the users' knowledge
PureAdvantage is a mac virus that has adware and hijacking capabilities. When it enters the system it starts changing the browser settings like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. It can start generating commercial content like pop-ups, banners, and redirects.
However, this virus is much more sinister than you might think. It can automatically open malicious links and automatically install PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), and malware without the users' knowledge. This adware is much more aggressive than adware targeting Windows machines and it belongs to the Adload malware family.
It can bypass Apple's security system XProtect, so users usually do not know about its existence until it starts to lay its roots. People can see the malicious program in their system by going to the Applications folder. All the viruses from the Adload family look almost the same. You might see a magnifying glass logo inside a green, teal, or grey circle.
|TYPE||Adware, browser hijacker, mac virus|
|SYMPTOMS||Changed homepage and new tab address, a different search engine; redirects to shady websites, increased amount of commercial content|
|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|
We have previously discussed numerous apps from the same family, including CleanSearch, OperativeEngine, ExecutiveProduct, and many more. The developers are constantly evolving these viruses to evade security systems. Many Mac users think that it is impossible to get infected but that is not true for quite some time now.
All the Adload developers had to do was remove a single strand from their code and it became undetectable by XProtect. They also use other evasion techniques like spreading the files related to the program all across the system so they would be more difficult to locate for the average user.
Users cannot simply drag the program to the trash can and get rid of it that way because it quickly returns to its place. It also implements several components, like Login Items and Daemons, which would prevent users from removing the extension and the application installed on the system level.
How to avoid Adload
Because the malicious program is so difficult to remove from the system, you should avoid it at all costs in the first place. Because many mac users think they are untouchable, they ignore the most simple and basic security experts' advice. Many people browse through unsafe pages and click on random links without thinking.
You should shy away from pages that engage in illegal activities. That includes illegal streaming sites, torrent pages, and peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms. Pages like these are unregulated, so they are full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects that can lead to websites that use social engineering techniques to spread malicious apps.
Very often, Adload is spread through fake Flash Player updates. People encounter pages that say their Flash Player is outdated and they need to install the newest version to be able to view media, like videos, or play web-based games. However, Flash Player was discontinued in 2020 and replaced by HTML5.
PureAdvantage is spread using social engineering techniques
Since then, people do not need any additional applications to support media content online. The function is embedded in all of the websites already, so if you see a similar message prompting you to update Flash Player, it is definitely fake.
Another very common method to spread adware is software bundling. The PureAdvantage mac virus could have gotten into your system when you were installing another program. This usually happens on freeware distribution sites. They include additional programs in the installers without clearly disclosing it on their page.
That is why we always recommend using only official web stores and developer websites to install software. Even though it might get costly, you may save in the long run by not having your operating system damaged. Besides web stores have a selection of thousands of apps for free so you will definitely find something useful.
Remove the PureAdvantage mac virus
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 PureAdvantage 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 PureAdvantage 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 PureAdvantage 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
Do not let government spy on you
The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet.
You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.
Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.
Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack
Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.
When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.