One of the things that annoyingly pop up on your screen is whenever a video or a game won’t play because your Adobe Flash Player needs to be updated first. What’s the first response to this pop up? You immediately click on the update in hopes that you can play that online game or watch that video if you get it updated but sometimes there are consequences in store for you because you unknowingly allowed a cybercriminal to encode harmful codes to your Mac through this update.
They have a tendency to operate with fake system utilities- Mac Auto Fixer or Mac Cleanup Pro- that reports issues that don’t even exist in your software and would, sometimes, successfully manipulate users to activate a licensed copy of the malware. Either of the two fake system utilities would be installed in the computer- unknowingly by the user- and they would run scans on the computer and would report hundreds of non-existent issues on your computer. What happen next is the constant annoying browser rerouting and the consequence of the bogus software activity.
Why the Cybercriminals use Flash Player
The reason behind why these criminals would bait users with flash player is probably because this is a common application that’s being used by many and that there are many videos and online games that would require the use of it too so it’s often easy to prey on most users because let’s face it, we would much rather listen and watch high quality content and if it has to come to simply having to update your Flash Player, then why not? Most people wouldn’t see what’s wrong with having to update their Adobe Flash Player and most have considered the program a trustworthy one which is why it’s such an obvious bait to be used by criminals to perform their crime.
The virus manifests itself by starting it off with a pop-up that would state that the user’s Adobe Flash Player is outdated and in need of an update which would promptly advertise a latest version download to the user. This is the bait that a user tends to fall for because encoded in that “later version download” is a different code than what the user should be expecting which would pave the way for the bug to enter the system. It’s kind of like inviting a dangerous kid inside your house willingly because you thought that he simply needed help and you had a kind enough heart to let him in, not knowing that he had a different agenda up his sleeves all along. Don’t worry though; it happens to a lot of users.
How The Virus Works
Other users might not fall for the trap too easily, suspecting something fishy on the pop-up warning that doesn’t coincide with their knowledge on updating software. There are a number of things that doesn’t actually add up to the update like the URL of the sites that produces the Adobe Flash Player update is already a giveaway since they’re nothing like the legit sites. Another thing is the fact that despite the ‘later’ or ‘cancel’ buttons that serve as options; clicking them doesn’t stop the sites from continually popping up until a little bit later.
The fact that this malware is only the beginning of more malwares to ruin your experience with your computer can actually be a scary thought. Redirections are caused by this malware because it changes your internet settings and eventually interferes with the DNS server preset. But actually downloading and updating the false Adobe Flash Player changes the game and puts the user in greater risks that what has actually bargained for.
The program will establish itself in Login Items and then start to use antivirus evasion mechanisms like launching unnecessary scans on the computer and reporting various issues that are said to slow down the computer but they’re actually non-existent and would just bait the user even more to fall for another trap. To some users, it would cause an alarm that would eventually make them cave in to pay to fix the issues that they think is happening in their computer and would opt to purchase the fake licensed version that the cybercriminals offer.
But fortunately, there’s actually a way to dodge these petty cybercriminals and to avoid them hacking into your MacOS.
Step by Step Removal of the Fake Adobe Flash Player Update Virus
- Open Utilities folder.
- Look for the Activity Monitor. Double click it.
- Under it, look for the entry that doesn’t appear like it belongs there. Look for the suspicious one and select it. Then choose to Quit Process.
- There will be a window that will pop up and ask if you’re sure to quit the process. Choose to Force Quit.
- Then click the Go button again, and then choose Applications on the list. Look for the malware and the press right click, and Move to Trash. If they ask for a password, simply input your user’s password.
- Go to Apple Menu and click System Preferences option.
- Select Accounts and choose the Login Items. You will then be provided by a list of apps that launch when the computer starts up. Look for the one that doesn’t belong there and then proceed to choose “-“ after you find it.
How to Get Rid of the Pop Ups on your Mac Web Browser
Before you start with the steps, make sure that you’ve set the browser’s settings into its default settings before the malware changed it into its own default settings.
- Reset Safari
- Open browser and go to the Safari menu. From the drop-down list, choose Preferences.
- Open the Privacy tab at the top after you’ve chosen Preferences. Look for the option that says Remove All Website Data and select it.
- A confirmation display dialogue will appear and it will include a brief description on what will happen after you choose to reset everything. It will only state that you’re simply going to be logged out of some services and will meet other changes with the website behaviour after resetting. If you’re fine with all of that, you can choose to proceed and click the Remove Now button.
- To selectively clear data from specific websites, look for the Details button and click it. It can be found under the Privacy section of the Safari Preferences.
- You will be given a list of websites that have potentially stored sensitive content into your computer, like cache and cookies. Look for the ones that cause the trouble and choose to Remove or Remove all. Click Done once you’re ready to exit.
- Resetting Google Chrome
- Open Chrome.
- Choose the Customize and Control Google Chrome menu icon found on the upper right.
- Select Options.
- A new window will appear. Then choose Under the Hood tab and click Reset to defaults.
- Resetting Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox.
- Choose Help- Troubleshooting Information.
- Then proceed to click Reset Firefox from that page that will appear.
Remove the Update Virus by Using FreshMac Removal tool
The Freshmac removal tool is an application that provides security and optimization for your Mac. It had the ability to secure your system from the virus that was encoded in the update for the Adobe Flash Player that the user downloaded. This application is meant to clean up your computer and remove any unwanted and unnecessary applications that have been downloaded into your system and will protect a user’s privacy by deleting tracking cookies; it can also free up a user’s disk space and manage start up applications.
Here are the steps that will automatically remove the Adobe Flash Player Update on your Mac:
- Download the Freshmac installer onto your Mac (make sure you got it from a legit store). Run the file by double clicking it to open the install window, choose the destination disk and press continue. A system dialogue will pop up asking for password to authorize set up. Input the password and choose Install Software.
- After the completion of the installation process, the application will then automatically scan the computer from any suspicious malwares that have been installed into it. It will scan caches, logs, and will even check the Mac for any privacy issue.
- After the scan, it will report the status of your Mac. It will display the health status and the number of issues that the application has detected in the system. Choose to Fix Safely to remove these issues.
- After that’s done, the user can check if the update virus has disappeared. It the problem still persists, go to the Uninstaller option on the Freshmac application and look for any suspicious files. Click Fix Safely to uninstall any unwanted application.
- Proceed to Temp and Startup Apps panes and eliminate any suspicious applications or items that are there.
It’s a good think that there are ways to officially remove the inconspicuous Adobe Flash Player update virus and it can be done by simply resetting the programs in your browser. It’s also a good think that there’s an application available that can thoroughly remove the malware from your system.
Still, it’s always better to keep in mind not download or install any updates on any program installed in your system that don’t come from any legit sites because it will only cause trouble in your software and will slow down your system’s run and evidently, you will be the one to suffer the consequences.