Most of the time, users are unaware that what they’ve thought was an unassuming software turned out to be a virus that would hack into their system given from them by cybercriminals who have somehow managed to hide the malware in a program that most users would trust to be clean and safe for their computer. This is the current modus of cybercriminals that users have to be aware of because these criminals are making use of programs that are familiar and trusted by people to hide a threat that the computer would be unable to detect.
Chromium, an open-source project that introduced the Google Chrome to the world, which is the most common internet browser being used, has given anyone the power to create their own web browser. Cybercriminals have created their own version of Chromium and have been fooling Mac users that what they’ve created is the legit thing and having users download their version. It looks every bit the same as a legit Chromium would but the add-ons that it possesses may pave the way for trouble.
How Do You Know That Your Mac Has Been Infected?
The fake Chromium looks a lot like its legit counterpart, the Chrome and most users wouldn’t notice the difference between them and wouldn’t be able to tell that the one that they had installed in their system was a fake one. The performance also isn’t questionable since it’s smooth-performing but the moment that the user actually gives it a shot is when all the false appearance crumbles and the user becomes aware of what it truly is.
All is fine and dandy in appearance, but the user will soon realize that the Chromium redirects the user to sites to predefined sites like Yahoo! search and even ends up setting itself as the default browser on the computer without the user’s approval or permission. Redirects will continually occur every time the user searches something in the browser or even as much as whenever the user opens the browser. But to make matters worse, the plugin will find its way to Safari, Firefox and even the real Chrome and these other browsers will be affected by the redirections and rerouting that the Chromium does.
How Do You Acquire the Virus?
So how does this virus make its presence known to Mac users? Well, as previously mentioned in the above text, the redirections to sites that the user didn’t even intend on going to, setting itself up as the default browser without any approval or permission, and even snaking its way to other browsers so redirections will also occur when the user uses a different browser. These are the tell-tale signs that the user’s computer has been infect but the question is, how did the user end up acquiring that virus?
It’s actually done in an incredibly subtle way that users don’t even notice that it’s been done. Chromium is acquired by a user through bundling wherein a user will acquire extra items when they download a program, and this is actually considered as a popular software mechanism which makes the invasion even more subtle.
Although it does mention that “Chromium browser powered by Yahoo!” will be installed and this search engine will be the priority of other browsers. Most people could opt out of this if they knew better, but unfortunately, many fall baits on the trap thinking that no harm could be done with the added plugin, after all, it’s not the default browser that’s being used.
But this issue continues to persist until it affects all your browsers and the constant redirects to sites that you did not even want to be in can get to a user’s nerve at some point which is why the most logical next step is to do a thorough clean up on your Mac to get rid of the virus and to undo the damage and tweaking that it has caused in your system.
Manual Removal of Chromium Virus:
Here’s the step-by-step process on how you can manually remove the unintentionally downloaded application that’s been causing a ruckus in your Mac. Make sure the follow through all the steps listed down below.
- Open Utilities folder.
- Look for the Activity Manager and double click on it.
- Under this folder, look for Chromium and Chromium Helper. Choose them and click on Quit Process. Do this to the two, individually.
- A window will pop up and ask if you are sure to Quit the Chromium and Chromium Helper. Choose the Force Quit option.
- Head to the Go menu in Apple Finder and then choose Select Folder.
- Type and paste the following in the folder search dialogue: /Library/LaunchAgents
- When the LaunchAgents directory opens, find the following entry and move it to Trash:
- Use the Go to Folder lookup feature and use this to move the folder named ~/Library/LaunchAgents. When this path opens, look for the same entry as mentioned above and move it to trash.
- Also go to the ~Library/Application Support folder. Look and move the following entry to the trash:
- Click the Go button again but this time around, choose the Applications on the list. Look for the entry for app on the interface, right click and move to Trash. If you’re required for a password, input the user password.
- Go to Apple menu and choose the System Preference option.
- Choose Accounts and go to Login Items. The system will show you a list of items that launch when you start up your computer. Look for the Chromium and click the “- “button.
Using FreshMac to remove the Chromium virus
Freshmac is a new application that provides security and optimization to your computer and can also clean up your computer from any virus that has been unintentionally installed into it. This means that Freshmac will be a helpful tool when it comes to removing the annoying Chromium virus that has found its way into your computer. It has the ability to thoroughly clean up your computer from the invasive virus.
- First, download the Freshmac installer into your computer. Double click on the Freshmac.pkg file to run the installer window, choose the destination disk and click on Continue. The system will show a dialogue that will ask you for a password to authorize the setup. Key in your password and choose Install Software.
- After the installation process has been completed, the software will automatically run a scan on your computer that consists of five steps. It will scan the cache, logs, unused languages, trash and will check your Mac for any privacy issues.
- A scan report will show the current status of your system health and also the number of issues that have been detected for each of the above categories. To remove junk files and address the issues that have been reported, click the Fix Safely
- After this, check if the redirect issue still continues to persist. If it does, go to the Uninstaller option on the GUI of Freshmac. Look for the entry that appears suspicious, select it and click Fix Safely option. This will force-uninstall the application causing the issues.
- Go to Temp and Startup Apps to have the suspicious items deleted. After all of this, the Chromium virus would no longer be causing any trouble in your system.
Remove the Chromium virus on your Mac browsers
- Reset Safari
- Open the Safari browser and go to the Safari menu. In the drop-down list, choose Preferences.
- Choose the Privacy tab after the Preference menu appears. Look for the option that says Remove All Website Data and click on this option.
- A confirmation dialogue will appear that will tell you what will happen to the browser after you click reset. The rest will only log you out on some services. Choose the Remove Now option.
- To selectively clear data, look for the Details button in the Privacy section of the Safari Preferences.
- You will be given a list of all the websites that have contained potentially sensitive data. Look for the ones that are causing your browser trouble and choose Remove or Remove All. After that, click Done to exit.
- Reset Google Chrome
- Open Chrome and choose the Customize and Control Google Chrome.
- Choose Options.
- Click on the Under the Hood tab and then choose Reset to defaults.
- Reset Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and choose Help-Troubleshooting Information
- Once the page opens, choose Reset Firefox
It’s frightening how cybercriminals have the knowledge to create malwares that can be hidden through bundles and can look every bit like the actual software that it copies. What’s more frightening is how users usually fall for the bait and end up compromising the quality of their computer and suffer the consequences of what they have unknowingly allowed to take part in their Mac.
Despite the fact that there are ways to manually remove the virus, it’s always better to pay close attention to the things that we download into our computer because we will never know what consequences a user will end up facing. The fact that a cybercriminal can incorporate a virus into your system in such a subtle way, a user needs to be aware and alert at all times. Also do note that prevention is always better than having to figure out a way to remove the threat so always make sure that you’re downloading from a legit site.