Beware What You Click
Once the malware was downloaded to her Mac then all sorts of crazy pop ups would hit the Mac’s screen, CPU usage soared, and the battery began draining three times as fast as normal. It wasn’t a virus or a worm, but more of a Trojan horse. As far as she and tech support could tell, it wasn’t malicious and didn’t cause any harm– other than the constant annoyance of pop up ads.
It took a couple of hours for two people to research the problem, find a verifiable solution, and then dig around until all the malware files were found and deleted. Is it any wonder that people hate online advertising with a vengeance (please don’t hate ours; it helps to pay the bills).
If you’ve run into such exploding advertising malware on your Mac, or know someone who has, there are easier ways to get rid of the infection. Our IT group has been trying out Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware for Mac which is a new utility designed specifically for Mac malware of the less invasive but more annoying variety.
It scans your Mac, checks for typical adware installations, and does the deed in just a few seconds. Success is based on an ever-changing, but proprietary database that identifies over 160 adware mutants. Anti-Malware for Mac may have the fastest scan of any protection app.
One of the offenders is Genieo Innovation. What they innovate is a unique way to spread adware. They’re a part of Somoto, another company which does much the same thing as many others; hijack computers with adware (Commodo, Conduit and others come to mind).
Genieo Innovation is an Israeli company, specializing in unwanted software which includes advertising and user tracking software, commonly referred to as a potentially unwanted program, grayware, or malware. They also own & operate InstallMac which distributes additional ‘optional’ search modifying software with other applications. In 2014, Genieo Innovation was acquired for $34 million by Somoto, another company which “bundles legitimate applications with offers for additional third party applications that may be unwanted by the user”. This sector of the Israeli software industry is frequently referred to as Download Valley.
If you want to avoid such malware feasting on your Mac then make sure to avoid those download sites which offer all kinds of free options, but the one thing you’ll end up with for sure is a digital STD (sucker transmitted disease).