OSX_FLASHBCK.A Virus (Mac)

Also Known As: OSX_FLASHBCK.A malware
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove OSX_FLASHBCK.A from Mac?

What is OSX_FLASHBCK.A?

OSX_FLASHBCK.A is a detection name of dated Mac malware called Flashback. This malware is categorized as a password stealer. OSX_FLASHBCK.A was distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Therefore, it was likely to infiltrate systems without permission. At time of research, OSX_FLASHBCK.A has became irrelevant, since it was designed to exploit a Java bug that is now fixed. Recently, however, Trend Micro company's anti-virus suite 'HouseCall' started delivering errors claiming that the system is infected with OSX_FLASHBCK.A malware. As mentioned, OSX_FLASHBCK.A is no longer relevant and, therefore, these error notifications are often 'false positives'.

OSX_FLASHBCK.A scam

A 'false positive' describes the situation when anti-virus suites detect legitimate files as viruses. This typically occurs due to inaccuracies (or misleading entries) in virus databases. False positive detections may not seem problematic, since the system is not infected, but in many cases, anti-virus suites permanently delete detected malware. Therefore, legitimate files might be mistakenly removed. Deletion of valuable data can lead to serious problems, including financial issues, lost documents, and so on. Therefore, although inaccuracies in virus databases may seem harmless, they are not. Bear in mind that Trend Micro is a reputable company and likely to resolve this issue swiftly. Therefore, you should temporarily remove or disable the HouseCall anti-virus suite until the database is updated and Trend Micro confirms that the issue has been resolved. Until then, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. If you no longer wish to use HouseCall, do not leave your system unprotected. Install an alternative anti-virus tool (for example, Combo Cleaner). Before doing so, however, uninstall any previous anti-virus programs, since these applications are likely to interfere and might not function properly.

Threat Summary:
NameOSX_FLASHBCK.A malware
Threat TypeMac malware, Mac virus
SymptomsYour Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methodsDeceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
DamageInternet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

OSX_FLASHBCK.A shares many similarities with dozens of other false positives, such as Trojan:Win32/Fuerboos, Trojan.gen.npe.2, ERDNT.LOC, etc. In most cases, the virus exists on the internet and can infiltrate systems, but the database contains misleading entries. Therefore, anti-virus suites sometimes treat legitimate files as malware that does not even exist on the specific system. In any case, false positive detection might lead to permanent data loss.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Viruses such as Flashback are distributed using various tools and methods. The most popular five are: 1) "bundling"; 2) fake software updaters; 3) third party software download sources; 4) trojans, and; 5) spam email campaigns. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party apps together with regular software/apps. Developers are not honest enough to disclose installation of "bundled" apps properly. Therefore, they are hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Fake updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or downloading and installing malware rather than promised updates. Unofficial download sources (peer-to-peer [P2P] networks, free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, etc.) present malware as legitimate software. In this way, users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses. Trojans cause chain infections (one virus proliferates another). Spam campaigns proliferate malicious attachments (e.g., MS Office documents, JavaScript files, etc.) that, once opened, download and install malware.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the Internet and updating/downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. Files that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Keep installed applications up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer only. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes. Opt-out of additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. We recommend that you avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since they often include rogue apps. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

HouseCall detecting OSX_FLASHBCK.A false positives:

OSX_FLASHBCK.A false positive detection

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac adware removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select “Applications”. In the applications folder, look for “MPlayerX”,“NicePlayer”, or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove osx_flashbck.a malware related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

OSX_FLASHBCK.A malware removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove osx_flashbck.a malware related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove osx_flashbck.a malware related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove osx_flashbck.a malware related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
OSX_FLASHBCK.A malware QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of OSX_FLASHBCK.A malware on your mobile device.
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