Shlayer Trojan (Mac)

Also Known As: OSX/Shlayer virus
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

How to remove "Shlayer" from Mac?

What is "Shlayer"?

Shlayer is a trojan-type virus designed to proliferate various adware/potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) and promote fake search engines. It is typically disguised as a Adobe Flash Player installer and various software cracking tools. In most cases, users encounter this virus when visiting dubious Torrent websites that are full of intrusive advertisements and deceptive downloads.

Shlayer scam

Using Torrent and other deceptive sites as a malware distribution channel is very common amongst cyber criminals. These people present viruses as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into running malicious executables. Shlayer is one of these viruses and is designed to promote adware, unwanted applications, and fake search engines. Shlayer typically promotes the following products: Chumsearch Safari web browser extension (which assigns certain browser settings to chumsearch.com and prevents users from reverting these changes); MyShopCoupon and mediaDownloader adware; Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Cleanup Pro, and; MyMacUpdater unwanted applications. As with the Chumsearch extension, Shlayer is also designed to assign installed browsers (these viruses usually target Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) new tab URL, default search engine, and homepage options to chumsearch.com, weknow.ac, or search-operator.com. Furthermore, many other potentially unwanted applications are based on the aforementioned Advanced Mac Cleaner (e.g., Mac Speedup Pro, Mac Tweak, MacRapidizer, Mac-Mechanic, and many others). All are developed by the same criminals. Therefore, Shlayer might also be used to promote these PUAs. In any case, Shlayer might cause various issues. Adware-type applications deliver intrusive advertisements that lead to malicious websites and execute scripts designed to download/install malware. Thus, even a single accidental click might result in high-risk system infections. Furthermore, adware and fake search engines record user-system information relating to browsing activity. The list of collected data types usually includes (but is not limited to) IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and geo-locations. Collected information usually includes personal details that are shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). These people generate revenue by misusing private data. Therefore, information tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. In some cases, fake search engines feed users with misleading results that can also lead to malicious sites. Thus, having unwanted applications such as Advanced Mac Cleaner installed can lead to financial loss. These applications typically perform fake system scans and display false results that contain long lists of viruses and issues that must supposedly be removed/resolved immediately. The 'free' versions of these apps do not have this capability and users are encouraged to purchase 'advanced' versions. These applications deliver no real value and they simply clean a false list of issues.

Threat Summary:
Name OSX/Shlayer virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Removal

To eliminate OSX/Shlayer virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Distinguishing Shlayer is simple, since is distributed using dubious websites. Furthermore, its installer typically contains various unwanted applications/fake search engines hidden within "Custom/Advanced" settings. Once installation starts, Shlayer delivers a pop-up window asking for permission to change browser settings. To grant these permissions, users must enter their login details and passwords. Some Shlayer variants display a full-screen installation window, which cannot be moved, minimized, or closed. This is done to prevent users from force-quitting the installation if they deem it suspicious. In addition, installation of unwanted applications typically leaves various traces (new files and entries in various directories). You can find a list of trace examples below. In summary, Shlayer is not sophisticated malware and its presence is easy to identify. High-end viruses do not have user-friendly interfaces allowing users to decide whether to install software - they typically work in the background, without users' consent.

How did Shlayer infiltrate my computer?

As mentioned above, many of Shlayer's samples are distributed using Torrent websites. Cyber criminals present malicious Adobe Flash Player installers and software cracks as legitimate, when in fact users end up running Shlayer. In some cases, Shlayer samples are disguised as Adobe Flash Player installers/updaters and promoted using fake-error displaying websites. These sites deliver deceptive messages claiming that the user's Adobe Flash Player is missing or outdated, and encourages them to immediately install/update it. Note that lack of knowledge of these threats and careless behavior typically lead to Shlayer infection. For example, users who run various files downloaded from dubious sources are at most risk.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent these computer infections, be very cautious when browsing the internet and downloading, installing, and updating software. Remember that intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate. Once clicked, however, they redirect to dubious websites, such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar. If you encounter any of these ads/redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, download software from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are often used to promote rogue apps, and thus this software should never be used. The same rule applies to software updates. Keep installed programs up-to-date, however, this should be achieved through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any harm. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of rogue Shlayer installation setup promoting weknow.ac and Mac Cleanup Pro (GIF):

Shlayer installation setup

Another variant of Shlayer installer setup promoting search-operator.com:

Shlayer trojan pretending to be Adobe Flash Player

List of files/entries created by some variants of Shlayer trojan:

  • /Applications/Advanced Mac Cleaner
  • /Applications/MyMacUpdater
  • /Applications/MyShopcoupon
  • /Applications/mediaDownloader
  • /Library/LaunchAgents/com.MyMacUpdater.agent.plist
  • /Library/LaunchAgents/com.MyShopcoupon.agent.plist
  • /mm-plugin.dylib
  • /myshopcoupon.safariextz
  • ~ Library/Application Support/amc
  • ~ Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/Extensions/Chumsearch+.safariextension
  • ~ Library/LaunchAgents/com.pcv.hlpramcn.plist
  • ~ Library/Safari/Extensions/Chumsearch+.safariextz

IMPORTANT NOTE! Shlayer is designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles".

Shlayer preferences step 1

2) Select the "AdminPrefs" profile and delete it.

Shlayer preferences step 2

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps.

Instant automatic removal of OSX/Shlayer virus: 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 OSX/Shlayer virus. 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. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

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 browser hijacker 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/shlayer virus 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/Shlayer virus removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove osx/shlayer virus 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/shlayer virus 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/shlayer virus 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.