CookieMiner Malware (Mac)

Also Known As: CookieMiner virus
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove "CookieMiner" from Mac?

What is "CookieMiner"?

CookieMiner is high-risk malware that targets the Mac operating system. Following successful infiltration, CookieMiner records personal data. Its main purpose is to steal credentials of various accounts (mostly those relating to cryptocurrencies). This malware also opens a 'backdoor' called EmPyre and injects a cryptomining tool into the system. Thus, the presence of CookieMiner leads to a significant reduction in system performance. You can view the entire list of CookieMiner features below.

CookieMiner scam

CookieMiner records personal data from the Safari and Google Chrome browsers. Note that this malware also steals all browsing cookies, saved logins/passwords, and credit card information from the Google Chrome browser. In addition, it records any iPhone text messages that are backed up on the Mac system. Cryptocurrency wallet data and keys are also recorded. This information gathering poses a significant threat to users' privacy and financial safety. Cyber criminals can gain access to users' bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets, and transfer all funds. Users are likely to have all savings/earnings stolen. In addition, criminals can steal users' identities, since bank account details are often used to confirm a person's identity. Therefore, having CookieMiner installed on your computer can lead to serious privacy issues. This malware is also designed to inject a cryptocurrency mining tool(s) that misuses system resources. Note that, unlike other similar viruses, CookieMiner mines a rather uncommon cryptocurrency called Koto. In most cases, cryptomining viruses mine Bitcoins, Monero, Ethereum, and other more popular (and valuable) cryptocurrencies. Koto is a Japanese anonymous cryptocurrency. Clearly then, there is a high probability that developers of this virus are from Japan. Be aware that cryptomining can take up to 100% of system resources. Therefore, cryptominers can fully load the system, thereby making it virtually unusable (it barely responds) and unstable (it can crash). Fully-loaded hardware generates excessive heat. Therefore, within certain circumstances (bad cooling systems, high room temperatures, etc.), the hardware might overheat and be permanently damaged. As mentioned, CookieMiner opens the EmPyre backdoor, which allows cyber criminals to perform various actions on the victim's machine. It might be used to upload data to a remote server, download and execute various files, and so on. Therefore, criminals can infect hacked computers with even more viruses or misuse them to perform dubious actions (e.g., connecting to a botnet). CookieMiner malware should be eliminated immediately. In some cases, infections such as CookieMiner are direct consequences of having a browser-hijacking or adware-type applications installed. Therefore, you should uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins from your system.

Threat Summary:
Name CookieMiner virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-BR [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.MAC.Empire.L), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/Empr.I), Kaspersky (HEUR:Backdoor.OSX.Agent.h), Full List (VirusTotal)
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 CookieMiner 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.

There are dozens of viruses that share similarities with CookieMiner including, for example, LamePyre, OSX_FLASHBCK.A, and Ssl.plist. Since the developers of these rogue programs are different, the behavior might also differ. Despite this, they all pose a significant threat to your privacy and computer safety. You should eliminate these threats immediately.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

It is currently unknown exactly how cyber criminals proliferate CookieMiner, however, in most cases, these viruses are distributed using trojans, software cracks, spam email campaigns, and unofficial software download sources. Trojans are malicious applications designed to cause "chain infections" - they infiltrate computers and continually install additional malware. Software cracks allow users to bypass software activation and use paid applications free of charge, however, most are used to proliferate malware and, thus, users end up infecting their computers rather than activating software. Criminals send hundreds of thousands of emails that contain deceptive messages encouraging users to open attachments (links/files). By opening these malicious attachments, users trigger a computer infection. Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks (e.g., torrents, eMule, etc.), freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, etc. present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware. In summary, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing software. Think twice before opening email attachments. If the received email has been sent by a suspicious/unrecognizable email address or if the attachment is irrelevant, do not open anything. Furthermore, download apps from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are often used to proliferate malware, and thus these tools should not be used. Never use software cracks for these reasons: 1) using pirated software is considered cyber crime, and; 2) these tools are often used to proliferate viruses and there is a high risk of infection. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before any damage is done. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

List of CookieMiner malware features:

  • Controls the entire system using EmPyre backdoor
  • Mines Koto cryptocurrency on the infected system
  • Records Safari and Google Chrome web browser cookies
  • Records banking (credit card) credentials saved in Google Chrome
  • Records cryptocurrency wallet keys and data
  • Records iPhone messages that are backed-up in the infected system
  • Records logins/passwords saved in Google Chrome

Instant automatic removal of CookieMiner 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 CookieMiner 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 cookieminer 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.

CookieMiner virus removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove cookieminer 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 cookieminer 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 cookieminer 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.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
CookieMiner virus 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 CookieMiner virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.