Speakup Trojan (Mac)

Also Known As: Speakup malware
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

How to remove "Speakup" from Mac?

What is "Speakup"?

Speakup is a high-risk trojan designed to target Linux and MacOS operating systems. This malware is used to proliferate cryptomining applications and misuse infected systems to mine cryptocurrencies without the device owner's consent. Although Speakup typically targets Linux servers, in some cases, it also infects other systems. The presence of Speakup significantly diminishes computer performance and poses a threat to the hardware.

Speakup virus

This malware infiltrates systems by exploiting various OS vulnerabilities. After successful infiltration, Speakup injects the system with XMRing-based apps that are designed to mine Monero cryptocurrency. Cryptomining gained popularity during the rise of the Bitcoin currency in the last quarter of 2017. The price increased dramatically and, thus, many people started mining various cryptocurrencies. To successfully mine, however, high-end hardware is paramount (the more powerful system you have, the more revenue you generate). Therefore, the mining process can become costly. To avoid the cost and risk to hardware, cyber criminals started developing viruses such as Speakup, which employ servers and regular computers to mine cryptocurrency. This happens without users' consent and all revenue goes to the cyber criminals. Be aware that cryptomining can take up to 100% of system resources, and so the computer can become unstable (or crash) and virtually unusable (it barely responds). In addition, fully-loaded hardware generates excessive heat. Therefore, within certain circumstances (bad cooling systems, high room temperatures, etc.), the components can overheat (hardware might be permanently damaged). Therefore, the presence of a cryptomining virus can lead to significant financial and data loss. Injecting the system with cryptominers is not the only feature of Speakup. This malware is capable of infiltrating other devices connected to the same local network. Therefore, this virus can infect the entire local network, thus allowing cyber criminals to generate more revenue, since a single device (especially a home computer) is not very beneficial. Hundreds of devices, on the other hand, allow cyber criminals to generate many thousands of dollars. Furthermore, Speakup checks running processes to detect any removal processes. If one is identified, Speakup attempts to terminate it by rebooting the system. If you have noticed a significant reduction in system performance and you suspect Speakup's presence, immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all detected threats. If that does not help, restoring the system from a backup is also an option.

Threat Summary:
NameSpeakup 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.
Removal

To eliminate Speakup malware 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 many malicious applications that misuse computers to mine cryptocurrency. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) JS:CryptoNight, NRSMiner, CookieMiner, and JSMiner-C. Operating systems targeted by these viruses may differ (some target Windows, others MacOS and/or Linux), however, their presence ultimately leads to the same issues: diminished system performance, potential threat of overheating hardware, and system instability. For these reasons, you should elimination these apps immediately.

How did Speakup install on my computer?

As mentioned above, cyber criminals proliferate this malware by exploiting operating system security vulnerabilities. Clearly, however, the malicious file must first infiltrate the system. To achieve this, cyber criminals typically use various methods, including spam email campaigns, unofficial software download sources, fake software updaters, software cracks, and trojans. Spam campaigns are used to send malicious attachments (e.g., Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, JavaScript files, executables, etc.). Criminals send deceptive emails with messages encouraging users to open attached links/files. In doing so, users manually trigger the infection. Third party software download sources present malicious executables as legitimate software, thereby tricking users into downloading and installing viruses. Fake software updaters infect computers by exploiting outdated software bugs/flaws or simply downloading and installing malware rather than updates. Software cracks are used to bypass paid software activation, however, cyber criminals often use them to proliferate malware. Therefore, rather than activating paid software free of charge, users end up infecting their computers. Finally, trojans are malicious applications that, once infiltrated, continually inject viruses into the system. Bear in mind that Speakup proliferates itself via a local network and, thus, there is a high probability that it has infiltrated your computer from another device connected to the same network.

How to avoid computer infections?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the internet and downloading, updating, and installing software. We strongly recommend that you carefully analyze each email received. If the file/link is irrelevant or the sender seems unrecognizable/suspicious, the attachments should not be opened. Furthermore, download apps from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Furthermore, keep installed applications and operating systems up-to-date. To achieve this, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Never use software 'cracks', since using pirated software is considered a cyber crime (you are stealing from the developers) and cracks are often used to proliferate malware. There is a high risk of a computer infection. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also extremely important - these tools can detect and eliminate malware before any harm 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.

Instant automatic removal of Speakup malware: 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 Speakup 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. 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 speakup 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.

Speakup malware removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove speakup 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 speakup 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 speakup 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.