Mac EXE Virus (Mac)

Also Known As: Mac EXE malware
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

How to remove "Mac EXE Virus" from Mac?

What is "Mac EXE Virus"?

Mac EXE Virus is a rogue application that infiltrates Mac computers and gathers various system-related data. Note that this malware is proliferated using an executable (.exe or EXE) file, which is developed for the Windows Operating System. MacOS does not support this format by default. This malware is distributed using an installation setup of a cracked Little Snitch version, which is a popular Mac/Windows Firewall app. Research shows that, as well as proliferating Mac EXE Virus, the cracked version of Little Snitch is also used to distribute adware and browser hijackers (e.g., TapuFind, Search Operator).

Mac EXE Virus scam

Mac EXE Virus functionality is rather basic. After successful infiltration, Mac EXE Virus immediately gathers various information about the system (the list of collected information is below) and sends it to a remote server. In addition, Mac EXE Virus checks if there are certain applications installed (the list of searched apps is below) and also sends details to a remote server. Mac EXE Virus then connects to the remote server and downloads several files to the "~/Library/X2441139MAC/Temp/" directory. At time of research, Mac EXE Virus gathered information that is not particularly sensitive (e.g., processor details, memory, etc.), however, it is promoted using a quite unique malware distribution technique. Therefore, there is a high probability that this virus is either still in development or is used to test whether the malware distribution method is effective. If Mac EXE Virus is still being developed, there is a high probability that it will start gathering more sensitive data, such as saved logins/passwords, browsing history, etc. Furthermore, since it is capable of downloading various data, it might be used to proliferate other viruses. Therefore, this virus should be eliminated immediately.

Threat Summary:
NameMac EXE 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 Mac EXE 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.

The internet is full of malware that shares similarities with Mac EXE Virus (e.g., Speakup, Shlayer, CoinTicker, CookieMiner, and many others). These viruses are developed by different cyber criminals and, thus, their behavior might also differ - some gather information, others misuse the system to stealthily mine cryptocurrency, proliferate viruses, or perform a number of these activities. In any case, all pose a direct threat to your privacy and browsing safety. Therefore, you should eliminate these threats immediately.

How did Mac Exe Virus infiltrate my computer?

As mentioned above, Mac EXE Virus is distributed using an executable (.exe) file (hence its name). This file format runs on the Windows Operating System. Note that running it on Linux, MacOS, and other operating systems will not work - users will simply encounter an error, however, MacOS security systems (such as Gatekeeper) check only those files that run on MacOS (e.g., .dmg, .app, and so on). Therefore, formats such as .exe are not scanned. Therefore, cyber criminals can bypass the security systems. The malicious Little Snitch installer, through which which Mac EXE Virus is promoted, is a MacOS application, however, its content includes the aforementioned executable. Installer also contains Mono - .NET framework-based software that is used to run Microsoft .NET applications on other platforms (such as MacOS, Linux, Android, Solaris, etc.). Installer employs Mono to run the malicious executable which places the Mac EXE Virus virus into the system. As mentioned, this distribution method is quite unusual - malware of this type is often distributed using trojans, software cracks, and spam email campaigns. Trojans cause "chain infections" (they infiltrate computers and continually inject additional malware). Spam campaigns proliferate viruses via malicious attachments. Criminals send hundreds of thousands of emails with deceptive messages and infectious attachments (e.g., PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, or similar). They attempt to convince recipients into opening the attached files (or links that lead to these files), thus resulting in malware infections. Software cracks bypass paid software activation, however, criminals often use these tools to proliferate malware. Rather than gaining access to paid features, users end up infecting their computers.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Caution is the key to computer safety. Therefore, pay close attention when browsing the internet and downloading/installing software. We strongly recommend that you download applications from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are often used to proliferate viruses, and thus these tools should never be used. Note that most set-ups that the Mac EXE Virus is distributed through are downloadable on various publicly-accessible torrent sites that are not safe. This is a clear example of cyber criminals proliferating malware through third party download sources. Keep installed applications updated. To achieve this, however, use only implemented functions or tools provided by the official developer. Never use software cracking tools, since: 1) software piracy is considered a cyber crime, and; 2) there is a high risk of computer infections. Think twice before opening email attachments. Files that are irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running at all times is also extremely important, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any harm. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Screenshot of cracked Little Snitch installation setup:

Mac EXE Virus promoting installer (sample 1)

Screenshot of a fake Adobe Flash Player installer which is executed by the rogue installer of Little Snitch:

Mac EXE Virus promoting installer (sample 1)

List of data recorded by Mac EXE Virus:

  • BootROMVersion
  • Memory
  • ModelIdentifier
  • ModelName
  • NumberofCores
  • NumberofProcessors
  • ProcessorDetails
  • ProcessorSpeed
  • SMCVersion
  • SerialNumber
  • UUID

List of apps checked by Mac EXE Virus:

App Store.app; Automator.app; Calculator.app; Calendar.app; Chess.app; Contacts.app; DVD Player.app; Dashboard.app; FaceTime.app; Font Book.app; Image Capture.app; Launchpad.app; Mail.app; Maps.app; Messages.app; Mission Control.app; Notes.app; Photo Booth.app; Photos.app; Preview.app; QuickTime Player.app; Reminders.app; Safari.app; Siri.app; Stickies.app; System Preferences.app; TextEdit.app; Time Machine.app; UtilitiesiBooks.app; iTunes.app

Instant automatic removal of Mac EXE 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 Mac EXE 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 mac exe 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.

Mac EXE malware removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove mac exe 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 mac exe 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 mac exe 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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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
Mac EXE 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 Mac EXE malware 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.