Remove CrescentCore and other unwanted apps from Mac

Also Known As: OSX/CrescentCore malware
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

How to remove CrescentCore from Mac?

What is CrescentCore?

CrescentCore is the name of a malicious program that is also known as OSX/CrescentCore. It is malware that might be used to install rogue software (e.g., Advanced Mac Cleaner) or some malicious Safari browser extensions. CrescentCore is distributed through a fake Flash Player's installer/updater. Additionally, virus detection engines have trouble detecting CrescentCore as a threat.

CrescentCore scam

When the fake Flash Player's installer is launched, CrescentCore checks if it is running on a virtual machine (VM) and if there is antivirus program installed on the operating system. It is known that it does not infect computers if launched on VM or operating system that has antivirus software installed on it. In other cases it either installs the aforementioned Advanced Mac Cleaner app on MacOS or some rogue app on Safari. However, there is more than one version of CrescentCore, other versions might be behaving differently. It is worth mentioning that Advanced Mac Cleaner is categorized as a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and it is promoted through deceptive websites. Apps of this type should not be trusted. Besides, quite often they are not free, their developers use them to swindle people out of their money. Simply said, these apps detect fake issues (fabricated errors, viruses and so on) and encourage users to fix/eliminate them with a paid version. Furthermore, CrescentCore might be used to infiltrate browsers with adware, browser hijackers and other unwanted apps. If installed, they gather browsing data such as IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries and so on. Besides, some of the installed apps might be used to record personal details. Typically, all collected information gets misused to generate revenue, which means people who have unwanted apps of this type installed on their browsers or computers may experience problems with browsing safety, privacy and so on. Adware displays ads that lead to potentially malicious pages. However, sometimes clicked ads run scripts that download/install various unwanted apps. One way or another, it strongly recommended not to have apps of this type installed. All unwanted apps (including CrescentCore) should be removed as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name OSX/CrescentCore malware
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, there are unwanted apps installed on a browser and computer
Distribution methods Fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads, questionable websites
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information, computer infections
Removal

To eliminate OSX/CrescentCore 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.

CrescentCore is similar to another program of this type called Shlayer. Typically, people download and install such apps unintentionally - they are disguised as some other programs, in this case updated version of Flash Player. The problem is that these they lead to even more unwanted installations that might be the reason behind computer infections and other problems such as privacy, browsing safety issues and so on.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

As mentioned in the introduction, CrescentCore proliferated through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer that supposed to update the currently installed version. However, instead of updating Flash Player, it installs CrescentCore which then installs even more unwanted apps. It is known that this fake installer is distributed through questionable websites. One the pages that leads to download of the setup file is some page that offers to download DC comics for free. However, download links actually lead to downloads of a fake Adobe Flash Player's installer. It is possible that CrescentCore might be distributed through other questionable websites or download sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule and so on).

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To avoid downloads and installations of malware (or other unwanted software) we recommend not to use fake updaters. Besides, there is no point in updating the Flash Player even with a legitimate setup, there are more and more pages that do not use Flash anymore. Furthermore, it is not recommended to open attachments (or links) that are included in emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Especially if received emails are irrelevant. Download all software from trustworthy, official websites. It is not recommended to use any other tools such as third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks, questionable pages and so on. Activate installed programs properly, do not bypass activations with various 'cracking' tools. Like fake updaters, they often are designed to download and install malware. Moreover, it is not recommended to use 'cracking' tools. We also advise to have a reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and scan the operating system with it regularly. 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 a pop-up encouraging users to update Flash Player with a fake tool:

CrescentCore fake flash pop-up

CrescentCore disguising as Adobe Flash Player installer/updater:

fake flash player installer promoting CrescentCore malware

Instant automatic removal of OSX/CrescentCore 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 OSX/CrescentCore 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 osx/crescentcore 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/CrescentCore malware removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove osx/crescentcore 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/crescentcore 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/crescentcore 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
OSX/CrescentCore 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/CrescentCore malware on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of OSX/CrescentCore malware today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

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.