Remove LightAgent from the MacOS

Also Known As: Ads by LightAgent
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove LightAgent from Mac?

What is LightAgent?

Belonging to the Pirrit adware family, LightAgent is an adware-type potentially unwanted application (PUA). Many people download and install apps of this type inadvertently. LightAgent installs additional adware, an app called MacPerformance, and tricks people into updating software with fake update tools. Typically, adware-type apps force browsers to display unwanted apps, however, they sometimes also collect data relating to users' browsing habits.

LightAgent adware

Applications such as LightAgent, MacPerformance, and other adware, displays intrusive ads that conceal underlying content of visited websites. If clicked, these ads open untrustworthy websites. In some cases, they can run scripts that download (or even install) unwanted, potentially malicious apps. In any case, never click ads of this kind. Examples of advertisements that adware-type apps deliver include coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on. Another common problem is information tracking. In some cases, these apps gather data such as users' IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, and other similar data. Private details might also be recorded. The developers of these PUAs share the details with third parties (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse private data to generate revenue. Therefore, remove any installed PUAs such as adware immediately. Note that the app that LightAgent installs (MacPerformance) asks for permission to access and control Google Chrome (or other browsers). Granting this permission provides access to documents and data in the browser, and to perform actions within the app. After installation, LightAgent starts to display pop-up windows that encourage users to update software with fake update tools - these might be used to distribute other unwanted apps.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by LightAgent
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Pirrit-AT [Adw]), DrWeb (Adware.Mac.Pirrit.104), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Pirrit.AN), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Pirrit.s), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

LightAgent is identical to another app called DisplayUpdate and similar to other apps such as AssistEngine, GenerelOpen, and many more. All are categorized as adware and feed users with deceptive, intrusive advertisements that might lead to unwanted downloads, installations, and other problems.

How did LightAgent install on my computer?

Few people download and install PUAs intentionally. Typically, this happens when they click intrusive advertisements or download/install various software. Developers often add unwanted apps in the set-ups of other programs and do not disclose this information properly. I.e., they hide offers to download or install additional software in "Custom", "Advanced", and other options of regular software. This deceptive marketing method is called "bundling". People who fail to check these settings allow PUAs to be downloaded or installed with other programs by default.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download all files and programs from official, trustworthy websites. Do not use other sources such as third party software downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, unofficial pages, or other channels of this kind. If a download or installation setup contains settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual", etc., check them carefully and change the settings is necessary. This applies to set-ups that include offers to download or install additional applications. If clicked, many ads redirect people to dubious web pages relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on. To stop these unwanted ads and redirects, remove all unknown or suspicious extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins installed on the browser, and programs installed on the computer/operating system. If your computer is already infected with LightAgent, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

LightAgent adware running in Activity Monitor:

LightAgent in activity monitor

LightAgent displays pop-up windows that offer to update software (these are actually fake tools):

LightAgent showing fake software update pop-up

MacPerformance asks for permission to control web browser:

MacPerformance asks for various permissions

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: 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 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. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

LightAgent adware removal:

Remove LightAgent-related 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 ads by lightagent 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.

Ads by LightAgent removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by lightagent 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 ads by lightagent 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 ads by lightagent 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Ads by LightAgent 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 Ads by LightAgent on your mobile device.
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