How to avoid installation of Tarmac malware

Also Known As: OSX/Tarmac trojan
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

How to remove Tarmac from Mac computers

What is Tarmac?

Tarmac is malicious software categorized as a trojan and also known by the name OSX/Tarmac. This trojan is distributed through other malware called OSX/Shlayer.D, which is a new variant of the OSX/Shlayer malicious program. OSX/Shlayer.D typically injects Tarmac via fake Adobe Flash updaters/installers. Tarmac can be used to download, install, and execute malicious apps. I.e., to infect computers with other malware. To prevent this, we strongly recommend that you remove Tarmac from your system immediately.

Tarmac trojan distributing fake flash player installer

OSX/Shlayer.D malware downloads and executes Tarmac using two applications that embed two code-signed and RSA-encrypted scripts. The OSX/Shlayer.D script achieves this by connecting to the Control and Command server of Tarmac malware, downloading and then executing an encrypted archive that contains Tarmac. The Tarmac launcher loads this malware from its folder (Player.app/Contents/Resources/Player.app/Contents/MacOS/CB61E0A8408E) with administrator privileges. Once this is done, it asks the user to enter the administrator's password. If the victim enters it, Tarmac loads WebView, which mimics the installer of Flash Player, however, the malware will run even if the credentials are not entered - entering them will simply lead to opening the fake Adobe Flash Player installer and, potentially, login/password theft (this data is often saved to a remote server). Once installation of Tarmac is complete, WebView loads a legitimate installer of Flash Player just to trick users into believing that the installation is successful. Tarmac receives commands through the Command & Control server. These can be used to perform various actions. For example, to force browsers to open addresses that lead to the download web pages of software (possibly, malware). Other commands might be used to download, install, and execute various applications. It is likely that cyber criminals use Tarmac to proliferate malware (infect computers with other malicious programs). For example, ransomware, banking malware, etc. In most cases, trojans are used to proliferate software that is capable of stealing personal information, including passwords, logins, and other sensitive details. Furthermore, installed malware can be designed encrypt data so that cyber criminals are able to blackmail victims by forcing them to pay ransoms. In any case, Tarmac/OSX/Tarmac must be removed immediately. The same applies to OSX/Shlayer.D malware.

Threat Summary:
Name OSX/Tarmac trojan
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names Avast (Other:Malware-gen [Trj]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Bundlore.DPS), eScan (Adware.MAC.Bundlore.DPS), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Downloader.OSX.Shlayer.a), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Fake flash updater, infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the victim's computer added to a botnet, installation of malware.
Removal

To eliminate OSX/Tarmac trojan 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.

More examples of trojans (programs that are often used to spread other malware) are Casbaneiro, Tortoiseshell, and Torpig. Their payloads might be different, however, cyber criminals commonly use software of this type to distribute high-risk malware. Therefore, a computer infected with trojan-type software can lead to serious problems. Information about how to avoid installation of malware is provided below.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Tarmac is distributed through OSX/Shlayer.D, another malware infection that installs it through an 'installer' disguised as an installer/updater of Adobe Flash Player. Research shows that OSX/Shlayer.D is distributed through various deceptive web pages, which inform visitors that the installed Adobe Flash Player is out-of-date. It encourages them to update it by downloading a file that, if executed, infects computer with OSX/Shlayer.D malware. This, in turn, injects Tarmac. In summary, computers infected with Tarmac are often the result of using a fake installation promoted on a deceptive, unofficial website.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download and installation of malware can be avoided by not using fake software updaters/installers. Software must be updated using only tools, implemented functions and/or websites owned/created by official software developers. The same applies to activation of licensed software. Unofficial ('cracking') tools are illegal and are often designed to proliferate malware. Do not download programs or files from dubious, unofficial websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks, third party downloaders, etc. The safest way to download programs and files is using official web pages and direct download links. Emails that are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses and contain attachments should not be trusted. Cyber criminals often disguise them as official, important, etc., however, when the attached file is opened, it installs malware. Finally, have reputable antivirus 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.

Screenshots of deceptive websites encouraging visitors to update Flash Player with a fake updater:

fake mac flash player updater 1 fake mac flash player updater 2 fake mac flash player updater distributing flash security patches

Screenshots of a fake Flash Player installer:

Tarmac scam fake flash installer fake flash installer 2 fake flash installer 3

Tarmac installer asking for administrator privileges:

tarmac asking for administrator privileges

Website that is opened after installation of Tarmac:

tarmac redirects to a download page of questionable software

Instant automatic removal of OSX/Tarmac trojan: 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/Tarmac trojan. 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/tarmac trojan 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/Tarmac trojan removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove osx/tarmac trojan 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/tarmac trojan 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/tarmac trojan 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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

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/Tarmac trojan 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/Tarmac trojan on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of OSX/Tarmac trojan today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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