Do not trust the "There is a new Codec Pack version" scam

Also Known As: There is a new Codec Pack version pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove "There is a new Codec Pack version" from Mac computers

What is "There is a new Codec Pack version"?

"There is a new Codec Pack version" is a scam run by deceptive websites. By claiming that Adobe Flash Player might be outdated, the scheme attempts to trick users into downloading/installing a fake software updater. Rogue updates are used to spread a wide variety of untrustworthy and even malicious content. For example, various Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) such as adware and browser hijackers, and malware including ransomware, trojans, etc. The researched sample (promoted via "There is a new Codec Pack version") installed MyCouponsmart adware and the SearchMine browser hijacker, however, it might also be "bundled" with other, additional PUAs and/or malicious software. Most visits to deceptive/scam websites occur through redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or PUAs already infiltrated into the system.

There is a new Codec Pack version scam

Visitors to the web page promoting the "There is a new Codec Pack version" scam first see multiple pop-ups windows. The tag-line pop-up at the top of the web page states that the latest version of Flash Player is necessary to encode and/or decode (i.e., play) audio files in high quality. Therefore, users are urged to click the download link to install the latest version. The pop-up in the middle of the page claims that Adobe Flash Player might be out of date and thus might have been blocked. Visitors are informed that, to continue using the plug-in, they might need to update it. The site then displays another window, which overlays the aforementioned pop-up. The text therein recommends that users install a new codec pack to improve performance. The "small-print" at the bottom of the page clarifies that the update might contain supplementary free software offers. I.e., there is additional content bundled into it. Users can decline these offers or install the updates from official sources. There are also additional details provided concerning the website's privacy policy and information storage. Each of the pop-ups have download, install, update and OK buttons, which initiate download of the bogus updater. When any button is clicked, the updater is downloaded and the page shows yet another pop-up. The window prompts users if they actually wish to leave the web page. installing the updates allows untrustworthy and harmful content onto the system. Products promoted through these dubious methods should not be downloaded or installed, as they are highly likely to cause serious issues.

PUAs are one of the main causes of rogue redirects to deceptive pages (e.g. those running the "There is a new Codec Pack version" scam). PUAs can also force-open other dubious/dangerous sites such as untrustworthy/rogue, sale-based, compromised and malicious web pages. Adware-type apps (e.g. MyCouponsmart) are also classified as PUAs - they deliver intrusive advertisements that diminish the browsing experience, redirect to rogue/harmful websites, and some can stealthily download/install dubious content. PUAs called browser hijackers (e.g. SearchMine) operate by modifying browsers, restricting/denying access to settings and promoting fake search engines. Most PUAs (regardless of their specific type) can track browsing-related data, with information of interest including but not limited to IP addresses, browsing and search engine histories, geolocations and personal details. This private data can then be shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for financial gain. The presence of PUAs on a device can thus result in various system infiltration and infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, you are advised to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name There is a new Codec Pack version pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Scam claims users Adobe Flash Player might be outdated.
Related Domains nmifq.ponynebula[.]pw
Detection Names (nmifq.ponynebula[.]pw) Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (nmifq.ponynebula[.]pw) 157.185.169.206
Promoted Unwanted Application MyCouponSmart and SearchMine (other content is also likely)
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.

"Update to the latest version of Flash Player", "10 Critical Security Patches For Mac Flash Player", and "Fake Flash Player Update" are some examples of scams similar to "There is a new Codec Pack version". These schemes are furthered through the use of social engineering and scare tactics. The purpose is to encourage users into performing certain actions such as downloading/installing and purchasing untrustworthy or malicious software, revealing personal information (e.g. banking account or credit card details, etc.), making monetary transactions (e.g. various payments, fees, fines, etc.), calling expensive and fake technical support numbers and so on. The underlying goal of all these schemes is to generate revenue for the designers.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs can infiltrate devices via fake updaters, however, they can also be downloaded/installed together with other software. "Bundling" is the term used to define this deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular products with unwanted or malicious content. Rushing download/installation processes (skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.) increases the risk of potential system infiltration and infections. Some PUAs have "official" promotional web pages on which they are endorsed as "useful" and typically "free" software. Clicking intrusive ads can trigger them to execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Research all products, before downloading/installing. Use only official and verified download channels. Avoid Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders. Software should be updated with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers, as opposed to high-risk third party updaters. When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive advertisements usually seem normal and harmless, however, they can cause redirects to dubious web pages (e.g. adult-dating, pornography, gambling and others). If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, inspect the device and immediately remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the "There is a new Codec Pack version" scam pop-up windows:

Top pop-up:

 

Latest version of Flash Player is recommended to encode and/or decode (play) audio files in high quality - click here to update for latest version.

------

 

Center pop-up:

 

Software update

"Adobe Flash Player" May be out of date

The version of "Adobe Flash Player" on your system may not include the latest flash update and may be blocked. If you use the updated version of "Adobe Flash Player", it might be needed to complete this action.

Later Update OK

------

 

Second center pop-up (overlays the first):

 

Highly Recommended!

There is a new Codec Pack version. Download Now
for better performance.
OK

------

 

Pop-up displayed after any of the "update" buttons are pressed:

 

Are you sure you want to leave?

OK Download Flash...

Text presented at the bottom of the page promoting the "There is a new Codec Pack version" scam:

The download process will be performed by launching mediadownloader, which is a platform for the installation of software ("Installer"). The Installer may include suggestions for the installation of additional free software offers ("Offers"), alongside the Flash installation. You may choose to install the offers during the installation process. You may also remove the offers after you have chosen to install them. IP address will be logged for analytics and fraud detection reasons and will be deleted from our records after 24 hours. You can download Flash without using the Installer from its original site. Your use of the Installer is subject to the Installer's Terms of Use & Privacy Policy. The Installer is not associated or endorsed by Flash.  Uninstall

Appearance of "There is a new Codec Pack version" scam (GIF):

Appearance of There is a new Codec Pack version scam (GIF)

Screenshot of instructions detailing how to install the fake Flash Player updates:

There is a new Codec Pack version scam fake flash update install instructions

Screenshot of the fake Flash Player update installation setup:

There is a new Codec Pack version scam fake flash update installer

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:

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 there is a new codec pack version pop-up 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.

There is a new Codec Pack version pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove there is a new codec pack version pop-up 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 there is a new codec pack version pop-up 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 there is a new codec pack version pop-up 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
There is a new Codec Pack version pop-up QR code
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