How to uninstall unwanted apps that open prizeseeker pages?

Also Known As: prizeseeker pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove apps that open prizeseeker pages from Mac?

What is prizeseeker?

Prizeseeker is a family of deceptive pages that are designed to trick people into providing personal information, installing potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) like browser hijackers, adware, or even malicious programs like Trojans, ransomware, and so on. Either way, none of the prizeseeker pages are trustworthy. Quite often websites of this kind get opened when people click deceptive advertisements, visit other shady pages and/or have some PUA installed on a browser and/or operating system. In other words, it is not common for prizeseeker and other websites to be opened by people intentionally.

prizeseeker scam

At the time of the research prizeseeker loaded a couple of deceptive websites ("Latest version of Adobe Flash Player" and "Flash Player Might Be Out Of Date") that are designed to trick visitors into using a fake Adobe Flash Player. Also, it loaded "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor", a website that is designed to trick visitors into providing personal information. Typically, fake Adobe Flash Player installers are designed to install browser hijackers, adware and other PUAs, or even malicious software like ransomware, Trojan. Browser hijackers are applications that are designed to promote fake search engines by changing browser's settings and gather various information. Typically, they target browsing data, however, in some cases these PUAs record personal, sensitive information as well. Adware-type apps feed users with various intrusive advertisements. However, quite often they gather various information too. Ransomware is a software that encrypts victim's data. It makes sure that its victim could not decrypt files without a tool (or tools) that usually can be purchased only from cyber criminals who designed it. Trojans are malicious programs that often are designed to cause chain infections. In other words, they infect operating systems with other malware. To sum up, fake Adobe Flash Player installers can be the reason behind a variety or problems like identity theft, monetary and/or data loss, installation of unwanted, or even malicious software, issues related to privacy, browsing safety, and so on. "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" is a page that is designed to trick visitors into believing that they were selected as winners of some prize. In order receive it they are encouraged to complete a survey and provide various information. Typically, websites of this type are designed by scammers who attempt to extract personal information (like credit card details) that could be misused to generate revenue (make fraudulent transactions, purchases, etc.). Therefore, websites of this type should never be trusted. It is very likely that there are other types of deceptive, untrustworthy pages that are part of the prizeseeker family. As we mentioned in the introduction, none of them can be trusted and should be ignored.

Threat Summary:
Name prizeseeker pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Related Domain prizeseeker34[.]live
Serving IP Address (prizeseeker34[.]live) 185.89.102.59
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.
Removal

To eliminate malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your Mac with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

More examples of families of untrustworthy websites like prizeseeker are hndry, vnbue and noname. Typically, they load pages that are designed either to trick visitors into installing some unwanted or even malicious software and providing various sensitive information. As we mentioned in the introduction, it is common that browsers open such shady, potentially malicious pages because of PUAs that are installed on them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases people download and/or install unwanted software (PUAs) by clicking deceptive advertisements that cause its downloads, installations by executing certain scripts, or by downloading and/or installing programs that have PUAs included in their setups as additional offers. The second distribution method of potentially unwanted software is called "bundling". This method is being used to trick people into downloading and/or installing unwanted programs together with software that they download and/or install willingly. As a rule, offers to download and/or install PUAs can be found in setup's "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings. Quite often people download and/or install programs without checking them. By leaving them unchecked (unchanged) they allow for included software to be downloaded and/or installed too.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

We recommend not download (or install) software from questionable websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), third party downloaders, installers and other similar channels, tools. It should be downloaded from official websites and through direct links. If a download or installation setup contains "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings, then they should not be left unchecked. Quite often those settings contain offers to download and/or install various PUAs. Furthermore, it is not safe to click ads that are displayed on questionable pages (e.g., on pages related to gambling, adult dating, pornography). Those ads can be designed to run scripts that would download and/or install unwanted apps. Also, ads of this kind often open untrustworthy websites. If there are some unwanted apps (extensions, plug-ins or add-ons) installed on a browser, then they should be removed as soon as possible. Programs of this kind that are installed on the computer/operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Prizeseeker loads "Latest version of Adobe Flash Player" scam (GIF):

prizeseeker loads fake adobe flash player installer download website

Prizeseeker loads "Flash Player Might Be Out Of Date" scam (GIF):

prizeseeker loads fake adobe flash player installer download page

Prizeseeker loads "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scam (GIF):

prizeseeker loads dear safari user you are todays lucky visitor scam

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. 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 prizeseeker 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.

prizeseeker pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove prizeseeker 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 prizeseeker 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 prizeseeker 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
prizeseeker pop-up 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 prizeseeker pop-up on your mobile device.
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