How to remove ads delivered by SectionBrowser adware?

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

How to remove SectionBrowser adware from Mac?

What is SectionBrowser?

SectionBrowser is an adware-type application with browser hijacker traits. Following successful installation, it operates by delivering intrusive advertisement campaigns, makes modifications to browser settings and promoting fake search engines. SectionBrowser promotes Safe Finder via akamaihd.net. Additionally, most adware and browser hijackers have data tracking abilities that are used to spy on users' browsing activity. It is highly likely that SectionBrowser has such functionality as well. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute SectionBrowser, it is considered to be a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).

SectionBrowser adware

Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, full-page and other intrusive advertisements - typically, on any visited website. Hence, the ads do not originate from the sites themselves but are delivered by adware. These adverts overlay webpage content and restrict the browsing speed. Furthermore, upon being clicked, intrusive advertisements redirect to various dubious/malicious websites and some can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers reassign browsers' homepage, default search engine, new tab/window URLs - to the addresses of illegitimate web searchers. SectionBrowser promotes (through akamaihd.net) Safe Finder by making such alterations to browsers as well. With such a piece of software installed, every new browser tab/window opened and search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. Fake search engines are seldom capable of providing search results, so they tend to redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate ones. Any changes users attempt to make to their browsers can be automatically reset, if access to the browser's settings is permitted at all. Therefore, it is impossible to recover the hijacked browser without removing the software affecting it. What is more, most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) can track data. They can monitor browsing activity (visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, etc.) and collect sensitive data extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data usually contains personally identifiable information. PUA developers often monetize this information by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must eliminated immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SectionBrowser
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Additional Information This application belongs to Adload malware family.
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.

SearchWebPortalExtendedToolAssistiveUnit and LeadingAdviseSearch are some examples of other adware-type applications. They appear legitimate and typically offer various "handy" functionalities. However, the promised features rarely work as advertised and in most cases - they do not work at all. This is true of nearly all PUAs. The only purpose of unwanted software is to generate revenue at user expense. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs run intrusive advert campaigns, modify browsers, cause redirects and track private information.

How did SectionBrowser install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed through download/installation setups of other products. This false marketing tactic of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g. skimmed or ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content. PUAs can also have "official" promotional webpages, from which they can be downloaded. Once clicked on, intrusive ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is strongly advised to research products before download/installation. Only official and verified download channels should be used. Untrustworthy sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting (freeware) websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders - often offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, functions, and so on. Intrusive advertisements appear ordinary, however they redirect to highly suspect sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). In case of encounters with such adverts/redirects, users must check their devices and immediately remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins from them. If your computer is already infected with SectionBrowser, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once SectionBrowser installation is over:

pop-up displayed once SectionBrowser installation is done

SectionBrowser redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net:

SectionBrowser redirecting users to Safe Finder website via akamaihd.net

SectionBrowser adware's installation folder:

SectionBrowser adware install folder

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:

SectionBrowser adware removal:

Remove SectionBrowser-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 sectionbrowser 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 SectionBrowser removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by sectionbrowser 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 sectionbrowser 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 sectionbrowser 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 SectionBrowser 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 SectionBrowser on your mobile device.
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