How to remove NetModuleSearch adware?

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

NetModuleSearch

How to remove NetModuleSearch from Mac?

What is NetModuleSearch?

Applications like NetModuleSearch serve advertisements. Also, they can be designed to collect various information. It is known that NetModuleSearch functions not only as adware, but also as a browser hijacker: it promotes some fake search engine (its address) by changing browser settings. NetModuleSearch and other apps of this type are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), it is because most of the times users download and install them unknowingly. It is worthwhile to mention that this particular app is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

NetModuleSearch adware

In most cases apps like NetModuleSearch serve ads in forms of coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc. Users who click them often end up on various untrustworthy web pages or even allow those ads to execute scripts designed to download and/or install some unwanted software. This particular app is designed to promote a fake search engine by making its address as a homepage, address of the default search engine and new tab. Therefore, when NetModuleSearch's users open a browser (new window), new tab and enter search queries into URL bar, they are forced to visit address of a certain fake search engine. In most cases users cannot undo the changes made by a browser hijacker as long as it is installed. Furthermore, it is very likely that NetModuleSearch collects data related to user's browsing habits. For example, IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites. It may be capable of gathering personal, sensitive details too. Moreover, its developers could sell recorded data to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Users who have apps like NetModuleSearch installed on a browser and/or operating system installed may become victims of identity theft, have problems related to web browsing safety, online privacy, and/or other issues. Therefore, it is recommended not to trust apps of this type and uninstall any installed ones as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by NetModuleSearch
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AD [Trj]), BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.Rload.5), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.l), Full List (VirusTotal)
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.

There is a great number of applications like NetModuleSearch, some examples are WebFunctionSearch, AssistiveDisplaySearch and ExploreDivision. As a rule, they are designed to serve advertisements (and collect various data, and/or promote fake search engines). Therefore, they are useless to their users and can be the reason behind various problems. Neither NetModuleSearch or other adware should be downloaded and installed.

How did NetModuleSearch install on my computer?

As mentioned in the introduction, NetModuleSearch is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. It is common that such installers are used to distribute not only PUAs but also malicious programs (e.g., ransomware, Trojans). Also, unwanted downloads, installations can be caused by clicking deceptive ads that are designed to execute certain scripts or when those apps are distributed by including them in download and/or installation setups of various programs. This distribution method is known as "bundling". It is common that users download and/or install PUAs alongside with software that they. In most cases offers to download and/or install PUAs can be found "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual", or other similar settings of setups. However, users often download and install programs without checking and changing them. By doing that they allow for included PUAs to be downloaded and/or installed too.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Programs, files should be downloaded from official pages and via direct links. Third party downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), and other similar tools, sources should not be used to download and/or install any software - they often are used to distribute various unwanted applications. If a download and/or installation setup has settings like "Custom", "Advanced", then they should not be left unchecked - it is common that those settings can be used to decline offers to download and/or install additional software. Intrusive ads that are displayed on questionable websites should not be clicked as well - those ads tend to be designed to promote (open) untrustworthy pages or download, install unwanted, potentially malicious software. If there are any suspicious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins and/or add-ons installed on a web browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system, then they should be uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with NetModuleSearch, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Files related to the NetModuleSearch adware that need to be removed:

  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetModuleSearch/NetModuleSearch
  • ~/Library/Application Support/com.NetModuleSearchDaemon/NetModuleSearch
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.NetModuleSearch.plist
  • ~/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.NetModuleSearchDaemon.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! Rogue setups/apps that promote the NetModuleSearch adware are designed to create a new device profile. Therefore, before taking any further removal steps, perform these actions:
1) Click the "Preferences" icon in the menu bar and select "Profiles"

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote pavadinimas (Step 1)

2) Select the "NetModuleSearch" profile and delete it.

Remove rogue profiles designed to promote pavadinimas (Step 2)

3) Perform a full system scan with Combo Cleaner anti-virus suite.

After performing these actions, you can proceed with further removal steps for this browser hijacker/adware.

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:

NetModuleSearch adware removal:

Remove NetModuleSearch-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 netmodulesearch 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 NetModuleSearch removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by netmodulesearch 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 netmodulesearch 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 netmodulesearch 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 NetModuleSearch 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 NetModuleSearch on your mobile device.
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