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How to uninstall OceanLotus malware from Mac computers

Also Known As: OceanLotus malware
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Severe

What is OceanLotus?

Research shows that the OceanLotus 'backdoor' targets MacOS computers. Cyber criminals behind this backdoor have already used this malware to attack human rights and media organizations, some research institutes, and maritime construction companies .

The OceanLotus backdoor is distributed via a fake Adobe Flash Player installer and a malicious Word document (it is likely that threat authors distribute the document via malspam emails).

OceanLotus scam

If opened, the aforementioned malicious Word document suggests that users enable macros commands. If enabled, these extract an executable file, which is the dropper of the OceanLotus backdoor (designed to install the backdoor onto the operating system and establish its persistence).

OceanLotus is designed to collect operating system information (such as serial numbers, hardware UUIDs, MAC addresses, OS versions), encrypt the details, and send it to its Command and Control (C&C) server. There are at last three servers that this malware uses: mihannevis[.]com, mykessef[.]com and idtpl[.]org.

Since OceanLotus is a backdoor Trojan, it can receive backdoor commands as well. Research shows that supported commands allow cyber criminals to download and execute files on the infected machines, run various commands in Terminal, upload, remove/delete files, send files to servers, and get configuration information.

In this way, OceanLotus provides cyber criminals with remote access to infected computers and allows them to perform certain actions. They can use this backdoor to collect system information, download personal files (documents, photos, etc.) and install malicious software including ransomware, cryptocurrency minersTrojans, and other software of this kind.

Threat Summary:
Name OceanLotus malware
Threat Type Backdoor, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names (FlashUpdate.app.zip) Avast (MacOS:OceanLotus-Q [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.MAC.OceanLotus.B), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/OceanLotus.A), Kaspersky (HEUR:Backdoor.OSX.OceanLotus.a), Full List (VirusTotal).
Detection Names (malicious document) Avast (MacOS:OceanLotus-H [Trj]), BitDefender (Trojan.MAC.Generic.2316), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/OceanLotus.E), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Dropper.OSX.OceanLotus.a), Full List (VirusTotal).
Symptoms Backdoor 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 Infected email attachments, fake Adobe Flash Player installers, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Some examples of other malware that is compatible with macOS are Bird Miner, Eleanor, Proton, and AppleJeus.

Cyber criminals attempt to trick users into installing malware, which steals sensitive information that can then be misused for malicious purposes (e.g., to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, steal identities), and to install other malware onto the system.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

OceanLotus can be found in a malicious Word document that installs this backdoor when users enable macros commands.

It is very likely that the aforementioned document is distributed via malspam emails. In most cases, these emails are disguised as important, official messages from legitimate organizations, companies, or other entities.

Some examples of other file types that can be used to distribute malware via emails are JavaScript files, executable files (like .exe), and archive files such as ZIP, RAR. OceanLotus is also distributed via a fake Adobe Flash Player installer, which has nothing to do with the legitimate installer for the Adobe Flash Player.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software and files from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, unofficial websites or other sources of this kind.

Avoid third party installers. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings, and decline offers to download or install unwanted software. Do not click ads that are displayed on dubious websites, since they can open other untrusted websites or even cause unwanted downloads and installations.

Remove any unwanted, suspicious applications (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) that are installed on the browser. The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are installed on the operating system.

If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Malicious Word document used to distribute OceanLotus backdoor:

oceanlotus backdoor malicious document used to distribute oceanlotus

Example of a MS Word document used to spread OceanLotus Backdoor:

MS Word document spreading OceanLotus backdoor

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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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 adware-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/Application Support/

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

In the "Go to Folder..." bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Remove malicious extensions from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove malicious Safari extensions:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

Open the Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

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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
OceanLotus malware QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of OceanLotus malware on your mobile device.
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