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How to get rid of the ProtocolPort application?

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

How to remove ProtocolPort from Mac?

What is ProtocolPort?

ProtocolPort is the app that should never be installed on the operating system or a browser: it generates advertisements, changes browser's settings to force users to visit a certain address and collects data relating to Internet browsing activities. Basically, this app functions as adware and a browser hijacker. It is important to mention that developers distribute ProtocolPort using a fake Adobe Flash Player installer to trick users into installing it. Apps that users download, install unknowingly are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

ProtocolPort adware

Adware is a type of unwanted software that is monetized by designing it to generate advertisements. It is common that those ads are deceptive and, once clicked, open unreliable websites or cause unwanted downloads, or even installations (there is a type of ads that can download, install unwanted software by running certain scripts). Therefore, it is not safe to click ads generated by ProtocolPort too. Furthermore, ProtocolPort functions not only as adware but also as a browser hijacker: it modifies browser's settings - it changes the address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab to address of a fake search engine. Therefore, ProtocolPort forces its users to use a fake search engine that either shows results generated by some other legitimate or questionable search engine, or shows its own results that may include misleading results (and untrustworthy advertisements). In order to stop ProtocolPort from generating ads and opening a specific address it is necessary to uninstall it.

It is very likely that ProtocolPort collects browsing-related information such as geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, IP addresses, and so on, or even sensitive details (for example, credit card details, telephone numbers, passwords). Such information can be misused for malicious purposes, for instance, to make unauthorized transactions, purchases, steal identities, accounts. Also, certain details could be misused for marketing purposes, sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals), or monetized in some another way. These are the main reasons why apps like ProtocolPort cannot be trusted.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ProtocolPort
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-AB [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.19928), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/Agent.BJ), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Agent.l), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.

More examples of apps like ProtocolPort are ApolloResults, OriginalModule, and AnalyzerDivision. It is common for such apps to be falsely advertised: they are promoted as legitimate, useful applications when in reality, their main purpose is to generate revenue for their developers. Moreover, apps like ProtocolPort are not only useless to their users but also can cause them various issues. Users who have already installed an app of this type on their browsers or computers should remove it as soon as possible and never download similar apps again.

How did ProtocolPort install on my computer?

It is known that the installed for ProtocolPort is disguised as the installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is important to know that fake installers can be used to distribute ransomware, Trojans other malware too. Another popular way to trick users into downloading, installing PUAs is to bundle them together with other programs. In other words, to include PUAs in downloaders, installers of other programs. Typically, users can opt out all bundled apps via "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings or by unticking checkboxes that are available in downloaders, installers. Users agree to download, install unwanted apps when they finish downloads, installations with default settings. In some cases, PUAs are distributed by designing ads to execute certain scripts. Although, unwanted downloads or installations do not occur unless users click on those ads.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advisable not to open downloads from unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, third-party downloaders, and so on, or use third-party installers to install the software. Any files and apps should be downloaded from trustworthy, official websites and via direct links only. Also, it is important to check downloaders, installers for settings or checkboxes and see if they can be used to opt out bundled applications. It should always be done before completing downloads, installations. Additionally, it is recommended not to trust (click on) ads that appear on dubious, questionable pages. Mostly because those ads can be designed to open untrustworthy websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Also, a browser and computer should not have any unwanted suspicious applications installed on them. If your computer is already infected with ProtocolPort, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Fake installer used to distribute ProtocolPort (first installation step):

protocolport adware installation step 1

Fake installer used to distribute ProtocolPort (second installation step):

protocolport adware installation step 2

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

  • ~/Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/Services/com.ProtocolPort.service.app
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.ProtocolPort.service.plist
  • /Library/Application Support/.[random_string]/System/com.ProtocolPort.system
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.ProtocolPort.system.plist

IMPORTANT NOTE! In some cases malicious applications like ProtocolPort alter system proxy settings, thereby causing unwanted redirects to a variety of questionable websites.

The redirects are likely to remain even after removing the application itself. Thus, you'll have to restore them manually.

Step 1: Click on the gear icon in the Dock to navigate to the system settings. If the icon is not present in the Dock, you can find it in the Launchpad.

Changing proxy settings - navigate to the system settings

Step 2: Navigate to the Network settings.

Changing proxy settings - navigate to the network settings

Step 3: Select the connected network and click "Advanced...".

Changing proxy settings - select the connected network and click Advanced...

Step 4: Click on the "Proxies" tab and untick all the protocols. You should also set the settings of each protocol to default - "*.local, 169.254/16".

Changing proxy settings - untick all the options and set their settings to default

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 ProtocolPort adware using Combo Cleaner:

ProtocolPort adware removal:

Remove ProtocolPort-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 protocolport 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 ProtocolPort removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by protocolport 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 protocolport 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 protocolport 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.

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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
Ads by ProtocolPort 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 ProtocolPort on your mobile device.
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