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How to remove RunningUpdater adware?

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

How to remove RunningUpdater from Mac?

What is RunningUpdater?

Adware is a type of software that generates revenue for its developer by feeding users with advertisements. Although RunningUpdater functions as adware and as a browser hijacker: it serves ads and changes the browser's settings to promote a specific address. Moreover, it is highly likely that RunningUpdater can access (collect) information relating to user's browsing activities or even more personal details. Apps like RunningUpdater are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), that is because it is not common for them to be downloaded and installed by users on purpose. It is known that the installer for this app is disguised as the installer for Adobe Flash Player.

RunningUpdater adware

Usually, apps like RunningUpdater display annoying advertisements that, if clicked, open various untrustworthy, potentially malicious pages. In some cases, users who click those ads allow them to execute scripts that download or even install unwanted software. Typically, adware-type apps serve banners, coupons, pop-ups, surveys, or ads of other types. This particular app changes the browser's settings as well: it changes the address of a default search engine, home page, and new tab to an address of a fake search engine. Fake search engines can generate misleading results, display dubious ads among their results. Although, it is more common for them to simply show results generated by some legitimate search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing). Typically, all the changes that were made by a browser hijacker can be undone only after its uninstallation. Therefore, users of the RunningUpdater can revert the browser's settings to their previous only after the removal of this app.

Another reason to get rid of RunningUpdater or any other app that is similar to it is that it can be designed to collect various data for its developer. For example, geolocations, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites (or other browsing-related information), or even credit card details, passwords, telephone numbers, and other sensitive information. In one way or another, it is not safe to have applications like RunningUpdater installed on a browser or the operating system: it is possible that their developers could use gathered details for marketing purposes, sell them to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), or monetize them in another way.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by RunningUpdater
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-MT [Trj]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.Generic.19970), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.m), 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.

RunningUpdater is more or less similar to many other PUAs that function both as adware and browser hijackers. A couple of examples are AthenaSearch, ProtocolPort, and InitialSkill. Their main goals are to promote some fake search engine (or some other website), generate advertisements, and (or) collect various information. It is strongly advised not to download and install apps of this type, it could lead to problems like identity theft, issues with online privacy, browsing safety, or other problems. As mentioned in the first paragraph, usually users download and install apps like RunningUpdater inadvertently.

How did RunningUpdater install on my computer?

RunningUpdater is distributed using a deceptive tactic: by disguising its installer as the installer for Adobe Flash Player. It is important to know that third-party, fake installers can be used to distribute malicious software, for instance, ransomware, Trojans. It is also common for users to download, install unwanted applications alongside other programs. More precisely, through the downloaders, installers that come bundled with PUAs. Typically, users download, install unwanted apps when they do not decline offers to download or install them, which can be done using "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes that downloaders, installers have. In some cases, users cause unwanted downloads, installations via deceptive ads - by clicking on ads that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is not safe to download applications from unofficial pages through third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients), or using other channels and install them via third-party installers. It is because they often are used t distribute unwanted, malicious apps. It is advisable to download files and programs from official websites and via direct download links only. It is also recommended to analyze downloaders, installers that have settings like "Advanced", "Manual", "Custom", etc.: quite often, such installers include offers to download, install unwanted applications. Additionally, it is advisable not to click on intrusive that appear on shady websites: when clicked, those ads can open untrustworthy sites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Users who already have some unwanted, suspicious apps (extensions, add-ons, or plug-ins) installed on their browsers should remove them and do the same with the software of this kind that is installed on their computers. If your computer is already infected with RunningUpdater, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed when RunningUpdater adware is installed:

RunningUpdater adware warning pop-up

Text presented in this pop-up:

"RunningUpdaterd" will damage your computer.

This file was downloaded on an unknown date.

 

OK

Show in Finder

Fake installer used to disribute RunningUpdater adware (first installation step):

Delusive installer used to promote RunningUpdater adware step 1

Fake installer used to distribute RunningUpdater adware (second installation step):

Delusive installer used to promote RunningUpdater adware step 2

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

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

IMPORTANT NOTE! In some cases malicious applications like RunningUpdater 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 RunningUpdater adware using Combo Cleaner:

RunningUpdater adware removal:

Remove RunningUpdater-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 runningupdater 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 RunningUpdater removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by runningupdater 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 runningupdater 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 runningupdater 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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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 RunningUpdater 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 RunningUpdater on your mobile device.
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