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How to uninstall the SkilledUnit adware from your operating system?

Also Known As: Ads by SkilledUnit
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is SkilledUnit?

SkilledUnit is an adware-type app with browser hijacker traits. It operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns and promoting fake search engines through modifications to browser settings. Additionally, SkilledUnit likely has data tracking abilities.

Due to the questionable techniques used to distribute adware and browser hijackers, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). SkilledUnit has been observed being proliferated via fake Adobe Flash Player updates.

SkilledUnit adware detections on VirusTotal

SkilledUnit adware in detail

Adware delivers banners, pop-ups, coupons, surveys, and other intrusive advertisements. They can be displayed on any visited website and/or different interfaces. The adverts seriously diminish the browsing experience by overlaying webpage content and slowing down the browsing speed.

Furthermore, intrusive ads endanger device and user safety. Intrusive advertisements endorse various sale-oriented, rogue, untrustworthy, deceptive/scam, and malicious sites. What is more, some of these adverts can be triggered (by being clicked on) to stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).

Browser hijacker reassigns browsers' homepage, new tab/window, and default search engine URLs - to fake web searcher addresses. Hence, with such a piece of software installed: new browser tabs/windows opened and search queries typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address.

Fraudulent search engines usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect (or cause redirection chains leading) to Yahoo, Bing, Google, and other legitimate ones.

Browser hijackers can reset any changes users try to make to their browsers, or they can restrict/deny access to the browser settings outright. Therefore, restoring a hijacked browser is impossible without removing the software affecting it.

Most PUAs (adware and browser hijackers included) have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, and so on. The gathered data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

In summary, the presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by SkilledUnit
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Fortinet (Adware/Cimpli!OSX), 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Adware in general

ResultsTechGuideMicroLauncherLaunchOptimization, and WebKey are some examples of adware-type apps. They appear legitimate and harmless. Users are lured into download/installation with various functionalities, which are seldom operational.

Practically all PUAs advertise nonexistent features. The sole goal of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers; hence, functionality and user safety are irrelevant. PUAs are designed to deliver intrusive ad campaigns, hijack browsers, cause redirects, and collect private and sensitive information.

How did SkilledUnit install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing method of packing regular programs with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system.

Intrusive advertisements are used to proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to download/install these applications without user permission. PUAs may also have "official" promotional sites from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer bundled/harmful content.

When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings to opt-out from additional apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate; however, they redirect to various questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so forth).

In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with SkilledUnit, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up displayed when SkilledUnit adware is present on the system:

Pop-up displayed when SkilledUnit adware is detected on the system

Text presented in this pop-up:

"SkilledUnitd" will damage your computer.

 

This file was downloaded on an unknown date.

 

OK
Show in Finder

Delusive installer (fake Flash Player updater) promoting SkilledUnit adware;

First installation step:

Delusive installer used to promote SkilledUnit adware (step 1)

Second installation step:

Delusive installer used to promote SkilledUnit adware (step 2)

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

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

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

SkilledUnit adware removal:

Remove SkilledUnit-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 skilledunit 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 SkilledUnit removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by skilledunit 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 skilledunit 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 skilledunit 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 SkilledUnit QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by SkilledUnit on your mobile device.
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