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How to remove UnitCache adware?

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

What is UnitCache adware?

UnitCache falls under the category of both adware and a browser hijacker - it displays advertisements and hijacks a web browser by making some changes in its settings. Another significant detail about UnitCache is that this application is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

UnitCache adware

UnitCache adware in general

UnitCache generates revenue for its developer by displaying banners, pop-up ads, surveys, coupons, and (or) other annoying advertisements. Advertisements displayed by this application may be designed to open potentially malicious websites. Also, those ads may be designed to execute specific scripts and download (or install) unwanted software.

Advertisements displayed by UnitCache might be promoting websites like "MALWARE DETECTED Action Required", "We Have Detected A Potential Risk Of Unsecured Connection", "Congratulations! Netflix User!", or other sites designed to trick visitors into providing sensitive information or installing potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

It is worth mentioning that UnitCache can be called a PUA because users rarely download and install apps of this type on purpose. As mentioned in the introduction paragraph, UnitCache is designed to hijack web browsers. It changes the address of a homepage, new tab, and default search engine to an address of a fake search engine.

Fake search engines cannot be trusted because they can show misleading results (they can be designed to promote untrustworthy websites) and display dubious advertisements. Usually, fake search engines can be removed from affected browsers only when PUAs designed to promote are no longer installed.

One more reason not to trust UnitCache is that it might be designed to track browsing activity and (or) collect sensitive information like passwords, credit card details. Information collected by UnitCache may be used to commit identity fraud, hijack online accounts. Also, it could be sold to third parties (potentially cyber criminals).

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by UnitCache
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (UnitCache.service) Avast (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.23687), 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 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

UnitCache displays advertisements and promotes a fake search engine. It is possible that it collects various information as well. This app is useless and having it installed may cause various problems. There are many applications similar to UnitCache. Some examples are OptimizationTool, SkilledUnit, and ResultsTechGuide.

How did UnitCache install on my computer?

UnitCache is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player. As a rule, fake installers are promoted on deceptive websites (for example, on websites claiming that users need to update some outdated software). It is important to know that fake installers can be used to distribute malicious software.

Also, potentially unwanted applications can be distributed together with free programs. Users download or install PUAs when they do not change "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings that downloaders or installers for those programs have. This distribution method for PUAs is called bundling.

In some cases, users cause unwanted downloads, installations through certain deceptive advertisements. They cause them by clicking on ads designed to execute certain scripts. It is worthwhile to mention that the aforementioned ads appear on untrustworthy sites.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended not to use third-party downloaders, torrent clients, eMule (and other Peer-to-Peer networks), unofficial websites, etc. These sources can be used to distribute PUAs. The same applies to third-party installers. Thus, files and programs should be downloaded from official pages (and via direct links).

Another way to avoid unwanted downloads or installations is to check downloaders and installers for "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings. Typically, those settings can be used to decline unwanted offers. Additionally, it is recommended not to click on advertisements that appear on shady websites.

Unknown, unwanted, or suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed/uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with UnitCache, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

unitcache adware pop-up that appears when unintcache is installed

Text in this pop-up:

"UnitCached" will damage your computer.
 
This file was downloaded on an unknown date.
 
OK
Show in Finder

Delusive application installer promoting UnitCache adware (first installation step):

Delusive installer used to promote UnitCache adware

Delusive application installer promoting UnitCache adware (second installation step):

unitcache adware installer step 2

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

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

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

UnitCache adware removal:

Remove UnitCache-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 unitcache 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 UnitCache removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

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