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How to remove the ConnectionCache adware?

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

What is ConnectionCache adware?

ConnectionCache generates revenue for its developer by displaying advertisements and changing settings web browser's settings (by promoting a fake search engine). This application has the qualities of adware and a browser hijacker. ConnectionCache is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer.

ConnectionCache adware

ConnectionCache adware in detail

Advertisements displayed by ConnectionCache could open untrustworthy websites like "MALWARE DETECTED Action Required", "Receive iPhone 12", "Apple Platform Security", and other sites designed to extract sensitive information, promote questionable software. Apps like ConnectionCache generate banners, coupons, surveys, pop-ups, etc.

Also, ConnectionCache changes web browser's settings such as the address of a default search engine, homepage, and new tab to an address of a fake search engine. Fake search engines cannot be trusted - they can be designed to promote shady websites or show results generated by other untrustworthy search engines.

Fake search engines cannot be removed from the settings of hijacked browsers until apps like ConnectionCache are uninstalled. Another reason to have ConnectionCache (or any other app of this type) installed is that it might be collecting sensitive information (credit card details, passwords, or other data).

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ConnectionCache
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (ConnectionCache.service) Avast (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Cimpli.m), Full List (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (ConnectionCache.system) Avast (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), AVG (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), 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.

ConnectionCache and similar apps display unwanted advertisements. Pretty often, they can change web browser's settings as well. Most users install adware (and browser hijackers) unknowingly. Thus, they are called potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). More adware examples are ModuleService, UpgradeActivity, and AccessibleValue.

How did ConnectionCache install on my computer?

ConnectionCache is distributed through a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. Most fake installers are promoted on deceptive websites using scare tactics to trick visitors into downloading unwanted applications. Also, this app could be distributed through downloaders or installers for other programs.

Users download or install PUAs together with other programs when they do not check downloaders or installers for "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual", or other options and use them to decline unwanted offers. Sometimes, users download or install PUAs by clicking on ads designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Third-party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial websites are examples of sources, tools that should not be used to download or install any files or programs. They should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links.

Downloaders and installers with "Advanced", "Custom", and other similar settings (or checkboxes) should be checked for unwanted offers. Ads appearing on shady websites should not be clicked - those ads can be the reason behind unwanted downloads and installations.

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

Pop-up that appears while ConnectionCache is installed:

connectioncache adware pop-up displayed while connectioncache adware is installed

Text in this pop-up:

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

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

Delusive installer used to promote ConnectionCache adware

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

Delusive installer used to promote ConnectionCache adware 2

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

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

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

ConnectionCache adware removal:

Remove ConnectionCache-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 connectioncache 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 ConnectionCache removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

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