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How to eliminate UpdateAgent malware?

Also Known As: WizardUpdate malware
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Severe

What is type of malware UpdateAgent?

UpdateAgent (also known as WizardUpdate) is a piece of malware targeting Mac computers. Research shows that the latest UpdateAgent variant poses as legitimate software. It can collect certain information and install adware (and host additional payloads).

UpdateAgent scam

UpdateAgent malware in detail

UpdateAgent malware examines the infected computer and then sends system information, product name, version to a C2 (Command-and-control) controlled by threat actors. Also, UpdateAgent installs AdLoad adware and hosts additional payloads by abusing public cloud infrastructure.

Furthermore, UpdateAgent tries to bypass Gatekeeper (a security feature of the macOS system that prevents untrusted applications from running) by deleting the quarantine attribute of the downloaded file. It attempts to make the infected system to recognize it as a trusted application.

Threat Summary:
Name WizardUpdate malware
Threat Type Mac virus, Trojan
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-AY [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.Generic.30887513), ESET-NOD32 (OSX/Adware.WizardUpdate.H), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan.OSX.Agent.gen), Full List (VirusTotal)
Payload AdLoad and possibly additional payloads
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Drive-by downloads (most likely)
Damage Installation of adware, possible other computer infections
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.

More details about UpdateAgent

Additionally, UpdateAgent takes advantage of existing user permissions to create both LaunchAgent and LaunchDeamon folders on the infected device to avoid being removed. In order to conceal its activities (hide itself), UpdateAgent deletes the created folders, files, and other by-products. More Mac malware examples are iTerm2, XcodeSpy, and Silver Sparrow.

How did UpdateAgent install on my computer?

It is likely that the UpdateAgent malware is distributed through drive-by downloads. Drive-by download attacks are successful when users unknowingly download malicious code or software bundled with malware. As mentioned in the first paragraph, UpdateAgent is distributed by disguising it as a legitimate program.

Cybercriminals can distribute malware through software cracking tools (or installers for pirated software), fake updaters, emails containing malicious attachments or links, unreliable sources for downloading files/programs, certain types of Trojans.

How to avoid installation malicious applications?

Download software from legitimate sources such as official pages and platforms. Avoid opening files (attachments) and links in irrelevant emails received from unknown or suspicious addresses. Update and activate the software using tools provided by its official developer.

Have reliable antivirus software installed on the operating system and run scans regularly. Always keep that security suite up to date. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove 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 wizardupdate malware 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.

WizardUpdate malware removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove wizardupdate malware 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 wizardupdate malware 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 wizardupdate malware 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

My computer is infected with UpdateAgent malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

Not all computer infections cannot be eliminated without formatting storage devices. The UpdateAgent malware can be removed without doing so.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

It depends on the type of malware. It could be identity theft, monetary losses, additional computer infections, decreased computer performance, loss of access to online accounts, data encryption.

What is the purpose of the UpdateAgent malware?

It is known that UpdateAgent can install AdLoad adware. Also, it can host additional payloads (computer infections).

How did UpdateAgent malware infiltrate my computer?

It is likely that UpdateAgent is distributed via drive-by downloads. Although, it is possible that cybercriminals could use phishing and other social engineering techniques (for example, malicious emails, fake system warning messages), Peer-to-Peer, unofficial software download websites to distribute their malware. It is important to know that certain malware is capable of self-spreading through the local network and removable storage devices like external hard drives, USB flash drives.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of detecting and eliminating almost all known malware infections. The operating system should be scanned using a full scan because quick scan may not detect high-end malware designed to hide deep in the operating system.

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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.

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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
WizardUpdate malware QR code
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Platform: macOS

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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.