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Removal instructions for NetConnection adware and the ads it delivers

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

What is NetConnection?

NetConnection is an adware-type app that our research team discovered while inspecting new submissions to VirusTotal. We learned that this piece of software belongs to the AdLoad malware family. Our analysis uncovered that NetConnection is designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns and may also have other harmful abilities.

NetConnection adware

NetConnection adware overview

It is noteworthy that adware may need the system/browser or user geolocation to be compatible, users to visit specific websites, or similar - to deliver intrusive ad campaigns. However, regardless of whether NetConnection (or other adware) displays advertisements - its presence endangers device and user safety.

Adware-delivered adverts promote untrustworthy/harmful sites and software, online scams, and even malware. Some intrusive ads can stealthily download/install software - upon being clicked.

It is pertinent to mention that reputable developers do not employ advertising-supported software to advertise their products, yet they can be encountered through these advertisements. This promotion is undertaken by scammers who abuse the products' affiliate programs to acquire illegitimate commissions.

What is more, NetConnection might have browser hijacker qualities since they are standard in AdLoad adware; however, this app did not exhibit any during our analysis.

NetConnection may also collect private data. Advertising-supported software typically targets information relating to browsing activity, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered data is monetized through sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

In summary, the presence of software like NetConnection on devices - may result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by NetConnection
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Adload-AG [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Gen:Variant.Adware.MAC.AdLoad.13), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Adload.h), 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 examples

We have analyzed countless adware-type applications; WireNavigateSmartLauncher, and ProcessorCactus are just a few examples. Advertising-supported software appears legitimate and offers "advantageous" functionalities. However, despite how good the promised features may sound - they are rarely operational.

How did NetConnection install on my computer?

Adware is proliferated using the bundling technique - packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements. Download from dubious sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.

Fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are also used in distribution. Additionally, when clicked on, some intrusive adverts can download/install adware and other untrustworthy software without user permission.

Advertising-supported software may have "official" download pages as well. Most users access them via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, websites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with webpage force-opening capabilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We strongly advise researching software and downloading it from official/trustworthy channels. Furthermore, installation processes must be treated with caution, e.g., reading terms, studying available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions.

Another recommendation is to be vigilant while browsing - since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements look harmless yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with NetConnection, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

Pop-up window displayed once NetConnection adware's installation is over:

Pop-up displayed once NetConnection installation is complete

NetConnection adware's installation folder:

NetConnection adware install folder

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 NetConnection adware using Combo Cleaner:

NetConnection adware removal:

Remove NetConnection-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 netconnection 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 NetConnection removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove ads by netconnection 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 netconnection 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 netconnection 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)

What harm can adware cause?

Adware may decrease browsing quality and system performance. It is also considered a privacy threat, as this software usually has data tracking abilities. Adware-delivered adverts promote dubious/malicious content that can cause a wide variety of serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware operates by enabling the placement of advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Some types may also force-open sites and collect private information.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers profit primarily via affiliate programs by endorsing sites, software, products, services, etc. Commission may be earned from ad clicks, website visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.

Will Combo Cleaner remove NetConnection adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning devices and eliminating installed adware-type apps. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution. Since although the software itself has been (manually) removed - various file leftovers may remain hidden in the system. Furthermore, such components can continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate adware thoroughly.

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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.

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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.