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Removing VastVista adware and the advertisements it delivers

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

What is VastVista?

VastVista is a rogue app that our researchers found while inspecting new submissions to VirusTotal. Once we installed this application on our test machine, we learned that VastVista operates as adware and belongs to the AdLoad malware family.

VastVista adware

VastVista adware overview

Advertising-supported software may require specific conditions (e.g., compatible browser/system, visits to particular sites, etc.) to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. However, whether VastVista (or other adware) displays adverts is irrelevant since its presence on a system endangers device/user safety regardless.

Adware-delivered advertisements promote online scams, untrustworthy/harmful websites and software, and even malware. Some intrusive ads can make stealthy downloads/installations once clicked on.

Note that any genuine products encountered through these advertisements are unlikely to be endorsed by their developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.

Furthermore, VastVista might have browser hijacker traits as they are standard for AdLoad adware, although it did not exhibit any during our analysis.

This rogue application likely has data tracking abilities. Advertising-supported software typically gathers browsing-related information, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, credit card numbers, etc. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

To summarize, the presence of software like VastVista on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by VastVista
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:AdAgent-AW [Adw]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.26618), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Searchproxy.a), 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.
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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.

Adware examples

IntegerLocatorWireNavigate, and VistaQuantum are merely a couple examples of the adware-type apps we have analyzed. This software usually looks legitimate/harmless and offers a wide variety of functions. However, these functionalities seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they are utterly nonoperational.

How did VastVista install on my computer?

Adware can be bundled (packed together) with ordinary programs. Download from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.

Additionally, fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are used in distribution. Intrusive adverts proliferate advertising-supported software as well. Some of these ads can make downloads/installations without user permission - upon being clicked.

Adware is also pushed through deceptive promotional webpages and scam websites. Most users access such pages through redirects caused by sites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive advertisements, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We strongly advise always researching software and downloading it only from official/verified channels. Additionally, installation processes must be approached with care, e.g., by reading terms, exploring possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplements.

We recommend being vigilant when browsing since illegitimate and malicious material typically looks harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements appear innocuous yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

If you experience adverts and/or redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with VastVista, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once VastVista installation is complete

VastVista adware's installation folder:

VastVista 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 VastVista adware using Combo Cleaner:

VastVista adware removal:

Remove VastVista-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 adware-related files and folders

Mac Go To Folder step

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

Mac removing related files and folders - step 1Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 2Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/Application Support/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/Application Support/

Mac go to /Library/Application Support - 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.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 3Check for adware generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents/ folder:

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Mac go to ~/Library/LaunchAgents - 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 exact same string.

Mac removing related files and folders - step 4Check for adware generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder:

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - step 1

In the "Go to Folder..." bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons/

Mac go to /Library/LaunchDaemons - 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.

Mac removing malware related files and folders - step 5Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps correctly, your Mac should be clean of infections. To ensure 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 the 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 its virus definition database and click the "Start Combo Scan" button.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 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.

Mac remove malware with Combo Cleaner - step 2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

Remove malicious extensions from Internet browsers

Safari iconRemove malicious Safari extensions:

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 1

Open the Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

Removal of malicious extensions in Safari - step 2

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 regular browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Google Chrome - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) and select "Add-ons and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".

Removal of malicious extensions in Mozilla Firefox - step 2

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What harm can adware cause?

Adware endangers device integrity and user safety. It can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. This software usually has data tracking functionalities, thereby making it a threat to user privacy. Furthermore, adware-delivered advertisements endorse deceptive/malicious content that can cause severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is capable of displaying advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces, force-opening webpages, and collecting private information.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates most of its profit via affiliate programs by promoting various websites, software, products, services, and so forth. For example, the developers might earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.

Will Combo Cleaner remove VastVista adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning systems and eliminating detected adware-type apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution. Since even after the software itself has been (manually) removed - leftover files may stay within the system. Furthermore, the remaining content may continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate advertising-supported software 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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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.

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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.