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Removal instructions for AssetFrame adware and the adverts it delivers

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

What is AssetFrame?

AssetFrame is a rogue app that our researchers discovered while looking through new submissions to VirusTotal. After analyzing this application, we determined that it operates as adware and belongs to the AdLoad malware family.

AssetFrame adware

AssetFrame adware overview

Adware is designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, this software displays various ads on visited websites and/or different interfaces.

The delivered adverts endorse online scams, untrustworthy/harmful webpages and software, and even malware. Some intrusive advertisements are capable of stealthily downloading/installing software (when clicked).

It is noteworthy that any legitimate products encountered via these ads are unlikely to be promoted by their developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.

It is pertinent to mention that advertising-supported software may require specific conditions (e.g., compatible browser/system or user geolocation, visits to particular sites, etc.) to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. However, regardless of whether AssetFrame (or other adware) delivers adverts - its presence on a system endangers device and user safety.

Furthermore, AssetFrame might have browser hijacker abilities since they are standard for AdLoad adware, although we did not observe any during testing.

What is more, AssetFrame likely has data tracking functionalities. Advertising-supported software typically targets browsing-related data, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered information is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

To summarize, the presence of software like AssetFrame on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by AssetFrame
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.j), 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 thousands of adware-type applications; UnlimitedPixel, VistaQuantum, VectorPathCorner, ShoreCreative - are just a few examples. This software appears legitimate and offers "useful" functions. However, the promised features are usually nonoperational.

How did AssetFrame 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., skipped steps/sections, etc.) - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are used in distribution as well. Intrusive adverts also proliferate advertising-supported software. When clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.

Additionally, adware is promoted through "official" download webpages and scam websites. Most users access them via 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 researching software and downloading only from official and verified sources. Furthermore, installation must be approached with care, e.g., by reading terms, studying available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplements.

Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing - as illegitimate and malicious content typically appears harmless. For example, intrusive adverts appear innocuous, yet they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

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

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

Pop-up displayed once AssetFrame installation is complete

AssetFrame adware's installation folder:

AssetFrame 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 AssetFrame adware using Combo Cleaner:

AssetFrame adware removal:

Remove AssetFrame-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 can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. It is also considered to be a privacy threat, as this software usually has data tracking functionalities. Furthermore, adware-displayed adverts can be deceptive/malicious and cause severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware is designed to enable the placement of advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. This software may also be capable of force-opening webpages and gathering private data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate most of their profit through affiliate programs in the form of commissions earned for the promotion of websites, software, products, services, and so forth.

Will Combo Cleaner remove AssetFrame adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate detected adware-type apps. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution. In some cases, even after the software itself has been (manually) removed - file leftovers remain within the system. What is more, these remnants may continue running and causing problems. Therefore, adware must be eliminated 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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