FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Removing DockModule adware and the advertisements it delivers

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

What is DockModule?

DockModule is a rogue app that our research team found while checking out new submissions to VirusTotal. After analyzing DockModule, we determined it operates as advertising-supported software (adware) and belongs to the AdLoad malware family.

DockModule adware

DockModule adware overview

Adware may not display advertisements if certain conditions are unsuitable (e.g., browser/system or user geolocation are incompatible, specific websites are not visited, etc.). However, regardless of whether DockModule delivers adverts or not - its presence on a system endangers device/user safety.

Adware-delivered adverts endorse online scams, unreliable/harmful sites and software, and even malware. Some intrusive ads can stealthily download/install software - once clicked on.

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

Furthermore, DockModule might have browser hijacker functionalities since they are standard for AdLoad adware, although it did not exhibit any during our analysis.

What is more, advertising-supported software usually has data tracking abilities, and this likely applies to DockModule. Information of interest can include: browsing and search engine histories, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, financial/banking data, etc. The gathered information is monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

In summary, the presence of software like DockModule on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by DockModule
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 countless adware-type applications; AdvanceServices, CompellingEntry, ElementForce, BasicTransaction - are just some examples. Advertising-supported software appears legitimate and offers "handy" features. However, these functions rarely work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.

How did DockModule install on my computer?

Adware is distributed using the "bundling" marketing method - packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious additions. Download from dubious channels (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of permitting bundled content into the system.

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

Adware is also promoted through "official" download pages and scam websites. Users typically enter sites of this kind through redirects caused by webpages using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, intrusive adverts, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified sources. Furthermore, installation must be approached with care, e.g., by reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions.

Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually looks legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements appear harmless yet redirect to questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).

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

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

Pop-up displayed once DockModule installation is complete

DockModule adware's installation folder:

DockModule 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 DockModule adware using Combo Cleaner:

DockModule adware removal:

Remove DockModule-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 decrease the browsing experience and system performance. It is also classified as a privacy threat, as this software typically has data tracking functionalities. Furthermore, adware-delivered ads promote online scams, untrustworthy/harmful software, and even malware - hence, the threats posed can also include system infections, financial losses, etc.

What does adware do?

Adware is designed to display advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Some types can also force-open webpages and gather private data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate most of their revenue through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, software, products, services, and so forth.

Will Combo Cleaner remove DockModule adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate all the adware-type apps installed. It must be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective. Since even if the adware itself has been (manually) removed - various components (files) may remain within the system. Furthermore, the leftover files can continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is crucial to remove adware thoroughly.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

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 DockModule QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by DockModule on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

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.