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How to remove AspectSkip adware and the advertisements it displays

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

What is AspectSkip?

AspectSkip is a rogue app that our researchers discovered while inspecting new submissions to VirusTotal. After we analyzed this piece of software, we learned that it operates as adware and belongs to the AdLoad malware family.

AspectSkip adware

AspectSkip adware overview

Advertising-supported software (adware) is designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, it enables the placement of third-party graphical content (ads) on visited websites and/or different interfaces.

The displayed advertisements endorse online scams, untrustworthy/harmful sites and software, and even malware. Some intrusive adverts are capable of performing stealthy downloads/installations upon being clicked.

It is pertinent to mention that any legitimate products encountered through these ads are unlikely to be promoted by their developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers who abuse the products' affiliate programs to acquire illegitimate commissions.

Note that advertising-supported software may require certain conditions to deliver intrusive ad campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system specs, visits to particular websites, etc.).

However, regardless of whether AspectSkip displays adverts - its presence on a system endangers device and user safety.

Furthermore, AspectSkip may have browser hijacker qualities since they are standard for AdLoad adware, although it did not exhibit any during our inspection.

What is more, AspectSkip likely has data tracking functionalities. Information of interest can include: browsing and search engine histories, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, financial/banking data, and so forth. The gathered infromation can then be shared with and/or sold to third-parties.

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

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by AspectSkip
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-TX [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.26806), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/Adware.Synataeb.G), McAfee (RDN/Generic.osx), 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; DevSoftwareClickManager, and MemoryFunction are just a few examples. This software typically looks harmless and offers "handy" functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.

How did AspectSkip install on my computer?

Adware can be bundled (packed together) with regular programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Additionally, intrusive advertisements spread advertising-supported software. Once clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent. Fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are used in distribution as well.

Adware is also promoted on its "official" download pages and scam websites. Most users enter these webpages via redirects caused by sites 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 it from official/verified channels. Installation processes must be treated with caution, e.g., by reading terms, studying possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions.

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

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

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

Pop-up displayed once AspectSkip installation is complete

AspectSkip adware's installation folder:

AspectSkip 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 AspectSkip adware using Combo Cleaner:

AspectSkip adware removal:

Remove AspectSkip-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. This software typically has data tracking abilities, which make it a privacy threat. Additionally, adware-delivered advertisements can be dangerous and cause serious issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware enables the placement of various advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Some types can also force-open sites and collect vulnerable data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates most of the profit through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, etc. The developers might earn commission from advert clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.

Will Combo Cleaner remove AspectSkip adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan your devices and eliminate installed adware-type apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be effective. In some instances, even after the adware itself has been (manually) removed - various remnants (files) stay hidden within the system. Furthermore, these components may continue running and causing problems. Therefore, it is paramount 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.