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Removal instructions for CommonCreative adware and the ads it displays

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

What is CommonCreative?

During a routine inspection of new submissions to VirusTotal, our research team discovered the CommonCreative rogue application. Our analysis of CommonCreative revealed that it is adware belonging to the AdLoad malware family.

CommonCreative adware

CommonCreative adware overview

Advertising-supported software (adware) operates by displaying various advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. These adverts endorse various untrustworthy/dangerous sites and software, online scams, and even malware. Furthermore, some intrusive ads are capable of stealthily downloading/installing software.

Note that any genuine products encountered via these advertisements are highly unlikely to be promoted by their developers. This promotion is primarily undertaken by scammers who abuse the products' affiliate programs to acquire illegitimate commissions.

It has to be mentioned that adware may require specific conditions to deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system, visits to particular websites, etc.). However, whether CommonCreative displays adverts is irrelevant since its presence on a system endangers device/user safety regardless.

This rogue application may also have browser hijacker features since they are common for AdLoad adware, although we did not observe any during analysis.

What is more, CommonCreative likely has data tracking functionalities. Targeted information may include: browsing and search engine histories, account log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, etc. The collected data is then monetized through sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

In summary, the presence of advertising-supported software on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by CommonCreative
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 inspected thousands of adware-type applications; DirectNetworkBlissFresh, and NavigateNetwork are merely a couple of examples. Advertising-supported software usually looks legitimate. Users are lured into download/installation with promises of "handy" functions. However, these features rarely work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.

How did CommonCreative install on my computer?

Adware can be bundled (packed together) with ordinary programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently permitting bundled content into the device.

Additionally, intrusive advertisements proliferate advertising-supported software. When clicked on, some of these 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 pushed through questionable download webpages and scam websites. Most users enter these pages via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, sites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware (with webpage force-opening capabilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We strongly recommend researching software and downloading only from official and verified channels. Furthermore, when installing, it is crucial to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additions.

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

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

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

Pop-up displayed once CommonCreative installation is complete

CommonCreative adware's installation folder:

CommonCreative 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 CommonCreative adware using Combo Cleaner:

CommonCreative adware removal:

Remove CommonCreative-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 decrease browsing quality and system performance. This software typically has data tracking abilities, which make it a privacy threat. Furthermore, adware-delivered advertisements endorse deceptive/malicious content that can cause serious issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware operates by displaying various ads on visited websites and/or different interfaces. Additionally, it may be capable of force-opening sites and gathering private information.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate revenue mainly via affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, applications, products, services, and so forth.

Will Combo Cleaner remove CommonCreative adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning computers and eliminating installed adware-type apps. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal. In some instances, despite the adware itself having been (manually) removed - various leftovers (files) stay hidden within the system. Furthermore, such components can continue running and causing problems. Hence, 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.

QR Code
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