FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Removing the EmpireFocus adware and its advertisements

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

What is EmpireFocus?

EmpireFocus is a piece of rogue software that our research team found while inspecting new submissions to VirusTotal. After analyzing this app, we determined that it operates as adware and belongs to the AdLoad malware family.

EmpireFocus adware

EmpireFocus adware overview

Advertising-supported software is designed to display advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Note that this software may require specific conditions to run intrusive advertisement campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system, visits to particular webpages, etc.). However, regardless of whether EmpireFocus delivers advertisements - its presence on a system endangers device/user safety.

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

It is pertinent to mention that any legitimate products encountered through these ads are highly unlikely to be promoted by their developers. This promotion is usually undertaken by scammers abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.

Furthermore, EmpireFocus may have browser hijacker traits since they are typical for AdLoad adware; however, it did not exhibit any during testing. This application also has data tracking functionalities.

Advertising-supported software typically collects browsing and search engine histories, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable information, credit card numbers, etc. The gathered data can be monetized via sale to third-parties.

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

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by EmpireFocus
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names Avast (MacOS:Agent-TX [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.26991), 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

HybridSpaceTripleWholeConsoleControlCladRumble, and SkyWard are merely some examples of the adware-type apps that we have analyzed. Advertising-supported software appears legitimate and ordinary. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of "handy" features, which are seldom operational.

How did EmpireFocus install on my computer?

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

Intrusive advertisements spread advertising-supported software as well. Some of these ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent - upon being clicked. Additionally, fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are used in distribution.

"Bundling" - packing regular program installation setups with unwanted/malicious additions - is also used to proliferate adware. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

How to avoid installation of adware?

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

We advise exercising caution when browsing - since illegitimate and malicious content usually looks harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements appear legitimate yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, 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 EmpireFocus, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once EmpireFocus installation is complete

EmpireFocus adware's installation folder:

EmpireFocus adware install folder

EmpireFocus adware installed onto a Safari browser:

EmpireFocus adware installed onto Safari

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 EmpireFocus adware using Combo Cleaner:

EmpireFocus adware removal:

Remove EmpireFocus-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 promote deceptive/malicious content that can cause serious issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It displays advertisements on visited websites and/or different interfaces. Additionally, this software may be capable of force-opening webpages and gathering private data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates profit primarily via affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, software, products, services, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner remove EmpireFocus 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 instances, even after the advertising-supported software has been (manually) removed - file leftovers stay within the system. Furthermore, these remnants can continue running and causing problems. Therefore, it is essential to eliminate 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 EmpireFocus QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by EmpireFocus 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.