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Removal instructions for RealInfo adware and the adverts it delivers

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

What is RealInfo?

RealInfo is a rogue app that our researchers discovered during a routine inspection of new submissions to VirusTotal. After analyzing this application, we determined that it is adware belonging to the AdLoad malware family.

RealInfo adware detections on VirusTotal

RealInfo adware overview

Adware operates by displaying advertisements on various interfaces. These adverts endorse online scams, unreliable/harmful sites and software, and even malware. Some intrusive ads can perform stealthy downloads/installations upon being clicked.

It is pertinent to mention that any legitimate content encountered through these advertisements is most likely promoted by scammers abusing its affiliate programs to obtain commissions fraudulently.

However, advertising-supported software might not deliver adverts if certain conditions are unsuitable (e.g., incompatible browser/system specs, particular websites are not visited, etc.). Regardless of whether RealInfo (or other adware) displays ads - its presence endangers device and user safety.

AdLoad adware tends to have browser hijacker functionalities, and it might be true of RealInfo - although this app did not exhibit any during testing.

What is more, RealInfo likely gathers private information. Data of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, account log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, etc. The collected data can be shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

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

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by RealInfo
Threat Type Adware, Mac malware, Mac virus
Detection Names (.system) Avast (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.27461), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adload.AE), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Agent.u), Full List (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (.service) Avast (MacOS:Adload-AM [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Adware.MAC.Generic.27458), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of OSX/TrojanDownloader.Adloa), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Agent.u), 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 samples; LinkRootUnitDisplay, and ClutchTrend are just a few of our latest finds. Advertising-supported software usually looks harmless and offers "useful" features. However, these functions are rarely operational.

How did RealInfo install on my computer?

Adware can be bundled (packed together) with regular programs. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

Intrusive advertisements are used to distribute adware as well. Once clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission. Additionally, fake Adobe Flash Player updaters/installers are used in distribution.

Advertising-supported software can also have "official" download webpages, and it is promoted on scam sites. Most users access such websites via redirects caused by pages using rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, or installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).

How to avoid installation of adware?

We highly recommend researching software and downloading only from official and verified channels. Installation processes must be approached with caution, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplementary apps, tools, extensions, etc.

We advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements look innocuous yet redirect to unreliable/questionable websites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

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

Pop-up window displayed when RealInfo adware is present on the system:

Pop-up displayed when RealInfo adware is present

Text presented in this pop-up:

"RealInfod" will damage your computer.


This file was downloaded on an unknown date.


OK
Show in Finder

Delusive application installer (fake Flash Player updater) promoting RealInfo adware;

First installation step:

Delusive installer used to promote RealInfo adware (step 1)

Second installation step:

Delusive installer used to promote RealInfo adware (step 2)

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 RealInfo adware using Combo Cleaner:

RealInfo adware removal:

Remove RealInfo-related potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

Manual removal of malicious Mac applications

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 browsing quality and system performance. It usually has data tracking functionalities - hence, it is also classified as a privacy threat. Furthermore, adware-delivered ads endorse harmful content that can cause serious issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).

What does adware do?

Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It enables the placement of advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Additionally, this software may be capable of force-opening sites and collecting private data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware developers generate revenue mainly through affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, apps, products, services, etc.

Will Combo Cleaner remove RealInfo adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate detected adware-type apps. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be ideal. Since even after the adware has been manually removed - various leftovers (files) can remain hidden within the system. These remnants can continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, advertising-supported software 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.

QR Code
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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.