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Removal instructions for the ProtocolView adware-type application

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

What kind of application is ProtocolView?

Our research team found ProtocolView while reviewing file submissions to the VirusTotal platform. Upon inspection, we determined that this app is advertising-supported software (adware). ProtocolView is part of the AdLoad malware group.

ProtocolView adware

ProtocolView adware overview

Adware is designed to generate revenue for its developers through advertising. This is typically achieved by displaying ads on various interfaces, such as visited webpages, desktops, etc. The advertisements can promote online scams, unreliable/dangerous software, and malware. When clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.

It must be mentioned that any genuine content encountered via these ads is most likely endorsed in this manner by scammers who abuse its affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.

Advertising-supported software might not work as intended if the browser/system or user geolocation is incompatible, specific websites are not visited, or other conditions are unsuitable. Regardless of whether ProtocolView delivers advertisements – the app's presence remains a threat to device and user safety.

AdLoad applications may have browser-hijacking capabilities – however, ProtocolView did not exhibit them during our analysis.

Furthermore, adware tends to have data-tracking abilities, and this might be true of ProtocolView. Collected information may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, browser cookies, account log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, credit card numbers, and so on. This vulnerable data can be monetized through sale to third-parties.

In summary, software like ProtocolView may cause system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by ProtocolView
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), 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

SourceUpdaterDefaultSectionToolFilterCologne.app, and EnhancementSkills are just some of our latest articles on adware-type apps. Advertising-supported software rarely appears illegitimate or otherwise suspicious – it tends to look ordinary and innocuous.

Users may be enticed to download/install it by promises of various "useful" and "advantageous" functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they are utterly nonoperational.

Note that even if a piece of software works exactly as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.

How did ProtocolView install on my computer?

Adware can be bundled with regular programs. These pre-packed installers can be downloaded from freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, and other dubious sources. The risk of allowing bundled content into the device is further increased by rushing through installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, skipping sections, using "Quick/Easy" settings, etc.).

Additionally, adware is promoted on legitimate-looking download webpages and scam sites. They are primarily accessed via redirects generated by websites employing rogue advertising networks, intrusive ads, spam browsing notifications, misspelled URLs, and installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).

Advertising-supported software is proliferated by intrusive adverts as well. Some of these advertisements can be triggered (by being clicked) to execute scripts that perform downloads/installations without user consent.

How to avoid installation of adware?

Caution is key to computer safety. Therefore, research software and download it only from official/verified channels. When installing, study terms and options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplements (e.g., apps, extensions, features, tools, etc.).

Furthermore, be vigilant when browsing since fake and dangerous online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, while intrusive adverts may look harmless – they redirect users to questionable and unreliable websites (e.g., gambling, scam-promoting, adult dating, etc.).

If you keep encountering advertisements/redirects of this kind, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with ProtocolView, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate this adware.

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

Pop-up displayed once ProtocolView installation is complete

ProtocolView adware's installation folder:

ProtocolView adware install folder

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

ProtocolView adware removal:

Remove ProtocolView-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 delivers ads that promote content potentially capable of causing severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.). Its presence on a device may decrease browsing quality and system performance. Advertising-supported software is also classed as a privacy threat since it typically has data-tracking functionalities.

What does adware do?

Adware is designed to generate revenue through advertising. This purpose is usually achieved by displaying third-party graphical content (advertisements) on various interfaces. Additionally, some adware types are capable of force-opening sites and gathering private data.

How do adware developers generate revenue?

Adware generates revenue by promoting various websites, products, services, and other content. Most of the profit comes from affiliate programs.

Will Combo Cleaner remove ProtocolView adware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate all adware-type apps that are present. It must be mentioned that manual removal (performed without the aid of security tools) might be ineffective. After the adware has been manually removed – various remnants (files) can stay hidden within the system. The remaining components might continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, thorough software removal is paramount.

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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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