Adware on a Mac - how do I remove it?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by Chparigi, May 16, 2018.

  1. Chparigi macrumors regular

    May 25, 2013
    Switzerland, Europe
    Some time ago, I was really stupid, and somehow managed to install the program spi, or similar, as far as I remember. Since then, on every reboot, banners like "99bitcoins" and "Tom's Hardware" keep popping up. If I delete them in the messages settings, they reappear after a reboot.

    I am quite sure that spi has been removed for good from my computer, but I still can't find the reason for this to keep happening. I have also tried to use tools such as bitdefender to get rid of everything. That is despite I really don't like to use antivirus programs on my Mac.

    What should I do to get rid of this?
  2. kemo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2008
    Safest way - manually pick files and stuff you want to backup and do a clean install.
    Possible way - Install ClamXAW, ESET 32 or any other software which may completely remove malicious programs.

    Honestly, I would never feel "good" about working with my credit card info, password etc. on such machine knowing some malicious software is part of the OS - I would without thinking backup the necessary stuff and do a clean install. I may be a overreacting a bit, but it's better to be safe now than sorry later when your password got leaked, or credit card misused...
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    Download MalwareBytes for Mac.
    It comes as a "free version" that works this way:
    - for 30 days, the free version will ask if you wish to upgrade to the "paid version"
    - you DO NOT HAVE TO DO THIS. Just keep using the free version
    - at the end of the 30 days, the free version "automatically converts itself" to a "forever free" version.
    - Just keep using it.
  4. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    Just to add to Fishrrman's recommendation:

    Use the free version to run a scan manually. It will find your adware and offer to delete it.

    The only difference between the free and paid versions is that the paid version monitors for adware continuously and the free version has to be launched manually.
  5. ofirbeigel macrumors newbie


    May 18, 2018
    I know this answer is unrelated, but I'm the owner of 99Bitcoins and we've never ran any spammy ads like this. In fact, other than Google Adwords we never ran any paid ads. Any chance you can add a screenshot of the ad here so I can investigate this a bit more?

    I know this seems like total spam since I'm a newbie to this forum and all, but I just got a notification about our brand being mentioned and found this post so any help would be appreciated.
  6. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
    Had similar problem with pain in the a.. MacKeeper. Malwarebytes cured that problem. Adblocker cured another type of popup problem as well.
  7. Kevbasscat macrumors member


    Oct 10, 2016
    Banning, CA 92220
    Have you tried EtreCheck? There is also something you can write in Terminal that will sort them and/or disable them. @dosdude1 knows I’d bet money on it. I cannot find the link as it is on another drive, put away.
  8. Chparigi thread starter macrumors regular

    May 25, 2013
    Switzerland, Europe
    Thanks again for all your answers! I've been quite tied up with exams lately, but I thought I propapbly should revisit this post. So far, unfortunately, I've not been able to remove the malware from my Mac!

    So again, even though I remove the banners from the messages center, they keep popping back whenever I reboot the computer. It is super annoying!

    Of course! Next time I get a notification, I'll post it here!

    Thanks for the tip! Malwarebytes caught some bad stuff, but it didn't solve it unfortunately.

    Thanks for the tip! I ran a test using EtreCheck, but I didn't find any suspicious/out of the ordinary...

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