What is "Mac Ads Cleaner" ???

Rob.G

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2010
473
57
Arizona
I got up this morning and found a big dialog box open about "Mac Ads Cleaner" that had been installed on my system without my knowledge or approval. Has anybody else seen this??

I googled for it and couldn't find anything about it, other than a site selling it. No idea at all how it got there. I quit it, removed it from Login Items, and deleted the app out of the Applications folder -- which appears to have appeared there yesterday morning around 5:34 AM. I also went into Library and deleted a folder out of there with the same name. Then emptied the trash.

When I emptied the trash, another pop-up box appeared "begging" me to register Mac Ads Cleaner. WTF? This thing is acting a lot like malware.

Now I'm starting to wonder if it's a good time to do that full format/reinstall I've been thinking about doing for a few months.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,261
Worth running a full scan through MWB for Mac: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac-download/

There are very few points of infection on macOS, so hopefully it'll pick it up. However from what you've described, MacKeeper does the same thing when deleting it and emptying the Trash, so you may well have removed it already.

If MWB picks up nothing, do you have any trace of that application left in your Applications folder? Just for your future reference, dragging a malicious app into AppCleaner is the best way to nuke it, as this gets rid of all related files: https://freemacsoft.net/downloads/AppCleaner_3.4.zip
 

Rob.G

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2010
473
57
Arizona
Thanks!!!! Scanning now.

Yeah I have no idea how it could have gotten on there. I don't download and install lots of stuff. In fact, it's been over a week since I installed anything. Weird. Anyway, hopefully the MWB scanner will find and fix things.

Rob
 
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willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,168
Here(-ish)
Thanks!!!! Scanning now.

Yeah I have no idea how it could have gotten on there. I don't download and install lots of stuff. In fact, it's been over a week since I installed anything. Weird. Anyway, hopefully the MWB scanner will find and fix things.

Rob
Scan results?
 

Rob.G

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2010
473
57
Arizona
It found a couple of things, nothing big. It didn't like my 7zip unpacker and MPlayerX, but I chose to keep those. Nothing about Mac Ads Cleaner though. A second scan after rebooting found those two items again, but nothing else.
 

Phil A.

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 2, 2006
5,550
2,421
Shropshire, UK

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,261
It found a couple of things, nothing big. It didn't like my 7zip unpacker and MPlayerX, but I chose to keep those. Nothing about Mac Ads Cleaner though. A second scan after rebooting found those two items again, but nothing else.
Honestly I'd trust the MWB application. If it says that the 7zip unpacker & MPlayerX need to go, I'd get rid of them. The reason is that unwanted applications can have code in them that download other applications or have lots of strange side-effects. It could well have been MPlayerX that caused the issue.

Read about MPX here and what it does: https://blog.malwarebytes.com/puppum/2016/09/pup-friday-mplayerx/

Which 7zip extractor do you have, please? Just google search its name and put MalwareBytes after it. They'll likely have a blog about it and explain why you should get rid of it. There are plenty of alternatives to the above two applications which you use that are perfectly safe and work just as well! :)

EDIT: @Phil A. pipped me to the post! Great minds think alike. ;)
 

DaleMc

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2017
1
2
Texas
Mac Ads Cleaner is left-over garbage from the Advanced Mac Cleaner scumware, which I stupidly downloaded attached to a fake Flash update notification. I thought I had deleted everything and the popups disappeared for a week or so. I even did the latest OSX update to 10.12.3. But today they showed up again. I have downloaded and run MWB and it did remove many files associated with the MAC and AMC crap. Thank you very much for that suggestion. If I get any more popups in the future, I'll post a notice in this forum. Thanks again.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,261
Interesting reading. Okay, MPlayerX is gone. This is where I got my 7-zip tool:

https://7zx.en.softonic.com/mac

I googled with MWB and there was a thread about them blocking softupdate, but responses said that wasn't the case.

If anybody can recommend a known good 7zip extractor, I'll use that and ditch this one. :)

Rob
Personally I use The Unarchiver (free). Seems to work fine: https://itunes.apple.com/app/the-unarchiver/id425424353?mt=12&ls=1

There may well be a few more/better suggestions! :)
 

Rob.G

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 17, 2010
473
57
Arizona
Turns out I had The Unarchiver installed already. Cool, 7zx removed.

That Flash Updater thing makes sense. But the last time I updated that was months ago. I rarely bother with Flash crap so don't like to waste my time on Adobe's crap software. I think it may be time to completely rid my system of all things Flash.

Thanks a bunch, guys, I much appreciate it!

Rob
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,463
10,272
California
Interesting reading. Okay, MPlayerX is gone. This is where I got my 7-zip tool:

https://7zx.en.softonic.com/mac

I googled with MWB and there was a thread about them blocking softupdate, but responses said that wasn't the case.

If anybody can recommend a known good 7zip extractor, I'll use that and ditch this one. :)

Rob
http://www.esecurityplanet.com/malware/softonic-delivers-adware.html

Don't ever download anything from Softonic. They are known to bundle adware/malware in along with the installers from apps they host.
 

dddddsssssss

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2017
1
0
Did that work Rob G.? Removing the 7zip.

Thanks


Turns out I had The Unarchiver installed already. Cool, 7zx removed.

That Flash Updater thing makes sense. But the last time I updated that was months ago. I rarely bother with Flash crap so don't like to waste my time on Adobe's crap software. I think it may be time to completely rid my system of all things Flash.

Thanks a bunch, guys, I much appreciate it!

Rob
 

thomasareed

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2015
88
89
It found a couple of things, nothing big. It didn't like my 7zip unpacker and MPlayerX, but I chose to keep those. Nothing about Mac Ads Cleaner though. A second scan after rebooting found those two items again, but nothing else.
I haven't run across Mac Ads Cleaner before, but just located its website and will be taking a look at that shortly. From first glance, it looks like junk, with exactly the same user interface as a number of other PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) that we detect... so I have little doubt that we'll add that one as well.

As for 7zX, that seems to have been dropped by the developer and obtained by the Genieo folks. It's probably just fine to continue using an old copy, if you really wanted to, but since the Genieo folks are in the business of making malware, I wouldn't trust it anymore.

Thomas Reed
Director of Mac Offerings, Malwarebytes
 

Natalie I

macrumors newbie
Mar 7, 2017
1
0
MA
It found a couple of things, nothing big. It didn't like my 7zip unpacker and MPlayerX, but I chose to keep those. Nothing about Mac Ads Cleaner though. A second scan after rebooting found those two items again, but nothing else.
Hey Guys

I had the same problem about a month ago and thought i had removed the "mac cleaner" this new software worked and detected about 12 different files located under my username.
i just used my credit card online today and I use it often I am new to all of this and although I know macs are safe. should i be concerned about my credit card info and passwords??

PLEASE HELP

natalie
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,168
Here(-ish)
Hey Guys

I had the same problem about a month ago and thought i had removed the "mac cleaner" this new software worked and detected about 12 different files located under my username.
i just used my credit card online today and I use it often I am new to all of this and although I know macs are safe. should i be concerned about my credit card info and passwords??

PLEASE HELP

natalie
What software did you use to detect and remove Mac cleaner?
 

kbelly88

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2017
1
0
thank you for recommending the MWB! It worked for me! My scan pulled up a whole bunch of stuff, I removed them all and restarted.

I am not too savvy at all of this, and I had no idea where to look to find the malware living amongst my files. This scanner basically locates the hard to find files, and puts them all in your trash bin. Be sure to empty the trash after you restart.

After I restarted and re-scanned there were a couple more new things found, and I removed them. Looks like it's all cleaned up and I no longer get the Mac App Cleaner application pop ups, and I no longer get the Fake flash constant pop up alerts.

Very helpful thank you!
 

$2m

macrumors newbie
Mar 20, 2017
1
0
Los Angeles
thank you for recommending the MWB! It worked for me! My scan pulled up a whole bunch of stuff, I removed them all and restarted.

I am not too savvy at all of this, and I had no idea where to look to find the malware living amongst my files. This scanner basically locates the hard to find files, and puts them all in your trash bin. Be sure to empty the trash after you restart.

After I restarted and re-scanned there were a couple more new things found, and I removed them. Looks like it's all cleaned up and I no longer get the Mac App Cleaner application pop ups, and I no longer get the Fake flash constant pop up alerts.

Very helpful thank you!
Same here. Thanks for the MWB application recommendation! Got rid of Mac Ads Cleaner malware. Will post if it shows up again.

Sam
 

DennisTate

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2017
1
3
Nova Scotia, Canada
Worth running a full scan through MWB for Mac: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac-download/

There are very few points of infection on macOS, so hopefully it'll pick it up. However from what you've described, MacKeeper does the same thing when deleting it and emptying the Trash, so you may well have removed it already.

If MWB picks up nothing, do you have any trace of that application left in your Applications folder? Just for your future reference, dragging a malicious app into AppCleaner is the best way to nuke it, as this gets rid of all related files: https://freemacsoft.net/downloads/AppCleaner_3.4.zip

I just wanted to sign in and thank you from the bottom of my heart for assisting me to clean up my Mac at no cost!!!!!
 
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