This guide includes comprehensive information on malicious code targeting Safari and provides effective techniques to remove malware from Safari browser.
The design, user-friendliness, speed, energy efficiency and other pros of the Safari browser are out of the question. Apple devices go equipped with this remarkable Internet navigation tool by default, and the overwhelming majority of Mac and iOS users stay dedicated to it as their primary web surfing software. According to a report by the StatCounter firm, this browser’s overall market share as of January 2017 amounted to 14.54%. People in the cybercrime underground, obviously, stay on top of these statistics as well. These sleazeballs know what’s popular and focus on firing their attacks against digital environments used by many. Furthermore, it turns out that installing toxic apps on Safari without admin’s consent isn’t nearly as tough an objective as compromising other components of Mac OS X architecture. With all the pros of Safari in place, it is currently the weakest link in the overall protection setup of the average Mac.
It wouldn’t be correct to classify the malware targeting Safari as a top-notch cyber adversary. Most of the time, these are low-impact hijackers that replace the homepage, new tab and search preferences with certain predefined values. Some of these infections engage in phishing and suchlike types of social engineering, so they are manipulative and annoying rather than dangerous. An example is the nefarious FBI virus that impersonates the apropos law enforcement agency and persistently makes victims end up on a deceptive warning page (see screen capture above). These rogue sites are nothing but bluff, stating that the user has violated the Copyright and Related Rights Law or committed some other computer-related felony. The goal of this hoax is to make victims pay a fee for their purported wrongdoings. Obviously, the correct way to go about this type of attack is to get rid of the Safari browser hijacker, which isn’t difficult to do at all.
Some types of Safari hijackers reach the brainwashing effect in a somewhat different way. They cause recurrent redirecting of web traffic to misleading sites that report critical system errors or spyware. Popups triggered on such pages may instruct victims to call “tech support” for assistance, with the telephone number being indicated there. If an unsuspecting user actually dials the number, an impostor on the other end will do their best to make the victim pay for the spoof troubleshooting services.Whereas the modus operandi of these perpetrating programs may vary, the common denominator is a piece of malware that attacks the browser and wreaks havoc with it.
Adware is another widespread sub-type of Safari threats. These are intrusive plugins that display redundant ads on web pages visited by a victim. Essentially, adware generates an inconspicuous virtual layer over the original content of a site. This layer may contain arbitrary elements, and it’s up to the attackers what those elements will be. The infected user will encounter a slew of deals, coupons, freebies, comparison shopping boxes and banners wherever they go on the Internet. Search engine results will typically also contain ads that shouldn’t be there. To top it off, adware can trigger interstitial advertisements assuming the shape of separate browser windows. In-text ads pose one more side effect of the activity of these PUPs (potentially unwanted programs).
To handle the aftermath of any malware attack on Safari, removing the troublemaking app, plugin or script is a must. The ad injection instances described above are isolated to a specific machine and have nothing to do with visited websites, so the issues won’t vanish until virus cleanup is performed on the Mac. The same applies to browser hijackers. The sections below cover the entirety of tips to get rid of Safari malware for good.
Remove malware from Safari manually
The starting point for eliminating malicious activity in Safari is to uninstall the offending extension or plugin. This route, however, only works for low-impact browser malware that’s displayed on the list of add-ons and isn’t too persistent to be trashed in the regular way. Anyway, try the steps below first.
1. Uninstall malicious extension in Safari
• Go to Safari menu and select Preferences on the drop-down list
• Click on the Extensions tab on Safari Preferences screen. Scroll down the installed extensions list in the left-hand section of the interface. Select the one that’s causing trouble and hit the Uninstall button as shown below
• While on the same screen, select the General tab. Choose your preferred search provider and define the right Safari homepage
• Save the changes and restart Safari. Check whether the issue has been fixed. If so, you’re now good to go. If the problem perseveres, proceed to the next step to handle the malware in a more thoroughgoing way
2. Reset Safari
• Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Reset Safari in the drop-down list
• Make sure all the boxes are ticked on the interface and hit Reset
Get rid of malware from Safari using Freshmac automatic removal tool
When confronted with malicious code, you can neutralize its toxic impact by leveraging a specially crafted system utility. Freshmac application (read review) is a perfect match for this purpose as it delivers essential security features along with must-have modules for Mac optimization.
This tool cleans unneeded applications and persistent malware in one click. It also protects your privacy by eliminating tracking cookies, frees up disk space, and manages startup apps to decrease boot time. On top of that, it boasts 24/7 tech support. The following steps will walk you through automatic removal of the malware virus.
1. Download Freshmac installer onto your machine. Double-click the Freshmac.pkg file to trigger the installer window, select the destination disk and click Continue. The system will display a dialog asking for your password to authorize the setup. Type the password and click Install Software.
2. Once the installation has been completed, Freshmac will automatically start a scan consisting of 5 steps. It scans cache, logs, unused languages, trash, and checks the Mac for privacy issues.
3. The scan report will then display your current system health status and the number of issues detected for each of the above categories. Click the Fix Safely button to remove junk files and address privacy issues spotted during the scan.
4. Check whether the malware problem has been fixed. If the browser redirects are still occurring, go to the Uninstaller option on Freshmac GUI. Select the entries for malicious items and click Fix Safely button to force-uninstall the unwanted applications.
5. Go to Temp and Startup Apps panes on the interface and have all redundant or suspicious items eliminated as well. The malware shouldn’t be causing any further trouble.