Learn what Mac virus displays the “Network Layer wants to make changes” popups, what objectives it pursues, and how to remove it from infected Mac.
A growing trend in the malware underground is about building ramified networks of cyber threats, where specific malicious code is deployed in combination with associated infections. Furthermore, the symptoms often change over time, with new adverse effects being added as the pest evolves. The popups plaguing a Mac that read, “Network Layer wants to make changes” demonstrate these subtle interconnections. Numerous users are bumping into these splash alerts off and on while surfing the web. This irksome activity typically originates at the level of web browsers, whether it’s Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. The dialogs request the victim’s admin credentials under the guise of regular maintenance or update of the Mac’s network configuration. At first sight, it may appear that the attack is a classic social engineering technique aimed at wheedling out the user’s system password. That’s true, but things are bit more complicated than that.
Some closer scrutiny unveils a relation of the “Network Layer wants to make changes” popups with at least two infamous Mac viruses. Most of the affected users have also reported being hit by additional unwelcome entities, including Advanced Mac Cleaner and Chill Tab. These represent different categories of malign Mac code but presumably stem from the same “workshop”. The former is a long-running fake system utility that reports imaginary problems on a Mac in an attempt to dupe the user into buying its license. The latter is an adware that hijacks browsers and drives traffic to bogus search services. The co-occurrence of the popup issue in question with the activity of either one of these culprits is definitely not accidental. This is evidence of the ties mentioned at the beginning of this guide. While exchanging data with their C2 server, these perpetrating apps covertly download an obtrusive browser extension and enable it in the victim’s default web browser without permission.
What’s the point of the “Network Layer wants to make changes” alerts in the context of this symbiosis, though? The most plausible scenario comes down to causing more damage and enlarging the attack surface. Whereas the tactics of the Advanced Mac Cleaner scareware and the Chill Tab browser hijacker don’t match, their authors apparently don’t mind getting the fullest scope of access on the contaminated Mac. This way, they can easily drop and execute arbitrary viruses onto the host, or even remotely lock the machine down and extort money for unlocking it. Beneath the phrase about intended changes, the fraudulent dialogs say, “Enter your password to allow this”. Keep in mind that it’s the highly sensitive admin password that the crooks want. The popups under scrutiny, therefore, are a mechanism for the cybercriminals to gain elevated privileges on a malware-tainted Mac and be able to impact it further.
Ultimately, the right flow of thoughts regarding this predicament should lead the victim to detect and remove the “Network Layer wants to make changes” Mac virus and related malware.
“Network Layer wants to make changes” virus manual removal for Mac
The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this malicious application. Be sure to follow the instructions in the order specified.
- Open up the Utilities folder as shown below
- Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it
- Under Activity Monitor, find Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Cleaner, Mac Cleanup Pro, Chill Tab, Chill-Tab or some other item that appears suspicious, select it and click Quit Process
- A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option
- Expand the Go menu in Apple Finder and select Go to Folder
- Type or paste the following string in the folder search dialog: /Library/LaunchAgents
- Once the LaunchAgents directory opens up, find the following entries in it and move them to Trash:
- Use the Go to Folder lookup feature again to navigate to the folder named ~/Library/LaunchAgents. When this path opens, look for the same entries (see above) and send them to Trash
- Similarly, go to the ~Library/Application Support folder. Locate and move the following entries to Trash:
- Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the entry for Advanced Mac Cleaner or Chill Tab on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it
- Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option
- Select Accounts and click the Login Items button. The system will come up with the list of the items that launch when the box is started up. Locate the potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button
Remove the “Network Layer wants to make changes” popup virus from web browser on Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by the “Network Layer wants to make changes” virus should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:
- Reset Safari
- Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list
- Once the Preferences screen appears, hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Remove All Website Data and click on it
- The system will display a confirmation dialog that also includes a brief description of what the reset does. Specifically, you may be logged out of some services and encounter other changes of website behavior after the procedure. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and click the Remove Now button
- In order to selectively clear data generated by certain websites only, not all of them, hit the Details button under the Privacy section of Safari Preferences
- This feature will list all websites that have stored potentially sensitive data, including cache and cookies. Select the one, or ones, that might be causing trouble and click the appropriate button at the bottom (Remove or Remove All). Click the Done button to exit.
- Reset Google Chrome
- Open Chrome and click the Customize and Control Google Chrome menu icon
- Select Options for a new window to appear
- Select Under the Hood tab, then click Reset to defaults button
- Reset Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and select Help – Troubleshooting Information
- On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button
Get rid of the “Network Layer wants to make changes” virus using Combo Cleaner removal tool
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove 'Network Layer wants to make changes' popup virus virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.
Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the 'Network Layer wants to make changes' popup virus issue using Combo Cleaner:
- Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.
- Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run an update of the malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
- Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.
- Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).
- In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove 'Network Layer wants to make changes' popup virus threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.
- Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.