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Remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” virus from Mac

Remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” virus from Mac


Get rid of the Chrome ‘Managed by your organization’ message on Mac that could be a symptom of adware interfering with browser preferences without permission.

Corporate network admins undoubtedly appreciate the ability to specify enterprise policies in Google Chrome. This feature bridges the gap between a company’s rules for computing and the Internet activities available to the employees. When this functionality is in effect, users will see a message that says, “Managed by your organization” when opening the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ menu via the three-dots ‘More’ icon in the upper right-hand part of the browser window. This way, IT teams can easily narrow down the scope of accessible features so that users don’t visit potentially harmful sites. Another benefit is that businesses can install certain browser extensions and define custom settings in one hit. However, cybercriminals look at this situation under a different angle. They deem the enterprise policy mechanism as an opportunity to change Chrome behavior on Mac computers remotely for nefarious purposes.

The mishandling of this functionality isn’t far-fetched and goes way beyond theoretical implications. In fact, the operators of some Mac adware campaigns have been leveraging this trick for years to maintain persistence and align Chrome settings with their dubious goals. One of the notorious potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that’s known to execute this strategy is called SearchMine. Having infiltrated a Mac machine, it configures the browser to act up by replacing the victim’s default settings with searchmine.net. The parameters affected through this technique include Chrome homepage, search engine preferences, and new tab page. The trio is substituted with searchmine.net value that appears to be hard-coded and cannot be modified manually. This tampering paves the pest’s way toward incessant redirects to the fake search engine that further leads to custom Yahoo results. By the way, this exact method is also a distinguishing characteristic of another Mac adware called Safe Finder, which drags victims into a loop of rerouting to search.safefinder.com.

The Mac users who find themselves in this rerouting jeopardy and identify the underlying adware infection quickly realize that the removal of culprit is on their immediate to-do list. The problem is that changing the wrongly imposed configuration via Chrome’s settings page turns out to be impossible. The homepage, search, and new tab fields are grayed out and don’t allow edits in the regular way. The phrase going “Managed by your organization” at the bottom of the browser main menu drop-down gives a clue that the fix lies deeper than the obvious troubleshooting footwork everyone is knowledgeable about. Another hallmark sign of the weaponized enterprise policy feature is that the ‘chrome://management’ query entered in the URL bar will return a response that says, “Your browser is managed. Your administrator can change your browser setup remotely. Activity on this device may also be managed outside of Chrome”.

If this is the case, thorough repair will involve a number of steps beyond Google Chrome alone. When the SearchMine virus or another browser-focused PUA crops up on a Mac, it additionally adds a sketchy configuration profile called Chrome Settings. This is another layer of obstinacy for redefining the victim’s computing patterns, in general, and Internet navigation, in particular. Eliminating this item is an important prerequisite for sorting out the problem. The detailed instructions on how to do it will be provided further down.

If a piece of malware is to blame for causing the Chrome “Managed by your organization” alert on Mac, it means that the user has previously made a mistake when installing some harmless-looking software. The common origin of the browser hijack is a fake Adobe Flash Player update popup encountered on a fishy or hacked web page. This hoax pretends to install the latest Flash Player version onto the Mac while additionally promoting nasties like SearchMine in a furtive way. Therefore, people would be better off avoiding application bundles altogether, especially if they are pushed by means of questionably legit splash screens on sites.

To recap, “Managed by your organization” message could be unrelated to a valid enterprise policy enforced by a device administrator on a business network. It has also become a part of malware distributors’ handbook. If the latter scenario is in place, be sure to follow the tips below and remove the unwanted setup impacting Chrome behavior on Mac. Be advised that it may also be necessary to tidy up other browsers that are most likely hijacked as well.


Chrome “Managed by your organization” 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 specified order.

  1. Expand the Go menu in your Mac’s Finder bar and select Utilities as shown below.

  2. Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the Utilities screen and double-click on it.

  3. In the Activity Monitor app, look for a process that appears suspicious. To narrow down your search, focus on unfamiliar resource-intensive entries on the list. Keep in mind that its name isn’t necessarily related to the way the threat is manifesting itself, so you’ll need to trust your own judgement. If you pinpoint the culprit, select it and click on the Stop icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

  4. When a follow-up dialog pops up asking if you are sure you want to quit the troublemaking process, select the Force Quit option.

  5. Click on the Go menu icon in the Finder again and select Go to Folder. You can as well use the Command-Shift-G keyboard shortcut.

  6. Type /Library/LaunchAgents in the folder search dialog and click on the Go button.

  7. Examine the contents of the LaunchAgents folder for dubious-looking items. Be advised that the names of files spawned by malware may give no clear clues that they are malicious, so you should look for recently added entities that appear to deviate from the norm.

    As an illustration, here are several examples of LaunchAgents related to mainstream Mac infections: com.pcv.hlpramc.plist, com.updater.mcy.plist, com.avickUpd.plist, and com.msp.agent.plist. If you spot files that don’t belong on the list, go ahead and drag them to the Trash.

  8. Use the Go to Folder lookup feature again to navigate to the folder named ~/Library/Application Support (note the tilde symbol prepended to the path).

  9. When the Application Support directory is opened, identify recently generated suspicious folders in it and send them to the Trash. A quick tip is to look for items whose names have nothing to do with Apple products or apps you knowingly installed. A few examples of known-malicious folder names are ProgressSiteIdeaShared and ExtraBrowser.

  10. Enter ~/Library/LaunchAgents string (don’t forget to include the tilde character) in the Go to Folder search area.

  11. The system will display LaunchAgents residing in the current user’s Home directory. Look for dodgy items related to “Managed by your organization” virus (see logic highlighted in subsections above) and drag the suspects to the Trash.

  12. Type /Library/LaunchDaemons in the Go to Folder search field.

  13. In the LaunchDaemons path, try to pinpoint the files the malware is using for persistence. Several examples of such items cropped by Mac infections are com.pplauncher.plist, com.startup.plist, and com.ExpertModuleSearchDaemon.plist. Delete the sketchy files immediately.

  14. Click on the Go menu icon in your Mac’s Finder and select Applications on the list.

  15. Find the entry for an app that clearly doesn’t belong there and move it to the Trash. If this action requires your admin password for confirmation, go ahead and enter it.

  16. Expand the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

  17. Proceed to Users & Groups and click on the Login Items tab.

    The system will display the list of items launched when the computer is starting up. Locate the potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-” (minus) button.

  18. Now select Profiles under System Preferences. Look for a malicious item in the left-hand sidebar. Several examples of configuration profiles created by Mac adware include ChromeSettings, TechSignalSearch, MainSearchPlatform, AdminPrefs. Select the offending entity and click on the minus sign at the bottom to eliminate it.

    If your Mac has been infiltrated by adware, the infection will most likely continue to hold sway over your default web browser even after you remove the underlying application along with its components sprinkled around the system. Use the browser cleanup instructions below to address the remaining consequences of this attack.

Get rid of Chrome “Managed by your organization” virus in web browser on Mac

To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by the Chrome “Managed by your organization” virus should be restored to their default values. Although this will clear most of your customizations, web surfing history, and all temporary data stored by websites, the malicious interference should be terminated likewise. The overview of the steps for completing this procedure is as follows:

  1. Remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” virus from Safari
    • Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list

    • Once the Preferences screen appears, click on the Advanced tab and enable the option saying “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

    • Now that the Develop entry has been added to the Safari menu, expand it and click on Empty Caches.

    • Now select History in the Safari menu and click on Clear History in the drop-down list.

    • Safari will display a dialog asking you to specify the period of time this action will apply to. Select all history to ensure a maximum effect. Click on the Clear History button to confirm and exit.

    • Go back to the Safari Preferences and hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Manage Website Data and click on it.

    • The browser will display a follow-up screen listing the websites that have stored data about your Internet activities. This dialog additionally includes a brief description of what the removal does: 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 on the Remove All button.

    • Restart Safari
  2. Remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” in Google Chrome
    • Open Chrome, click the Customize and control Google Chrome (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down

    • When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
    • Scroll down to the Reset settings section.

    • Confirm the Chrome reset on a dialog that will pop up. When the procedure is completed, relaunch the browser and check it for malware activity.

  3. Remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” from Mozilla Firefox
    • Open Firefox and go to Help – Troubleshooting Information (or type about:support in the URL bar and press Enter).

    • When on the Troubleshooting Information screen, click on the Refresh Firefox button.

    • Confirm the intended changes and restart Firefox.

Get rid of Chrome “Managed by your organization” virus using Combo Cleaner removal tool

The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” 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 Chrome “Managed by your organization” issue using Combo Cleaner:

  1. Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.

    Download Combo Cleaner

    By downloading any applications recommended on this website you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. The free scanner checks whether your Mac is infected. To get rid of malware, you need to purchase the Premium version of Combo Cleaner.

  2. Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run the update of malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
  3. Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.

  4. 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).

  5. In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove Chrome “Managed by your organization” threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.

  6. 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.

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