Learn how to uninstall Shroomcourt, a malicious Mac application that redirects a browser to search.shroomcourt.com and covertly monitors the user’s actions.
Adware and browser hijackers are often treated synonymously because the shenanigans of these culprits often overlap. Contemporary infections of that kind inject ads where they don’t belong while replacing the basic web preferences with rogue sites to cause incessant redirects the user never gave the green light to. Shroomcourt is a dubious Mac app that exemplifies this double trouble approach. It reroutes the victim’s web browser to search.shroomcourt.com and also serves as a bundle downloader that may push extra ad-injecting threats. Although the name of this service sounds like some NSFW entity, it uses a landing page that looks like a generic replica of most search providers out there. However, a little bit of examination reveals that it doesn’t use any search algorithms of its own. Instead, all requests entered in its “Search the web” bar return Yahoo or Bing results.
The unauthorized reorganization of the victim’s web traffic pursues a more subtle objective than simply forwarding Google Chrome, Safari, or Mozilla Firefox to either one of the trusted search engines mentioned above. This is a distraction tactic that makes the Shroomcourt virus attack look like an improper configuration of the affected browser. However, attentive users will notice that the path of the traffic includes an additional domain, namely getpdfsearch.com. It is displayed in the address bar for only about a second during each redirect, and then the user goes to Yahoo Search or Bing. This sneaky intermediation gives a clue that the bad actors’ scheme comes down to transforming the intercepted Internet navigation into profit. The transitional URL is a critical link in a traffic monetization chain, and the legitimate search provider at the destination point is nothing but a red herring.
As previously stated, Shroomcourt is more than a browser hijacker. Similarly to its clone called Kuklorest, it also denotes a network focused on distributing other software. Given the shady gist of the underlying application, the cross-promoted programs are most likely malicious too. The web page describing this service, shroomcourt.com, says that both software fans and developers benefit from its functionality. However, app makers appear to be the only winning party in this game because Shroomcourt provides a bundling mechanism that installs harmful code on Macs behind a user’s back. This framework cashes in on most people’s reluctance to opt out of the “express” installation mode that furtively pulls in unwanted programs alongside harmless ones.
As a matter of fact, this is exactly how the Shroomcourt app infiltrates Mac computers itself. Unsuspecting users may come across one of its booby-trapped setup clients that seem to only install some free, benign software but additionally tout the infection behind the scenes. In the aftermath of this guile, the system undergoes adverse influence that involves a tampering at several different levels. The predatory app settles down inside a Mac by creating a device profile that specifies the way the web browsers work. In particular, it replaces the preferred search engine, homepage, and new tab page with search.shroomcourt.com while preventing the victim from resetting these parameters to their correct state.
As part of the attack, the Shroomcourt virus performs a sort of reconnaissance by gathering details about the plagued machine, including the macOS version, IP address, and hardware configuration. It also harvests information relating to online activities such as the search log and visited sites. The operators of this campaign can use this data for targeted advertising or sell it to cybercriminals on hacker forums. Given the combination of privacy risks and harsh interference with one’s browsing routine, Shroomcourt should be removed from a Mac straight off.
Shroomcourt 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.
- Expand the Go menu in your Mac’s Finder bar and select Utilities as shown below.
- Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the Utilities screen and double-click on it.
- In the Activity Monitor app, look for Shroomcourt or another 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.
- When a follow-up dialog pops up asking if you are sure you want to quit the troublemaking process, select the Force Quit option.
- 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.
- Type /Library/LaunchAgents in the folder search dialog and click on the Go button.
- 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.shroomcourt.settings.plist, shroomcourt.net-preferences.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.
- 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).
- 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 Shroomcourt, Kuklorest, IdeaShared, and ProgressMatch.
- Enter ~/Library/LaunchAgents string (don’t forget to include the tilde character) in the Go to Folder search area.
- The system will display LaunchAgents residing in the current user’s Home directory. Look for dodgy items related to Shroomcourt virus (see logic highlighted in subsections above) and drag the suspects to the Trash.
- Type /Library/LaunchDaemons in the Go to Folder search field.
- 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.
- Click on the Go menu icon in your Mac’s Finder and select Applications on the list.
- Find Shroomcourt or another 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.
- Expand the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
- 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 Shroomcourt or another potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-” (minus) button.
- 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 TechSignalSearch, MainSearchPlatform, AdminPrefs, and Chrome Settings. 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 Shroomcourt virus in web browser on Mac
To begin with, the web browser settings taken over by the Shroomcourt 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:
- Remove Shroomcourt 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
- Remove Shroomcourt 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.
- Remove Shroomcourt 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 Shroomcourt virus using Combo Cleaner removal tool
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Shroomcourt 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 Shroomcourt 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 Shroomcourt 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.