Read an overview of the A.akamaihd.net and GoPhoto.it adware issue on Mac and get step-by-step removal instructions to completely resolve this problem.
Update: April 2020
There has been recently an extremely substantial rise of aggressive adware programs that act more like browser hijackers in that they trigger spoof software download recommendations and redirect one’s web traffic to ad-oriented pages without users’ consent. Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net is an example of the Internet fraudsters’ take on such unethical advertising. However, what makes this particular adware different is not only its capability to affect various browsers, but also the cross-platform contamination it’s fit to deploy.
This article will cover the effects of a.akamaihd.net attacking Mac machines and an efficient removal workflow applicable to this scenario. Indeed, a predominant majority of infection cases refer to Windows, but it appears the pest is no less persistent and perhaps even harder to eliminate from computers running macOS.
Let’s kick off with analyzing what this adware does to a Mac. No matter if you’re using Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or other web browser customized for Mac, the virus reroutes your traffic to deceptive landing pages or pops up new browser windows with -a.akamaihd.net in the URL field. Note that the web address can be appended by different tails, meaning that the look of these pages may vary. In any case, victims get to see persistent recommendations of downloading some weird stuff such as a critical browser update, multimedia player, video downloader – the former one being prevalent among the reported ‘offers’. Those infected additionally find themselves in a loop of repeated browser redirects that lead to a fake web search service.
It’s worth pointing out that Akamaihd.net per se is not a malicious service. It is part of a large CDN (content delivery network) using multiple servers around the world and processing a great deal of Internet traffic. However, it appears that the operators of massive adware campaigns have been abusing this platform for quite some time. The foul play most likely relies on renting server capacities to rotate online scams rather than deliver benign content. These fraudulent activities fly under the radar of traditional web filtering mechanisms because the core service is legit and reputable, which explains why the malefactors keep adhering with this controversial cooperation. It is somewhat unclear, though, how such a powerful network could possibly become a pivot point of numerous Internet hoaxes circulating for years.
From a technical perspective, when it comes to Macs, redirects to Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net are a symptom of the activity of a web browser extension installed by a potentially unwanted program called WindowMix or GoPhoto.it. The former is a known-malicious adware app that sneaks into systems without permission and displays popup ads while additionally redistributing users’ web traffic to faux search engines. The latter is a fairly popular add-on intended to facilitate viewing, editing and sharing images on the Internet. If this browser helper object gets installed, things are going to get frustrating because along with the actually handy image processing you run into the obnoxious popup problem. Basically, this means it’s not really Rvzr-a.akamaihd.net proper that you need to get rid of. The issue is caused by GoPhoto.it, and that’s your target if you’re experiencing the diverts. The issue is caused by WindowMix, GoPhoto.it or other adware, and that’s your target if you’re experiencing the diverts.
There is one more shady service constituting the Akamaihd.net fraud. It’s called Safe Finder. This is a notorious source of numerous browser hijack stratagems targeting Mac computers since the dawn of the epidemic. Here is how the scheme works: first, a malware-tainted web browser gets its default homepage replaced with a URL similar to search46107304-a.akamaihd.net, with a random-looking extension appended to it:
This encroachment on a victim’s online preferences entails iterative instances of traffic forwarding to the wrong domain. From there, the infected user is automatically rerouted to a pseudo search provider, such as search.searchpulse.net, search.anysearchmanager.com or search.safefinderformac.com. All keyword queries made with either one of these junk services lead to Yahoo search results combined with ads above the fold and a logo of the malicious service interwoven with this exploitation, such as Safe Finder. Incidentally, the URL of the landing page is appended with “yhs” characters, so it will start with search.yahoo.com/yhs. That’s most likely an abbreviation of “Yahoo Hosted Search”, a popular solution offering customizable search features. This way, the unscrupulous e-marketers are monetizing their dubious activities.
The contamination logic revolves around bundling, a method of promoting apps in a covert way so that the would-be victim is only aware of a benign element of the installer while having no idea that it’s got company. Fake Adobe Flash Player updates touted by intrusive popups on malicious websites are among the main entry points for the A.akamaihd.net threat. Once inside and running on a Mac, the harmful code instantly creates a new configuration profile that manages the victim’s browsing settings. This tactic makes it very problematic to revert to the correct search and homepage preferences in Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. That’s why the malware cleanup is only effective as long as the malware-riddle device profile is deleted. In order to do it, open the Finder menu, go to System Preferences, and select Profiles. Then, check the list in the left-hand section of the screen for items you don’t recognize. Any unfamiliar entry should be deleted without a second thought. All it takes is selecting it and clicking on the minus icon at the bottom. This should unlock the usual recovery techniques covered further down.
No matter which incarnation of the Akamaihd.net virus you are faced with, the only effective response is to get rid of the infection. The section below is tailored to assist those affected in removing the adware and hence ceasing the popup and redirect activity for good.
A.akamaihd.net 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.
1. Open up the Utilities folder as shown below
2. Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it
3. Under Activity Monitor, find a process named GoPhoto, Safe Finder, WindowMix or another one that appears to be suspicious, select it and click Quit Process
4. A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option
5. Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Locate GoPhoto, Safe Finder, WindowMix or other dubious entry on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it
6. Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option
7. 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. Find GoPhoto, WindowMix, Safe Finder, SearchPulse or other potentially unwanted app there and click on the “-“ button
Get rid of Akamaihd.net redirects in web browser on Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by Akamaihd.net virus Mac 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.
- Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list
- Reset 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. Under the Restore settings to their original defaults option, click the Reset settings button
- 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.
- Reset Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and select Help – Troubleshooting Information
- On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button
Use automatic tool to fix the a.akamaihd.net Mac issue
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Malware triggering a.akamaihd.net 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 Malware triggering a.akamaihd.net 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 the update of 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 Malware triggering a.akamaihd.net 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.
Akamaihd is a content delivery network with a complex infrastructure of servers distributed around the world. Its services are used by major corporations and regular website owners alike. One of the key benefits of this cooperation comes down to boosting site loading speed due to optimization of online content delivery based on the visitor’s geographic location.
Akamaihd net is, undoubtedly, a legit platform leveraged and trusted by numerous businesses and webmasters. However, it also appears to be a part of large-scale adware and browser hijacking frauds perpetrated by cybercriminals. The fact that the service has a solid reputation allows these campaigns to stay up and running for years on end without being taken down. How exactly the crooks manage to manipulate the CDN’s checks and controls is still a question that has yet to be answered.
Pxlclnmdecom a Akamaihd is the way users refer to a widespread browser redirect fraud currently making the rounds. In fact, the accurate URL the victims encounter in their address bar during the hijack is pxlclnmdecom-a.akamaihd.net. The string is followed by a tail denoting the identifiers of a particular shady sub-campaign. This domain is a transit spot forwarding the contaminated web browser further to fake software update pages, spammy ads, tech support scams, or rogue search providers.
Any Internet-facing electronic system can get hacked, and so can Macs. In the case of Akamaihd.net virus, though, the attack isn’t really a hack in the traditional sense. Its operators are unable to control the plagued computers remotely or cause suchlike damage. Instead, once the infection is inside, it runs autonomously in compliance with a predefined set of instructions. It invokes a series of commands to change the victim’s browsing preferences and thus rearrange the normal web surfing routine without authorization. This interference doesn’t call forth severe effects, but it’s a nuisance preventing those contaminated from using their computers in a hassle-free way. All in all, classic hacking is probably a marginal thing in the macOS environment, but Mac malware is definitely real, and it’s here to stay.
As mentioned in the guide above, Akamaihd.net virus is both cross-browser and multi-platform. It means iPhones are just as susceptible to the attack as laptops and desktop computers, although the mobile infections issue isn’t as common. The logic of the incursion is the same: the pest typically slithers into an iPhone via booby-trapped installations promoted on uncertified app stores. Once on board, it tweaks the custom Internet settings to drive traffic to the affiliated junk sources. If you have discovered such an anomaly on your iOS device, the fix is usually a matter of clearing caches, history and data in the affected web browser.