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The Most Widespread and Annoying Mac Viruses

If you are concerned about your data safety then you need to know about these widespread and annoying Mac viruses. I’ll go over which ones to look out for in our virus-dominated times. I’ll also share tips so you can prevent them in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, Macs can get viruses and malware. As Macs become more popular, hackers and rogue programmers see them as a more lucrative target now.

Here are seven of the most popular viruses, malware, and scams for Macs.

1. Browser Hijackers

While browser hijackers are not viruses in the traditional sense where they copy and spread across your entire computer. They can be just as malicious. Typically, browser hijackers will adjust your browser settings without your permission. They’ll change things like your homepage and your default search engines to things like Bing, Yahoo, and Search Baron to name a few. Seems harmless, right? It’s not.

The reason the browser hijackers change those settings are so they can track your search and web browsing history. Including passwords.

How did a browser hijacker get on your Mac?

Usually, they’re bundled with other suspicious software that you might have installed.

The browser hijackers come under such names as
  • Search Baron
  • We Know Search
  • Search Marquis

There are many of them. For example, the CleanMyMac X antivirus, which is a superb Mac antivirus, by the way, identifies about 15 such apps that mess up with your search. One way to detect and remove such malware is to use the app CleanMyMac X.

The Most Widespread and Annoying Mac Viruses

There’s a Malware Removal module that will scan your hard drive for all types of rogue programs. It has a free version available you can download.

2. Trojan viruses

Trojans trick your Mac and its user into thinking it’s a legitimate program before wreaking havoc on your computer after it’s installed. Like a trojan horse, they carry the unseen apps inside them which stay in the shade on your Mac.

3. GravityRAT

The most popular Mac trojan is arguably GravityRAT. Once it’s on your computer it uploads Microsoft Office files, takes random screenshots, and records your keystrokes. If you find yourself having to download apps on mass download sites or torrents, then you should definitely consider a Mac antivirus to help protect you. Some more specific malware examples include Fruitfly.

4. Fruitfly

Fruitfly is malware that has stolen millions of pictures, tax records, and webcam images. But the scariest part about Fruitfly can go undetected by most antivirus applications. So, just because your antivirus is saying your Mac is safe, doesn’t mean Fruitfly isn’t on there. I’ve mentioned CleanMyMac X, and this one is different because it’s a Mac-specific antivirus that’s more adjusted to how your macOS works. And Apple also has done their best to patch up macOS. But it’s unknown if newer versions exist and are now sneaking around.

 5. X-agent

Another malware example is X-agent. It was designed primarily to steal sensitive data like passwords, iPhone backups and take screenshots of information it couldn’t transmit. X-agent is a highly sophisticated piece of malware. And it’s allegedly responsible for infamous attacks on TV stations, global organizations, and governments like the German parliament and even the White House.

It can get on your Mac by being bundled without legitimate applications. The most popular app was a downloader called Komplex.

6. The malware called MacDownloader

While it might sound harmless, MacDownloader describes itself as an update for Adobe Flash and prompts users to enter their admin passwords. After they do, MacDownloader then has access to everything on their computer and will send files to a remote server. Something to keep in mind is that Adobe no longer supports Flash. So, if you’re being asked to update it, that means something funny is definitely going on. The next malware example is actually a type of ransomware.

7. KeRanger

It’s called KeRanger. Ransomware gets on your computer to encrypt your data and prevent you from accessing it until you pay the hackers a ransom. Typically in bitcoin. KeRanger works exactly in this way. And it gets access to your Mac because it’s bundled with an app called Transmission. So, when you install Transmission version 2.90, you’re like installing KeRanger as well. The last scam I want to tell you about are phishing emails.

Phishing emails

Have you received emails like these about suspicious logins to your Apple ID? Look closer, this one is not from apple.com but comes from a different address, like email-id-apple.com — which is a scam domain. This is called phishing mail. And no, I don’t mean emails about your upcoming fishing trip.

The Most Widespread and Annoying Mac Viruses

Phishing emails, with a ‘p-h’, are emails that look like they’re coming from a legitimate source, but ask you to log in or send sensitive information. So, that in turn they can steal your passwords and gain access to all of your accounts. If you’re ever unsure about an email, check the sender’s email address. It should come from an address you recognize and not look randomized.


Hover your pointer over the destination link and you can see the real address where it wants you to click. For the most part, using a Mac is a fairly safe and malware-free experience. But no computer is safe 100% of the time. So, knowing what to look out for keeps you ahead of the game.

And if you do accidentally end up with malware on your Mac, you can download CleanMyMac X and get rid of it in a flash. This app is actually notarized by Apple, meaning its code has been verified as safe. I hope this was informative and drop a comment to let me know how you’ve dealt with any of these scams.

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