Mac OS forum

Question

Mac Browsers all contaminated?

by jtknyu / September 5, 2014 10:18 AM PDT

iMac and OS 10.9.4. Suddenly all my browsers, Safari, Chrome, Firefox are almost unusable because every other click opens a new ACTIVE window or tab trying to sell me something. Any click, anywhere on a page triggers this interruption. Also, small videos automatically open at the bottom of the window I'm using, again selling something. Most of the new windows/tabs are for MacKeeper, but they are for other businesses too and are very sophisticated. If I'm on a site selling cigars, a competitor's window will open with very similar cigar offers and/or products already selected. It happens even when clicking on things like 'shopping cart' or "submit order". This can be misleading to say the least, and dangerous as you expect a new window and get one. My virus program hasn't found anything. I have pop-up blocker on, and I've dumped all cookies. It is getting worse and there are also these "you're the 100,000 visitor" small windows that appear, can't be closed, and actually block things like 'one click' ordering or 'view invoice' at Amazon. Any help? This is making browsing impossible. It happens at all sites, but Amazon is the worst. Tonight there appears a "short (Amazon or hp) survey, valuable prize" window with almost every click, it has horrible voice over, and no close button. I'm being driven crazy. This can't be just me that's been attacked. There must be someone who knows what this is and how to end it. If Amazon is listening, this will definitely hurt your business, and I wouldn't buy MacKeeper now with a gun to my head. Please don't tell me this is just normal Google ads at work. If it is, internet commerce is dead.

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All Answers

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Answer
right now I do not know what it is but,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 6, 2014 12:56 AM PDT
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Thanks, ha-ha, I won't.
by jtknyu / September 8, 2014 9:21 AM PDT

No, shortly after the post I found the answer at the official Mac forum site. I had "adware" or some such thing and they routed me to a site with an Applescript fix. The fix had enough warnings to make one wary of using it, but it worked by finding a program and trashing it. Evidently, it is common - just Google "Adware" to see. While browsing and being interrupted I wondered why someone would do this without reimbursement from the competitors they shove in one's face. Maybe, just maybe, MacKeeper is unaware, but if so why are they the preferred ad for me. I also studied a little on how it works. They are very specific in the choices made for alternatives, which is of course the ultimate goal of Google when placing ads. The problem with my version was its new activation with every other click. But then the "you won" and "please take a survey for a valuable prize" things started to appear. Answer 4 questions and choose from any of 5 $150 valued prizes for only shipping and handling - $5.99. These offers actually used the Amazon and hp names on the surveys. So I actually answered one just to see if this was a way of getting card numbers, or to get rich $5.99 at a time. I'm so used to identity theft that one more useless credit card seemed a small price to pay just to find out. I'll stop back here to let you know when my handbag or watch arrives - or NOT. The $5.99 charge went through.
Thanks for answering. I'm so relieved to be back to normal browsing I want to send money to the author of the Applescript. He/she must be a good guy as no payment was requested. Then again, maybe I've completed the circle by finding and running the Applescript, and the original joker may now unravel my financial life completely. Finally, my faith in my virus detection software plummeted. I assume that one of those "I agree" that precede so many legitimate installations must have contained a notice of "additional software included" so as to make it my fault for accepting it, and moved it outside the realm of virus. Caveat emptor.

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Currently there are no virus's that are active against OS X
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 8, 2014 9:39 PM PDT

What you have was Malware that a lot of AV software do not manage to find.

Lesson learned here should be to read everything during an installation. If you see anything suspicious, hit the cancel button and move on.

Glad you are back in business


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