How to Remove Malware on Mac

A few days ago I downloaded some software off the internet on my Mac. As you know Apple does not recommend downloading and installing software from the web.  They recommend to download software for the app store.  I really though I needed that software so I did anyway. As it turned out it installed a lot more than I bargained for.

The symptoms were that my Chrome browser stopped working after receiving a "Call-us for help in removing malware from your Mac" pop up.  Safari was working but I was getting hi-jacked on every hyperlink. Instead of going to the actual links Safari would end up on commercial ads. Eventually the browser would end up with the pop up that had a toll free number asking me to call it because I had malware on my Mac. Once that ad popped up, it rendered the browser useless. Of course I figure they were the actual malware, so calling them would likely lead to some serious trouble.

I searched the internet for an answer, on my windows box because my mac was useless for searching at this point.  I found the usual "drag any suspicious apps to the trash can" articles. The instructions recommended stopping them first by using Activity monitor and then force closing them.  After that removing them.  I also found instructions on how to disable extensions on the Safari Browser (Sometimes the problem comes from extensions that are installed for the browser).

The recommendation from Apple on their support page was to look for some very specific malware products; MacDefender, MacSecurity and MacProtector. None of these were installed on my machine.  What was installed on my machine was a product known as MacKeeper. I was able to remove the application but the problem persisted.

I searched through the Applications folder to see what applications had been installed on 22 August and removed the ones that had that date. The problem still persisted. I kept getting click-jacked.

The message pop-up that I was getting was coming from comtrek-fin.  I finally was able to remove it with a tool that I, once again, downloaded from the internet.  I looked for a malware removal tool in the app store first but could not find one. Instead I found the tool named Malware Bytes.  You can get the tool from their site at https://www.malwarebytes.org/antimalware/mac/.  I took a real chance since I had never heard of this product. It seems that they are legit. They are also available for PC.  I got the trial version but I think that I will be purchasing it to avoid any malware in the future.

With Malware Bytes the removal was easy. It scanned my system, found and revealed three different sets of malware and then it removed them.  Easy peasy.  Now my browsers are working as they should with no malware hi-jacking my clicks.

Added Notes:  I googled comtrek-fin and apparently they are some sort of loan company so it makes me wonder why the message was asking me to call them in relation to a virus.  Things that make you go hmm...

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