What is Expanded Service
Expanded Service is malicious software, categorized by malware researchers as potentially unwanted application (PUA). You may see it advertised as a helpful app for your Mac, but it is actually programmed to push a large quantity of aggressive advertisements, some of which may even redirect you to unsafe websites, seeking to infect your computer with more threats, or trick you into installing other harmful junk on your device.
How it is distributed
You may have consciously installed the Expanded Service app, thinking it’s a useful tool to have, but in most cases, this parasite manages to invade without the knowledge of the victim. This happens via torrent files, freeware, software bundles, infected ads and links, as well as email attachments. During an installation process, you may see additional software offers. We highly recommend not to install them, since more often than not, they turn out to be malware in disguise. To make sure that no hidden program is able to gain access unnoticed, always choose the custom/advanced option when installing software. This will give you full control over the process. All you have to do is be cautious and opt out of any additional software that may be included in the installer.
How it operates
As soon as it gets access to your Mac, this application will flood your screen with numerous intrusive ads every time you open your browser. Even AdBlocker won’t be able to stop them. To make sure you’ll be more attracted to them, the parasite will customize them according to the already obtained data from your browser like most visited pages and search queries. Right after its installation, this pest will monitor your online activity and steal sensitive data, among which may be even passwords, credit card numbers and GPS coordinates. What’s more, the aggressive advertisement attacks will soon make your browser unresponsive, and your internet speed drop. The only way to regain control over your browser, and protect your online privacy is to remove the Expanded Service app from your PC.
Staying safe from Expanded Service
Apart from having a reliable AV software installed on your Mac, there are other things you can do to ensure your device’s safety. We highly recommend you to:
- Pay close attention when you install third-party software, especially torrent files, so you don’t install shady additional applications that you don’t want. In most cases, that’s how malicious parasites are able to infect your computer;
- Read any Terms and Conditions you see, so you know exactly what you agree to. The last thing you want is to unknowingly give permission to a nasty virus to infiltrate your Mac;
- Follow links that lead to trustworthy sites only;
- It is best to visit only reliable and official websites. You never know what dangers might lurk behind an unfamiliar site;
- No matter how attractive an ad is, if you are not familiar with the website it redirects to, it might be best to steer clear of it and not click;
- Always check the sender’s email address before opening a message. If it states that it’s from an official company, compare the email with the one given in their official page. If there is no match, delete the message, since it most likely is fake and has malicious aims;
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. More often than not, such files carry infections that can seriously damage your computer.
How to manually remove Expanded Service from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the Expanded Service PUA, the instructions below can help you to remove it manually. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to Utilities. You can do that by using the ⇧+⌘+U key combination, or by going to Finder and choosing Utilities from the Go main menu at the top.
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it.
3. A list will be displayed. Find any processes that seem suspicious to you and use the ‘Force Quit‘ option to quit them completely.
4. Open Finder. Click on the Go button from the main menu at the top, and choose Applications. An alternative way is to use the ⇧+⌘+A key combination.
5. Look for any suspicious applications, especially ones with a name similar to Expanded Service. If any are found, right-click on them and select the ‘Move to Trash‘ option.
6. Remove any related left-over files by going to Finder‘s search bar and typing the name of the app you want to remove. Make sure to modify the two drop down menus above to ‘System Files‘ and ‘Are Included‘, so that any hidden files are visible for you to remove. Once you find the files you want to remove, simply drag them to Trash.
7. All that’s left for you to do is remove any related extensions to Expanded Service from your Mac browsers.
For Mozilla Firefox extensions:
- Open the Firefox browser and from the ‘burger’ menu in the top right corner of the window select ‘Add-ons’.
- Select any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and click ‘Remove’.
For Google Chrome extensions:
- Open the Chrome browser and select Tools > Extensions from the menu (the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window).
- Locate any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and remove them.
For Safari extensions:
- Open the Safari browser. From the Safari menu choose Preferences. Select Extensions from the options at the top.
- Find any extensions you think are related to the virus, select them and click ‘Uninstall’. A new window will show up asking for confirmation. Click Uninstall again, for the extension to get deleted permanently from your browser.