What is MacShiny
MacShiny is a program advertised as a useful tool that can help you “clean up your Mac at advanced level”. This utility is not something you want to have on your Mac. IT researchers categorize MacShiny as a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). If recently you started to receive annoying in-browser notifications and pop-ups that seemingly have no obvious source, you should know that malicious software like MacShiny is behind this. This is a trick to make you install other unreliable software developed by this company. Unfortunately, advertisement interruptions are not the only thing that come as consequence of a successful MacShiny infiltration. This PUP is more than capable of stealing your personal data and corrupting your browsers to the point of them not being able to work properly.
How it is distributed
As we already mentioned, MacShiny is a program you can find online. It is available to download directly from its official site. Apart from consciously visiting this page, you may get redirected to it by clicking on unreliable pop-ups or visiting shady sites. You may see a pop-up that states that your Mac is compromised and even infected with various types of viruses. It will also try to persuade you that you have to rush into installing the MacShiny program, so you remove the virus in as soon as possible. The PUP can also invade on your device as a freebie that you didn’t know existed when you installed some other software. Often, dangerous programs are hidden from the user and marked as ‘additional’. They often get installed along with other programs without the user’s permission, due to laziness and carelessness. How exactly it can happen? By not reading thoroughly the terms of the installation process and mindlessly agreeing to them. This is the perfect way to miss such bonus content. That’s why you need to pay close attention and opt out of any additional programs that may be presented with, unless you know for sure that they are trustworthy. Other ways for MacShiny to infect your Mac can be through infected ads and links, spam emails, torrent files, fake updates, misleading alert messages, etc.
How it operates
MacShiny uses scare tactics, aiming to make you install other junk programs on your Mac. It is not unusual for malicious software to display fake alert messages that look similar to the official OS X ones. You may try to open a file online, but the PUP will step in and display such box, claiming that no suitable app is available. The pop-up will also include a link that leads to software that can help you in the task. However, clicking it will only get you redirected to another unreliable website. MacShiny is also responsible for the numerous advertisements that started to cover the entire screen the moment you open your browser. After a short while, such heavy ad attacks will cause your browser to crash and pages will load agonizingly slower than normal. Your internet connection may also be affected. In other words, your browsing will turn into a hellish experience. The only way out of this nightmare is to remove the threat as soon as you possibly can, before it has the time to carry out the malicious plan it is programmed to do.
Staying safe from MacShiny
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 MacShiny from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the MacShiny PUP, 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 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 MacShiny. 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 MacShiny 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.