How to Remove NameSync PUP from Mac

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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What is NameSync

Originally, NameSync is a 4chan extension, which allows users to have custom usernames. But, a nasty malware from the PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) category is using the same name, making you think it’s the real thing. As a consequence of its successful infiltration, the malicious software will start to display various fake alerts, which will indicate that there are critical errors on your Mac, or that numerous threats have been detected. You may also start experiencing abnormal amount of advertisements no matter which pages you visit, as well as frequent application crashes.

How it is distributed

NameSync is most commonly distributed via software bundles, freeware, torrent files, as well as shady ads. Users often allow additional software to get automatically installed on their Macs. This can happen when they try to install a program, but don’t pay close attention to all the steps. Some programs offer optional content which you can easily opt out of, given you’ve noticed its existence. Sadly, a lot of users are known to be careless and naive. They skip reading the Terms and Conditions, and don’t read thoroughly the text, before clicking on the ‘I agree‘/’Next‘ button. We highly recommend to pay extra attention during the installation process. Look out for such unfamiliar bonus programs that seem fishy, and uncheck the boxes next to them, so that they don’t get installed on your computer.

How it operates

The NameSync PUP uses scare tactics, in order to make you to install other shady software that will have a valid Apple developer certificate. This will allow them to get installed by macOS without the need to show you any warning or notification. The fake message will be a very convincing OS X dialog message box, stating that no suitable app is installed on your Mac. The fake alerts could also point out that your PC is threatened and display a window that shows how many threats has been found. Do not believe it! They just want to trick you into installing more junk on your Mac, that may put your private data in jeopardy, steal personal information, and/or infect your computer with viruses. A common NameSync PUP symptom is when your applications become unresponsive. You’ll have to manually force quit them and restart them, just to make your machine responsive again. And this will go on in a loop. The only way to return to the safe and malware-free state of your Mac, is to remove this unwanted program as soon as you detect its presence!

Staying safe from NameSync PUP

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 NameSync PUP from Mac

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the NameSync 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 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 NameSync. 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 NameSync 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.

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