What Is BrightStart Mac Virus?
BrightStart is a malicious browser add-on that infiltrates MacOS browsers and displays unwanted pop-ups. BrightStart does not carry any malicious code which would give it access to your private information or data and it does not spy on you, but the browser redirect may be frustrating for some users. Students who use Mac computers in university have been affected by this malware. The Firefox and Chrome extensions also turned out to be malicious and have been removed by the respective companies, but BrightStart remains. At the time when this incident was discovered, the BrightStart software still existed in the MacOS app store. BrightStart is associated with one of the EU’s Dirty Dozen list and is classified by as a Potentially Unwanted Application. The potential issue is that MacOS requires users to agree to Terms & Conditions before installing an application, as part of Apple Developer Program membership.
How Is BrightStart Mac Virus Distributed?
The MacOS version of BrightStart infects a Mac computer in different ways:
- By popping up a warning message when the user tries to install or update an application.
- 2. From an attachment in an email (emails from unknown sources are not allowed in the Mac mail client by default).
- 3. Through a link in an advertisement or text message, which is sent from an ad server.
- This malware is often distributed through email messages. For example, a student installs the BrightStart browser extension for a university computer, but then receives spam emails with attachments or links that install it. The spam messages are usually disguised as an advertisement or as an invitation to join a waiting list. As BrightStart is a browser extension that affects Mac computers, it does not show up in the list of installed programs.
- When the attack is carried out in this way, BrightStart does not have any legitimate purpose to offer users.
Due to their appearance, links or ads from unknown sources are often perceived as suspicious and therefore users should not click on them.
How harmful is BrightStart hijacker?
The BrightStart browser extension is not malicious by itself, and it doesn’t carry any malicious code that would give it access to your private information or data. It does not spy on you and it does not have a backdoor which could enable cyber criminals to remotely control the infected system. The threat is that BrightStart may redirects the user’s search engine to bogus web portals and if the user clicks on the search results it may end in a dangerous fishing website. When the browser extension is installed, it may start performing diagnostic tests in the background without any notification. The user is not even aware of these tests and it can lead to an unexpected result. According to reports from users who used BrightStart on their Macs, there were cases when a software update broke their computer or BrightStart displayed pop-ups about paid services on your Mac.
How did I get infected?
BrightStart virus is installed on the Mac when a user follows the installation instructions provided by BrightStart hijacker warnings. These messages usually appear right after the download of an application or browser extension is initiated and they are created in a deceiving way in order to convince users that these warnings are legitimate. However, sometimes BrightStart virus may be installed without your knowledge, for example when you visit various websites. If they have been hacked, they may contain malicious code that can infect your computer. BrightStart virus may also be installed on your Mac by exploiting vulnerabilities in the outdated software. This browser extension is not a virus and it does not carry any malicious code that would give it access to your private information or data. The best way to get rid of BrightStart redirect is to uninstall all potentially unwanted programs from your computer. For detailed instructions on how to remove these threats, please follow this guide.
How can I Remove BrightStart virus ?
Step 1: Uninstall BrightStart and remove related files and objects
- Open your Finder –> Click on GO –>Click on Utilities
- Find Activity Monitor and open it
- Review all the processes in Activity Monitor and write down the ones related to BrightStart virus
- Select Quit
- To kill the malicious process, choose the Force Quit option.
Step 2: Remove BrightStart – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
The first thing you need to do is to make sure Safari is not running. If you have troubles closing it, you may need to Force Quit Safari - (Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Application --> Utilities --> Activity monitor. Locate the Safari process and force quit it.
Safely launch Safari again by holding the Shift key and clicking on the Safari application icon - This will prevent Safari’s previously opened malicious web pages.
In case that you still are having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages, please do the following:
- Force Quit Safari again.
- Disconnect form Internet and try again.
Then Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button to prevent pop-ups. Then, click on Preferences.
- Carefully take a look at your default home page and change it if the hijacker altered it.
- Then go to the Extensions tab and make sure there are no unknow extensions installed.
- Next step is to click on Privacy tab
- Manage website data
- Here you can remove any unwanted website data or just remove them all. Please, keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.
- The next step is to Clear History (if you want), select the tab.
- Click the menu next to clear and choose a time period — if you want to completely reset Safari, choose all history.
- Press Clear History
- To remove from Chrome, open the browser and click the icon with the three dots located in the top-right.
- Select to More Tools --> Extensions and review what Chrome Extensions are present in the browser
- Remove the ones that you do not recognize.
- If the parasite continues to disrupt your browsing with Chrome, this is what else you can do:
- Click again the menu of Google Chrome, and open Settings.
- Select the Search Engine from the left panel, review the available search engines and change the default to your preference.
- Then, click on Manage Search Engines, review the list of search engine availabilities and if any of the listed items looks suspicious, click the three-dots next to them, and delete.
- Click on Privacy and Security in the left panel, select the Clear browsing data option, check every box except the Passwords one, and click Clear Data.
- Next step is to clear Notifications, select the Site settings option in the Privacy and Security section, then locate Notifications.
- Review the listed websites in the Allow to send notifications section and if any of the entries shown there seem dubious or related to the browser hijacker, select the three dots next to the object and click on Remove.
- Start Mozilla Firefox
- On the top right click the three dashes
- go to add-ons and themes
- The add-ons manager will open
- Carefully review review four Firefox Extensions
- If any unwanted extension is present, click on the three horizontal dots and then Remove
- After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red dot in the top left and start it again.
Step 3: Scan for and remove BrightStart files from your Mac
Fix your browser settings with SpyHunter Anti-Malware
Once you download and install SpyHunter for Mac run a scan.
Once the scan is complete, your mac will be virus free.
BrightStart malware Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do I get rid of BrightStart?
BrightStart is a Browser hijacker – malicious software that can be installed by third-party applications or websites. They usually change the settings of web browsers and search engines to display certain ads, pop-ups, banners, etc.
- What are the symptoms of BrightStart infection in your Mac?
BrightStart becomes your web browser’s built-in search engine.
Your browser’ s search queries are redirected through BrightStart.com
The “BrightStart” browser extension or some shady software is installed on your Mac.
- How do I remove BrightStart from my browser?
In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon on the top left and select Manage add-ons. Under Add-on Types, select Search Providers. Select your search engine from the list of providers and click Remove to remove it. In Google Chrome, go to Settings (at the top right) and choose Search in the On Startup drop down menu.
- How do I uninstall BrightStart?
How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
You might be wondering how to make your Mac run faster? It is a common misconception that the more processing power you have, the faster your computer will run. In reality, it’s actually about what’s going on in your processor and memory. For the average person using a computer for just general applications like word processing and web browsing, you don’t need much in the way of computing power.
– Use an SSD drive instead of a hard disk drive.
– Double your RAM if possible.
– Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP). (Attention! – do this only if you know the consequences.)