We have already established that there is no such thing as an invulnerable Mac. macOS is as vulnerable to malware as other operating systems, such as Windows and Linux. In fact, there have been several malware attacks that specifically targeted Macs. So, if you think that you’re immune to viruses and malware just because you’re using a Mac, think again.
One of the most common types of malware running rampant in the digital world is the adware-type of malware. And the MainReady virus is part of this category of malware. This malware has caused no small amount of annoyance, particularly to Mac users.
What is the MainReady Virus on Mac?
Main Ready is a malicious app that initiates various changes on the infected computers in order to show intrusive ads on Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or other web browsers. This malware actually belongs to a large family of potentially unwanted applications (PUA) specially designed for macOS/Mac OS X systems. It is being distributed using massive campaigns involving fake Flash Player installers. Aside from clicking these fake ads, the MainReady virus can also be installed on your device when you download freeware from unapproved sources or when you install software cracks or pirated applications.
MainReady is similar to old threats, such as IdeaShared, PhaseSearch, FocusProvide, and other previously released clones. These dodgy apps are characterized by an icon with a magnifying glass symbol inside it. The color of the icon may vary, though – some are green while others are bluish. Although this might be a trivial feature, it should raise a red flag when you see this icon.
Once installed, the Main Ready malware can then install various web browser extensions that are difficult to get rid of. For one, this malware changes the search engine to Safe Finder while redirecting searches to the a.akamaihd.net website. Because of these changes, users are then bombarded by a variety of sponsored ads in search results. Intrusive ads also appear on all visited websites. What’s more scary is that the MainReady virus is capable of reading all information typed on your web browser, including credit card details and other sensitive information. This puts the affected Mac user at an enormous privacy risk.
What Does the MainReady Virus Do?
Main Ready is generally distributed through software bundles that the user downloaded from third-party websites or through fake Flash Player update notifications. Once the PUP has been installed, the unwanted app initiates changes within the system that sets up Safe Finder or another malicious website as the main search engine. This allows the malware to display tons of text links and ads when browsing through the internet.
Other system changes include ad injection into all URLs that the browser visits, where the user sees coupons, pop-ups, offers, deals, banners, and other intrusive ads even on websites that are irrelevant to these ads. In some instances, these ads can be so nasty as to redirect the user to sites showing fake virus or malware notifications. Scared about these potential threats, the victim ends up downloading more suspicious apps that are totally useless and the user is constantly prompted by to buy a full license for the software.
Ultimately, the main risk of the MainReady malware lies in its ability to read whatever information is entered on web pages. When you install the malicious app, it grants itself permissions that should never be given to it in the first place. And if you read every step of the installation process, you should be able to pick up on this shady information.
Here is the permission request that users should watch out for:
Permissions for “Main Ready”:
Can read sensitive information from webpages, including passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards on all webpages
Can see when you visit all webpages
Such permissions are fishy and extremely dangerous when granted to a malicious program like MainReady. Users usually don’t have the option to grant these permissions because these are granted during the installation of the bundled program. So most users are not even aware that malware has already been installed, thinking that it is a part of the original program they are installing in the first place. The users don’t even know that the malware is already harvesting his or her credit card details, personal information, and other sensitive data, leading to financial loss or identity theft.
And even if you are able to catch the app doing something malicious red-handed, you won’t be able to immediately remove it from your computer because the Uninstall button is usually grayed out. Any move to try and revert back the changes done to your web browser settings will be useless because these changes are pre-set. So you need to make sure that all components of this malware have been deleted completely to avoid future problems.
How to Remove MainReady Virus on Mac
As mentioned above, deleting the MainReady virus requires a thorough cleanup of your computer so that no stray infected files are left to regenerate the virus. If you think that your Mac has been infected by this malware, you need to remove it as soon as possible before it gets any worse.
Here are the steps on the MainReady Mac virus removal process you need to take:
Step 1: Quit All Processes Related to the MainReady Mac Virus.
The first thing you need to do is stop the processes related to this malware because you won’t be able to uninstall it or delete its files while these processes are running. To quit these processes, go to Finder > Go > Utilities, then double-click on Activity Monitor. In the Activity Monitor window, look for the processes initiated by this malware, possibly under the same name. Double-click on the suspicious process, then click the Quit button. Do these steps for all suspicious processes that you see.
Step 2: Uninstall MainReady From Your Mac.
- Under Finder, navigate to Go > Applications. This should give you a list of all the apps currently installed on your Mac.
- Look for MainReady and drag the app icon to the Trash.
- If you’re having trouble uninstalling MainReady, you might need to do this in a Safe Mode environment.
- Don’t forget to empty your Trash.
Step 3: Scan Your Computer Using Your Security Software.
The next step is to run a scan using your anti-malware program to check if there are other threats that might harm your computer. You can also use this app to thoroughly clean up all the leftover files of the MainReady virus.
Step 4: Undo the Changes to Your Browser.
With the malware gone from your computer, you can reset your browser to its previous settings. Follow the instructions below according to the browser you are using.
Uninstall any add-ons, plug-ins, or extensions that were installed by the malware. For major browsers, you just need to click the browser menu and go to Add-ons > Extensions. From there, you can remove the suspicious add-ons from your browser.
Change the homepage back to your preferred website by typing in the URL in the homepage section of the browser settings. Do the same for the default search engine and the new tab page.
Reset your browser to restore their settings to their default value. You just need to find the Reset or Restore button in the browser settings.
Dealing with MainReady can be quite a headache because it works differently from the other types of adware. It is more malicious because of the extra spying function that is added to its code. If you think that your device has been infected with MainReady, closely follow the removal guide above to make sure that it is completely erased from your system.