We have already established that Macs are not immune to malware infection. In fact, we’ve seen reports over the years of malicious software targeting mostly computers running on macOS. Some specific examples include the cryptocurrency miner LoudMiner (aka Bird Mine), NetWire and Mokes which are considered backdoor malware, cyber currency miner CookieMiner, the Mac Auto Fixer PUP, crypto currency miner Mshelper, Crossrider, aka OSX/Shlayer, OSX/MaMi, Meltdown & Spectre, and a lot more.
A recent addition to this list would be AuthManager_Mac, a piece of malicious software that belongs to the family of browser hijackers. This is one of the newest threats designed specifically to target the macOS system. Mac users have recently taken notice of this new threat that changes the default configurations of the affected Mac’s browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Aside from changing the default search engine, it also sets a different homepage.
But this is not the only danger of browser hijackers. It can fill your browser with annoying ads and steals your sensitive information.
What is AuthManager_Mac?
AuthManager_Mac is considered a browser hijacker, and therefore hijacks your Mac’s browser. You’ll first notice its presence because it messes with your browser’s default settings. It does not only affect Safari, but Firefox, Chrome, and other browsers installed on your Mac as well. What can AuthManager_Mac do? Basically, AuthManager_Mac changes your homepage and replaces it with the website of one of its affiliates or a website that delivers various online ads. It also changes the default search engine to increase the exposure of its advertisers.
Aside from these browser configuration changes, AuthManager_Mac also installs plugins and extensions to the browser to display more ads than you normally see. And once the user clicks on an ad or gets redirected to the advertiser’s website, there is also the danger of being exposed to malicious software, including Trojans, viruses, worms, ransomware, and more adware. Other malware could also get into your Mac if you’re unlucky to be redirected to a website that delivers malvertisement. This is the reason why AuthManager_Mac is often confused as a virus.
AuthManager_Mac is an adware that affects mainly the web browsers on the infected device, however it is also possible that an AuthManager_Mac app has also been installed on your Mac. This is made possible because of bundling, wherein the malicious software is covertly installed along with the legitimate application.
Is AuthManager_Mac a Virus?
AuthManager_Mac is always mistaken for a virus or other malicious program because of its shady activities. AuthManager_Mac is a relatively new threat because this type has never been found on Macs before. Browser hijackers are a new type of malicious software and they are now targeting more and more Mac users.
To be clear, AuthManager_Mac is not a virus. It does not corrupt your system files and it does not self-replicate in your system. It never records your keystrokes nor activates your camera without your permission. However, this type of potentially unwanted software is still dangerous because it is known to engage in rather questionable activities. For example, browser hijackers can also gather your browsing and search data, then sell it to third parties.
How is AuthManager_Mac Distributed?
AuthManager_Mac is usually distributed through banner ads and fake notifications that warn you of non-existent threats on your Mac. Once the user clicks on the ad or message, the AuthManager_Mac is then downloaded on the user’s computer. It is also possible that the ad is spread through malicious links embedded on phishing emails.
The AuthManager_Mac app, on the other hand, is often bundled with legitimate software. Once the legitimate software is installed, the PUP is installed along with it. The only reason this malicious software gets noticed is because of the changes it implements on the browser. Once you know that AuthManager_Mac has infected your Mac, you need to completely remove it to ensure that it won’t reinfect your computer again.
How to Remove AuthManager_Mac?
Browser hijackers are considered less dangerous compared to other types of malware. However, you still need to remove it from your Mac because of the dangers it poses. Aside from the annoying ads, your personal data and other important information might get compromised.
To completely remove AuthManager_Mac from your Mac, you need to make sure that all components have been deleted so the malware won’t come back. You can follow our malware removal guide below to make it easier for you to manage the AuthManager_Mac malware.
Aside from these steps, you can also implement the following security solutions to prevent AuthManager_Mac and other types of malware from infecting your Mac:
- Be wary when clicking links that are sent via email or instant messaging.
- Download apps only from legitimate sources, such as the Mac App Store or the developer’s website.
- Read every step of the installation process to make sure that no bundled app gets installed on your computer.
- Make it a habit to sweep your Mac clean of junk files and cached data that might cause errors on your Mac. You can use a Mac cleaning software to do the job.
- Install a reliable anti-malware program to protect your Mac from AuthManager_Mac and other future malware infections.
AuthManager_Mac may not be as dangerous as other malware, but it does not mean that it is fine to have it on your computer. Aside from the inconvenience brought by the browser changes that are impossible to revert without removing the malware, you are also putting your sensitive data at risk. If you suspect your Mac to be suspected with AuthManager_Mac, follow our malware removal guide to make sure that it is completely deleted from your Mac.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.