Update August 2019. What is DNS Changer? How to remove DNSChanger from Mac? How to stop ads coming from DNS Changer on your Mac?
DNSChanger is a very dangerous malware that has one and only goal – to slither all forms of adware on your infected Mac. DNS Changer is also known as RSPlug and it can modify your DNS (Domain Name System) configuration to alter the DNS address on your mac and modify the hosts file. This is done to show you all sorts of ads leading to third-party sites. Read this article to understand how to remove DNS Changer from your Mac.
|Type||Adware for Mac OS|
|Short Description||Aims to push a lot of ads on your Mac that can lead to scamming, suspicious or virus sites.|
|Symptoms||Various types of advertisements begin to appear on your Mac.|
|Distribution Method||Via bundling or by pretending to be a leigitmate app.|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss DNS Changer.|
DNS Changer – How Did I Get It and What Does It Do?
Similar to DNSUnlocker, a dangerous adware that attacks Windows PCs, DNS Changer also uses the same tactics. It may come in your Mac as a result of being bundled to a third-party app installer. In the installer, you can find it as an optional offer that helps you access geo-restricted sites and lets you see forbidden content outside of your country. However, it does way more worse things than that.
Once installed on your Mac, the adware may begin to target the hosts file on your Mac. It alters the default DNS address in this hosts file with it’s own one, allowing it to manipulate what you read on your web browser. The outcome of this is that many forms of ads may start to appear on your Mac, such as:
- Browser Redirects.
- Ad-supported search results.
- Push notifications ads.
- Highlighted text ads.
Not only this, but since this nasty virus has your control over your DNS connectivity, it may also snoop in on what you do online and this includes tracking the clicks you make, the sites you visit and even the passwords you type on them.
The main danger associated with this adware, however, is that it may cause redirects and lead you to dangerous sites, such as:
- Phishing pages.
- Virus-infested sites.
- Tech support scam pages.
- Fake survey scams.
Remove DNS Changer Virus from Your Mac
To remove DNS Changer trojan, we strongly recommend that you read the steps for removal underneath. They have been made to help you delete all DNS Changer related files and objects step by step. However, the best way to remove the adware according to experts is to download and run a scan of your Mac with a professional cleaner app. Such security software can detect and eliminate DNS Changer in a fast and effective way.
About the DNS Changer Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this DNS Changer how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on DNS Changer?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the DNS Changer threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall DNS Changer and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to DNS Changer:
4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to DNS Changer. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
6. Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to DNS Changer. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove DNS Changer via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
1. Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:
2. Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:
3. Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as DNS Changer. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove DNS Changer – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove DNS Changer files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as DNS Changer, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
DNS Changer FAQ
What is DNS Changer on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of DNS Changer on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like DNS Changer?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from DNS Changer?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.