What Is DNSCat?
DNSCat has been classified as a potentially unwanted application, whose primary goal is to get victims to see different types of advertisements, thinking that DNSCat is a helpful program that may assist them in accessing geo-restricted content of some sort. Usually, such programs are created with the one and only purpose to profit as a result of you seeing the ads that they show by using pay-per-click schemes and other suspicious payment methods. If you have this software added to your Mac, then we strongly recommend that you read this guide to learn how you can remove DNSCat from your Mac effectively.
|Type||Browser Hijacker/Adware/PUP on Mac|
|Short Description||Aims to modify the settings on your web browser in order to get it to cause browser redirects and display different advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Your web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your machine.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss DNSCat.|
DNSCat Mac – What Does It Do?
DNSCat is the type of software that may end up on your Mac similar to other unwanted applications just like it. This app may hijack the installers of other free applications so that they can become added as a part of the installation process. The way this happens is you could encounter DNSCat to be added as a “free extra” or an “optional offer” added to the current software setup.
Another method of replication is if you download DNSCat, thinking it could help you solve an error on your computer or change your DNS settings so that you can access geo-restricted content. This usually happens via third-party websites that advertise apps, like DNSCat as useful.
Once DNSCat is installed on your Mac device, it may begin to situate different types of tracking technologies. Such can be used to obtain various types of details about your online activities, like what you do online and also what types of information you type on your browser. The trackers used could be of the following types:
- Different tags.
- LSOs (locally shared objects, also known as Flash Cookies).
- Cookies of different types.
- Geo-location trackers.
These cookies may be employed by the app itself or through the adverts it may display while on your Mac. The ads that may be shown by the DNSCat application could be of the following types:
- Banner advertisements.
- Push notification pop-ups.
- Browser redirects.
- Highlighted text ads.
- Video ads.
- Ad-supported search results.
Seeing these types of sponsored content on your computer means that you could begin to experience slowdowns in terms of how it performs and you could be led eventually to websites of a dangerous character. Such URLs and pages could belong to:
- Tech support scams.
- Malware-infested sites.
- Survey scams.
- Phishing pages.
- Sites that may steal data.
- Fake login pages of sites.
These ads altogether make this application indirectly a threat for your Mac and we suggest that you focus on removing it as soon as you can
How to Remove DNSCat from Your Mac
In order to successfully remove this potentially unwanted software from your computer, we would strongly advise you to check out the removal guide below. Following it makes sure that you delete applications, like DNSCat from your web browsers and Mac. For a maximumly effective removal process, we recommend that you make sure to download and run a scan of your Mac with the appropriate Mac cleanup app. Downloading such advanced anti-malware software makes sure that your Mac is automatically scanned for malware and all of the threat files are removed from it permanently, plus it remains protected against any possible threats in the future as well.
Steps to Prepare Before Removal:
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 DNSCat 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 DNSCat:
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 DNSCat. 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 DNSCat. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any leftover 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 DNSCat 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 DNSCat. 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 DNSCat – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove DNSCat files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as DNSCat, 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
Bonus Step: 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.
What is DNSCat 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 DNSCat 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 DNSCat?
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 DNSCat?
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.
About the DNSCat Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this DNSCat 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 DNSCat?
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 DNSCat 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