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LeadingSystem Mac Adware Removal [Free Uninstall Guide]

What Is LeadingSystem Mac

LeadingSystem

LeadingSystem is the name of an ad-supported software for Mac. This program has the main idea of getting monetised by showing you different advertisements that are involved in pay-per-click schemes. Usually such programs often tend to get paid to promote different types of third-party websites, which makes them an indirect threat to your computer, since some of the sites involved could be dangerous.

Read this article to learn more about how LeadingSystem functions and how you can remove it from your Mac effectively.

LeadingSystem Mac – Details

Name LeadingSystem
Type Adware / PUP / Redirect for Mac
Short Description Aims to modify the settings on your computer in order to get it to cause browser redirects and display different advertisements.
Symptoms Your device 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.
Detection Tool See If Your Mac Has Been Affected by LeadingSystem

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss LeadingSystem.

LeadingSystem Virus – How Did I Get Infected

The LeadingSystem adware is likely a variant of the AdLoad family of PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and we believe that shares the same code with the recently appeared SelectorComponent, EdgeAdvanced and JumpSearch apps, which are other versions of this family as well.

Two main methods have been reported to be related with these applications and one of them is called software bundling. This involves adding to installation files of LeadingSystem to the installer of some other free app that you may have downloaded from a third-party website. Usually, menus or stand to skip those steps, because they are often located in the Advanced install mode and may appear like the following example shows:

mac bundle virus

Another way these applications could end up on your Macintosh is via a fake Adobe Flash Player update, like the image below shows:

fake-flash-player-update-scam-installing-adware-on-mac

LeadingSystem – What Does It Do?

Once LeadingSystem is already on your Mac, it may begin to modify different settings of your macOS and web browsers that are installed in it. This may include changing your default homepage, search engine, new tab page and adding other extensions to your browser without your consent. All of these activities are done so that this app can run scripts that display a lot of ads on your device, like the following types:

  • Redirects.
  • Pop-ups with video and/or sound.
  • Interruptive banner ads.
  • Intrusive push notifications.
  • Changed search results to show ads instead of relevant sites.
  • Highlighted text on the pages you visit.

As the case with other applications like it, LeadingSystem may also track what you do on your browser by using different types of tracking technologies, like cookies:

mac cookies

LeadingSystem and the websites it advertises could use those types of tracking technologies in order to I’ve been different types of information from your device, like:

  • What you have visited.
  • Your mouse movements.
  • Your mouse clicks.
  • IP and Mac addresses.
  • Your bookmarked websites.
  • The browsing history from your browser.
  • What searches you have made.

Is LeadingSystem a Virus?

No. LeadingSystem is classified as a potentially unwanted application and may be an indirect risk to your Mac and the information in it. The main reason for that is because of the advertisements it shows on it, more specifically because these are paid ads and they could lead to virtually all kinds of sites including the following:

  • Rogue software sites.
  • Web pages that contain scams.
  • Redirects to dangerous sites via multiple pay-per-click redirects.
  • Survey sites that are fraud.
  • Phishing pages.
  • URLs, containing a virus infection file or script.
  • Tech support fraud pages.

The main reason why you should be focusing on removing this program from your device as soon as you can.

How to Remove LeadingSystem from Mac?

In order to get rid of LeadingSystem completely from your Mac, we would strongly suggest that you follow the removal instructions which have been posted beneath. The main idea of these steps is t help you get rid of the software and all of the files that are related to it from both your browsers and your macOS. For the most effective removal, security professionals strongly recommend that you utilise anti-malware software for Mac. Scanning your device with such a security program will make sure that all of the threats in it are effectively detected and automatically taken care of.

Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with SpyHunter for Mac
LeadingSystem may remain persistent on your system and may re-infect it. We recommend you to download SpyHunter for Mac and run free scan to remove all virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Free Remover allows you, subject to a 48-hour waiting period, one remediation and removal for results found. Read EULA and Privacy Policy

About the LeadingSystem Research

The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this LeadingSystem 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 LeadingSystem?

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 LeadingSystem threat is backed with VirusTotal.

To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.

References

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


Preparation Phase:

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 LeadingSystem and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy

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 LeadingSystem:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


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 LeadingSystem. 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 LeadingSystem. 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 LeadingSystem 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

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 LeadingSystem. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Remove LeadingSystem – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox

Remove an extension from Safari and reset it.Remove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Mozilla Firefox

1. Start Safari

2. After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.

3. From the menu, click on "Preferences"

stf-safari preferences

4. After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab

stf-safari-extensions

5. Click once on the extension you want to remove.

6. Click 'Uninstall'

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the LeadingSystem will be removed.

How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.

1. Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu

2. Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"

3. From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the add-on and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.

4. After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" in the top right corner and start it again.


1. Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window

2. Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.

3. Select the Extension and click "Remove"

4. After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" in the top right corner and start it again.


Step 3: Scan for and remove LeadingSystem files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as LeadingSystem, 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.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for LeadingSystem:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



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.


LeadingSystem FAQ

What is LeadingSystem on your Mac?

The LeadingSystem threat is probably a potentially unwanted app. There is also a chance it could be related to Mac malware. If so, such apps tend to slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. They could also use cookies and other trackers to obtain browsing information from the installed web browsers 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:

  • iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • Macbook Air
  • Macbook Pro
  • iPhone
  • iPad

What are the symptoms of LeadingSystem 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 LeadingSystem?

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 LeadingSystem?

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.

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