THREAT REMOVAL

Mac OS X Airmail 3 Scam — Detect and Remove Infections

A recently discovered Mac OS X threat is the Airmail 3 scam which takes advantage of a software vulnerability, our guide will show users how to detect and remove active infections.

Threat Summary

NameAirmail 3 Scam
TypePhishing scam, Software vulnerability
Short DescriptionMac OS X Users can be made victims of a Airmail 3 scam caused by a software exploit.
SymptomsThe victims may receive multiple email messages in their application.
Distribution MethodBundled downloads, malicious scripts and other methods.
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Airmail 3 Scam – How Did I Get It

Computer security experts have received reports of a dangerous Airmail 3 scam targeting Mac OS. It is rated as a severe threat due to the fact that there are several different ways that it can be delivered to the victims.

The hackers take advantage of a security vulnerability in the program (which is a popular alternative to Apple’s own “Mail”application) which automatically leads to an infection. For the hacker operators the most accessible approach is to use SPAM messages that contain the necessary code that will trigger this reaction. The dangerous code can be either directly embedded in the body contents or attached in a file or payload.

There are two main types of payload carriers that are most commonly used to spread viruses and threats like this one:

  • Documents — The hackers can embed the necessary code triggering the Airmail 3 Exploit in macros. They can be made part of any standard document including rich text documents, presentations, databases and databases. Whenever they are opened by the victim users a notification prompt will appear asking them to enable the built-in macros.
  • Software Installers, Updates & Add-Ons — The criminals can bundle the associated virus code into installers, updates or plugins that may appear as legitimate offerings from the vendors or a download partner. They make be accompanied by legitimate text, design and layout elements taken from the official sources. The hackers themselves acquire the original copies from the main websites in order to create the counterfeit copies.

To further increase the number of infected hosts the criminals can construct hacker-controlled sites that can spread the aforementioned payload carriers.

In advanced cases the hackers can embed the code into browser hijackers — malicious extensions made for the most popular web browsers. They are usually uploaded to the relevant browser’s extension repository using fake user reviews and credentials. The name “hijacker” comes form the fact that once they are installed on the victim hosts they will modify the default settings in order to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page. Once this is done the virus infection will follow.

One of the dangerous facts about the exploit is that in some cases the virus infections can be caused without user interaction. The criminals attempt to embed an attack URL that will preprogram the Airmail 3 application into executing malicious behavior.

Airmail 3 Scam – More Information

The security analysis reveals that the hackers can take advantage of a few different vulnerabilities that have been identified in the program. Using the malicious code they can force the victim accounts to send emails without passing through the authentication phase. This effectively allows the hackers to manipulate the infected systems into sending emails to other hosts.

There are several attack scenarios that can be used in this case:

  • Email-based Attacks — The victim machines can be reconfigured into sending out messages coming out from the user accounts. This is particularly effective for conducting email-based SPAM attacks.
  • Program Data Theft — As the infections are caused through an user-installed application the email messages can contain user account information and other details used by the software.
  • Payload Delivery — The malicious emails can be used to deploy other threats to the hosts.
  • Computer Interaction — The built-in scripts can manipulate the application into running certain commands that can lead to attack models and malware behavior.

The analysis shows that the criminals have the ability to trigger various types of phishing attacks. The code can trigger notification prompts that can be combined with the hacker-crafted emails which can result in social engineering. End goals can include the deployment of other threats to the infected machines. The list of possible payloads includes ransomware that can encrypt sensitive user data and blackmail the victims into paying them money to restore the data. Another dangerous instance is the delivery of a Trojan horse — such infections usually establish an active secure connection with a hacker-controlled server. It allows the hackers to constantly spy on the victims, take over control of their machines and retrieve any desired file.

The vulnerability has already been reported for a security advisory assignment. Mac OS X users are advised to temporarily discontinue use of Airmail 3 until a patch has been released.

We recommend that all users resort to a cleaner utility in case of possible infections as the attack campaign can be configured into running all sorts of system modifications. Virus infections can be programmed to automatically start when the computer is powered on. Other effects of the threat can disable access to recovery menus and etc.

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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Airmail 3 Scam from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Airmail 3 Scam and remove related files and objects

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Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
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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 Airmail 3 Scam:

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 Airmail 3 Scam. 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 Airmail 3 Scam. 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 Airmail 3 Scam 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 Airmail 3 Scam. 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: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Airmail 3 Scam from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


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


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


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


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Airmail 3 Scam from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


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


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


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



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Airmail 3 Scam from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Delete Airmail 3 Scam from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


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


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


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


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Airmail 3 Scam 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.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Airmail 3 Scam from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


Airmail 3 Scam FAQ

What is Airmail 3 Scam?

Airmail 3 Scam is classified as a potentially unwanted app for Mac. It appears like a normal app, but it may cause unpleasant pop-ups and redirects on your Mac.

Be aware, that Airmail 3 Scam may be able to affect the browsers Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and Opera. It may they perform unwanted activities on your Mac.

Such can turn out to be showing advertisements of all types, slowing down your Mac's performance and even infecting your Mac with other viruses by showing you dangerous ads.

Is Airmail 3 Scam a Virus?

No, but it is just as risky. The Airmail 3 Scam object is not entirely a virus but it is still as dangerous as a virus for your Mac and your information. The main reason for that is because Airmail 3 Scam can use cookies and other tracking technologies that may obtain personal information from your Mac while you are browsing.

It may also cause dangers and may lead to risky websites, such as:

  • Phishing sites.
  • Web pages that are scam.
  • Sites that may contain viruses.

These are the main reasons why threatening is considered by experts to be indirectly dangerous to your Mac.

Can my Mac get virus?

The answer to this question is "yes". Unfortunately it opened happens that Mac devices become infected with different types of malware, adware and other threats. This causes a lot of problems for both companies and users.

How did I get Airmail 3 Scam?

Airmail 3 Scam could be spread to Mac computers via several methods. One of those methods is via the installers of third party apps. This technique is called software bundling.

Also, Airmail 3 Scam adware could be included in the installer steps of an app you may have downloaded for your Mac from a third party website. Search app could be a media player or some other free software you may have tried to recently install.

You may have missed Airmail 3 Scam, because it could be hiding in one of the install steps or could be offered as a "free extra" or an "optional offer".

How to remove Airmail 3 Scam from my Mac?

By removing its core files. To get rid of Airmail 3 Scam from your Mac, security experts strongly advise to scan it with a professional anti-malware app for Mac.

An anti-malware security app has the capability of scanning all of the areas in your Mac were Airmail 3 Scam could be residing.

It will also make sure that Airmail 3 Scam is permanently gone from your Mac and that your Mac is safe in the future.

How to protect my Mac from viruses?

To protect your Mac from all sorts of virus threats, you can can minimize the risk of getting a virus in the first place. This is why we strongly recommend that you take the following steps for protection on your Mac below:

1. Register for a VPN service of your choice.
2. Clear the cookies that are on your web browsers and uninstall any browser extensions from them that you believe are suspicious.
3. Download and install reputable malware removal and protection software.
4. Always check if the website you're visiting has HTTPS instead of just HTTP in its address. This indicates that a site is secure.
5. Do not type any personal info on websites which are with low reputation or you can't trust.
6. Always check if the site you're visiting is the real web page at not a fake one by looking at the address bar. Many fishing websites that contain viruses change one or two letters in the main domain name of the site they're trying to mimic.
7. Always link your cell phone phone to your Bank Accounts, PayPal, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram and other accounts. This will allow you to see notification if somebody else logged in from your account and makes account hijacking nearly impossible.
8. Always find a way to backup all your important files regularly. You can save them on a USB stick or use Cloud backup services, like Google Drive. iDrive, Onedrive and others.

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