What Is Net Toolbox Search Virus on Mac?
Net Toolbox Search is a search engine that installs itself on a browser you use as a default home page and search tool. Have you been wondering why Net Toolbox Search sneaked into your browser without your consent? Are you trying to find out why you are seeing ads associated with Net Toolbox Search on your Mac? Those are the reasons why many users call it the Net Toolbox Search Virus.
The Net Toolbox Search is a Mac virus which has been spotted in an active campaign. It aims to infect web browsers and institute intrusive ads and other virus infections. What is particularly dangerous about this Net Toolbox Mac redirect is that it can take the form of a malicious web browser plugin or a phishing site portal. Mac users can get infected with it by interacting with phishing sites, email messages or downloading and running files of different types.
Once the threat is installed on a Mac the main malware may execute a lot of commands on the victim devices. This is the reason why we recommend that active infections are removed as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.
Net Toolbox Search Virus Details
|Name||Net Toolbox Search|
|Type||Browser Hijacker, PUP|
|Short Description||Each browser application on your computer could get affected. The hijacker can redirect you and will display lots of advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Browser settings which are altered are the homepage, search engine and the new tab.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installations, Bundled Packages|
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Net Toolbox Search Mac Virus – How Does It Spread?
The Net Toolbox Search is a Mac virus which is of the browser hijacker type. This means that this it is a combination of a browser plugin and a hacker-controlled page. They are created by a hacking group that is yet unknown. This Mac virus can infect target computers using common infection strategies. The most popular way to install hijackers is to create such browser plugins which are to be spread on various sites: repositories, software download portals and landing pages. They are hosted on similar sounding domain names and can include content such as images and text that will manipulate the visitors into opening them and getting infected with the malware.
The suspicious code may also be integrated in carrier files which can be documents and software installers. They are asked as legitimate and useful data which are of user interest. This is intentional in order to send them easily over various phishing campaigns and other methods. The criminals can use email messages and software landing pages.
What Does It Do?
As soon as the Net Toolbox Search infection has been deployed on a given Mac computer it will start a sequence of malicious actions — they can vary depending on the local machine and hacker instructions. In most cases this will modify the browser options such as the default home page, search engine and new tabs page. This will make it so that the relevant page will be opened every time the browser is run.
The main issue with displaying hijacker sites like the Net Toolbox Search is that they will display ads, phishing redirects, affiliate links and other related content. In most cases they are also conduits of other viruses. Web threats are very likely to lead to cryptocurrency miners and Trojans — they are often carried by such hijackers. It is very possible that other malware actions are also run — editing of configuration files that may lead to data loss and performance issues.
How to Get Rid of Net Toolbox Search
To remove Net Toolbox Search manually from your Mac computer or any unwanted software from your Mac device we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware for Mac machines. The main goal of such a program is to scan your machine and terminate the files with malicious behavior and also clean up any malicious code in your repositories. In addition, with a specific anti-malware program, your machine will remain with better protection and stay healthy performance-wise in the future.
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 Net Toolbox Search 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 Net Toolbox Search:
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 Net Toolbox Search. 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 Net Toolbox Search. 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 Net Toolbox Search 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 Net Toolbox Search. 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 Net Toolbox Search – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Net Toolbox Search files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Net Toolbox Search, 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.
Net Toolbox Search FAQ
What is Net Toolbox Search 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 Net Toolbox Search 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 Net Toolbox Search?
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 Net Toolbox Search?
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 Net Toolbox Search Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Net Toolbox Search 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 Net Toolbox Search?
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 Net Toolbox Search threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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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