Update August 2019. What is CrescentCore Mac malware? How threatening is it to macOS? Let’s find out in this article.
OSX/CrescentCore or CrescentCore Mac malware is a new malicious campaign currently targeting users in the wild. According to security researchers, the malware is considered the next generation of a fake Flash Player “virus” which is now capable of fully evading antivirus detection. Currently, Mac users are widely targeted across the Web, as CrescentCore lurks in bogus download sites as well as top-ranking Google search results.
|Type||Trojan Horse for Mac OS|
|Short Description||Aims to sneak into your Mac undetected to perform a series of malicious activities.|
|Symptoms||A Trojan horse application on a .dmg disk image, masqueraded as an Adobe Flash Player installer..|
|Distribution Method||Fake download sites and trojanized apps|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss CrescentCore.|
CrescentCore Mac Malware – Distribution
As reported by Intego researchers, this malware is in fact a Trojan horse application on a .dmg disk image, and is masqueraded as an Adobe Flash Player installer. This distribution method is not new at all as it has been observed in Windows campaigns for years. The difference is, however, that CrescentCore is updated with additional capabilities which are meant to improve its evasion by antivirus programs. Also, this is not the first such case against Mac users. A previously detected Mac Trojan is the so-called [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/mac-control-virus-remove/”] Mac Control “virus” which has been known to spy on users’ activities.
Currently, the malware is being distributed via fake app installers (.dmg file), but its distribution mechanisms could be updated in the near future to include:
- Fake patches;
- Software cracks;
- Key generators.
So, how does the CrescentCore infection happen?
Of course, the user will have to open the .dmg file and app with the Flash Player icon. Once this is done, the Trojan will check if it’s running inside a virtual machine. Then, CrescentCore will run a check to see if there is a Mac antivirus program running on the system. If any of these two conditions is met, the malware will no continue its operations on this particular system.
In case no AV software is found, the malware will install its persistent infection in the form of a LaunchAgent.
Security researchers say that there is a second variant of the malware which could install Advanced MacCleaner on infected hosts, or a malicious Safari browser extension.
How to Effectively Remove Mac Kontrol
The malware has been observed in active campaigns in the wild, Mac users should be extra careful when surfing the web. Since CrescentCore is designed to check whether there is an antivirus program installed on the targeted Mac and would halt the infection if such is found, it is highly advisable to install a security solution.
If you’re already infected by CrescentCore and want to remove it from your Mac, we suggest that you carefully read step 1 and 2 below this article. If however you cannot seem to find the virus files or the app, which the malware pretends to be, then professional removal is your best bet. To remove CrescentCore efficiently, you can download and run a scan of your Mac by using an advanced anti-malware software. Such specific tool is created to help you to automatically detect an get rid of any malware, CrescentCore included.
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 CrescentCore 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:
- 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 CrescentCore 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:
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 CrescentCore – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove CrescentCore files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as CrescentCore, 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.
What is CrescentCore on your Mac?
The CrescentCore threat is a potentially unwanted app or likely a Mac virus. It may slow your Mac down siginficantly and display advertisements. The main idea is for your information to likely get stolen or more ads to appear 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 CrescentCore 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 CrescentCore?
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 CrescentCore?
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 website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.