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ProcessorCactus Mac Adware Removal [Full Guide]

What Is ProcessorCactus on Mac?

Remove ProcessorCactus from Mac

The app ProcessorCactus belongs to the adware type of apps for Mac. It is an application created to adjust macOS settings in order that it can obtain access to installed web browsers and inject ads there. By doing so, the adware lowers the overall macOS security. In fact, anti-malware tools classify the program as low-level type of threat for Mac machines. The access to installed web browsers serves ProcessorCactus for the display of various kinds of advertisements. The ads it delivers could sometimes endanger your online security as they can sometimes open dangerous websites.

Read this article to learn more information about this adware program and see how to clean up your macOS and your web browsers from it.

ProcessorCactus Mac – Details

Name ProcessorCactus
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. It starts to run slower. The overall system security is lowered.
Distribution Method Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.
Detection Tool See If Your Mac Has Been Affected by ProcessorCactus

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ProcessorCactus Adware – How Did I Get Infected?

ProcessorCactus adware belongs to the AdLoad family of apps. Other recently discovered applications that act in a similar way are .

In order that this adware can trick you to install it on your Mac, it may pretend to be a fake Adobe Flash Player update. The update may be promoted by various redirect pages designed to resemble the legitimate versions of legitimate apps. The one shown below could serve as example:

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

ProcessorCactus could’ve landed on your Mac without your knowledge, the last time you installed another free application as well. You might have downloaded this app from a third-party website designed to promote it as useful and trustworthy. You can see an example of an app installer set to install additional programs in the background of the main setup process right below:

mac bundle virus

ProcessorCactus – What Does It Do?

What happens when ProcessorCactus obtains access to a macOS is the activation of a few processes that modify both system and browser settings. Afterwards, the adware may begin to display advertisements of all kinds. Mainly adverts of the the following types are shown by ad-supported programs:

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

The adware could be set to also use various forms of trackers like cookies to harvest data.

mac cookies

Trackers run by the adware can continue operating on your Mac for years. You cannot notice them if you do not try to locate them. The information they collect tends to reveal online actions and interests. So once ProcessorCactus’s operators obtain data, they can target you with more ads based on your interests. The following information could be gathered from your Mac without you even realizing it:

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

Is ProcessorCactus a Virus?

No, ProcessorCactus is not a harmful virus that will spread accross the whole network. But the program may be just as dangerous as a virus. Some of the advertisements it displays could open websites that endanger your device. Here is the list of sites that could appear as a result of an active adware:

  • 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.

These are the main problems that make the software indirectly risky for your Mac and its removal is strongly recommended.

How to Remove ProcessorCactus from Mac?

To get rid of ProcessorCactus completely from your Mac, we would suggest that you take a look at the removal manual below. It has been made to have all of the steps that you need to take care of the street from your web browsers and your Mac. For the most effective removal, more security professionals would recommend scanning your device using anti-malware for Mac. Such a program is specifically created to perform a thorough check of your device and get it rid of any malware automatically.

Gergana Ivanova

Highly motivated writer with 5+ years of experience writing for ransomware, malware, adware, PUPs, and other cybersecurity-related issues. As a writer, I strive to create content that is based on thorough technical research. I find joy in the process of creating articles that are easy to understand, informative, and useful. Follow me on Twitter (@IRGergana) for the latest in the field of computer, mobile, and online security.

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OFFER
REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with SpyHunter for Mac
ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus Research

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

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 ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus:

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 ProcessorCactus. 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 ProcessorCactus. 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 ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus. 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 ProcessorCactus – 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 ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus files from your Mac

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


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.


ProcessorCactus FAQ

What is ProcessorCactus on your Mac?

The ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus 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 ProcessorCactus?

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 ProcessorCactus?

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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