Trend Micro researchers recently came across a malware instance that disguised itself as a legitimate Mac-based trading app known as Stockfolio. In other words, a new Mac malware was just discovered, or more precisely – researchers came across two variants of the same malware family.
The first variant contains a pair of shell scripts and connects to a remote site to decrypt the encrypted codes. The other instance appears to be simpler in its routine but is in fact persistent in nature. The first sample Trend Micro detects as Trojan.MacOS.GMERA.A, and the second one – Trojan.MacOS.GMERA.B.
The purpose of the malware is to steal the user’s data and to upload it to a website controlled by the hackers.
|Short Description||The malware is masquerading itself as the legitimate Stockfolio app.|
|Symptoms||The presence of a malicious zip file.|
|Distribution Method||Through a website|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware |
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Trojan.MacOS.GMERA.|
This variant was discovered during a check of suspicious shell scripts. The first sample that was analyzed was a zip archive file which contained an app bundle and a hidden encrypted file. The tricky part is that the fake app is masqueraded as the legitimate Stockfolio app but the researchers were able to identify its malicious components.
The app bundle turned out to be malicious, even though it tried to look like the legitimate Stockfolio 1.4.13 version signed with the malware author’s digital certificate. A comparison between this app and the legitimate app found on the website of Stockfolio revealed a number of differences.
It should be noted that when the potential victim executes the app, a trading app interface will indeed appear. However, the malicious process will also be started in the background of the Mac machine.
Using the digital certificate of the first sample, the researchers successfully discovered a second variant, detected as Trojan.MacOS.GMERA.B. The malicious sample was uploaded to VirusTotal in June 2019. In similarity to the first variant, this one also contains an embedded copy of the Stockfolio app version 1.4.13 signed with the same digital certificate. The app is also launched in an identical way and is disguising its malicious process.
However, one of the main differences in the second variant, aside from the simplified routine, is the presence of a persistence mechanism possible through the creation of a property list (plist)
file: ~/Library/LaunchAgents/.com.apple.upd.plist, the researchers discovered.
Trend Micro reached out to Apple before they published their findings. Apple said that the code signing certificate of this fake app’s developers was revoked in July.
If you suspect that you have been compromised by this Trojan, you can use the removal insructions below the article. However, note that the Trojan may be detected under a different name.
- Guide 1: Get rid of Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Mac OS X.
- Guide 2: Remove Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Google Chrome.
- Guide 3: Erase Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 4: Uninstall Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 5: Delete Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Safari.
- Guide 6: Eliminate Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Internet Explorer.
Get rid of Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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: 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.
Remove Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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.
Erase Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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.
Uninstall Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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.
Delete Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Trojan.MacOS.GMERA will be removed.
Eliminate Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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.
What is Trojan.MacOS.GMERA?
Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA a Virus?
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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA?
Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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, Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA, 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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA from my Mac?
By removing its core files. To get rid of Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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 Trojan.MacOS.GMERA could be residing.
It will also make sure that Trojan.MacOS.GMERA 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.