Update February 2020! What is Weknow.ac Virus ? What does Weknow.ac Virus do? How to get rid of Weknow.ac Virus on Mac ?
SIDENOTE: This post was originally published in July 2019. But we gave it an update in February 2020.
This article gives insights on what Weknow.ac hijacker is and why it is better to be removed from the affected browser and system. The removal of this annoying website could be realized with the help of several steps that are listed at the end of the article.
Weknow.ac is a website that provides questionable searching services. It could change your browser homepage, new tab page and default search engine without your explicit consent. After these changes, the main page of Weknow.ac starts to appear each time you open the affected browser. Its intrusive behavior is one of the signs that prove it is a typical browser hijacker. Since you risk a lot by using the services of this poorly secured website it is advisable to remove it as soon as possible from your affected Mac.
|Type||Browser Hijacker, Potenitally unwanted program (PUP)|
|Short Description||Poorly secured website that alters main browser settings without asking for permission. Hijacks main browser settings in order to push its deceptive services.|
|Symptoms||When you enter an affected browser you see the main page of this hijacker on the start page. Each new tab page as well as the default search engine could be also configured to load weknow.ac|
|Distribution Method||Freeware installations, Bundled packages, Infected web pages|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by weknow.ac |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss weknow.ac.|
Weknow.ac Virus – Update February 2020
One Mac user had the following to report on Apple Community forums regarding:
User level: Level 1
Apple MusicSpeciality level out of ten: 0
Remove “weknow.ac” Malware in Chrome?
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015), 3.3 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3, 1.7 TB free — Running High Sierra 10.13.6 (17G65). For a variety of reasons, Chrome is my default browser, and Google is my default search engine and homepage. While browsing with Chrome two days ago, I made the idiotic mistake of clicking on a Flash download popup and immediately noticed signs of infection by this malware. The main only noticeable effect is that my homepage, tab option, and search engine in the Chrome browser now default to this alien “weknow.ac” search engine, which produces results very different from Google’s. I’ve tried three long phone troubleshooting sessions with Apple Help, including downloading and scanning with Malwarebytes, which read my computer as “clean.” Also pursued other remedial steps I’ve seen suggested in other websites. (Although there are only a few that deal specifically with Chrome on Mac.) Uninstalled Chrome application, including trashing all its support folders from Library. However, the bug still keeps coming back. The “good” news is that Safari (so far) shows no sign of the infestation — so I’m using that as my only browser. However, I don’t want my (still relatively new) iMac to go through the rest of its life with this alien entity ticking away in its innards. Can anyone here recommend a more permanent solution to my problem? Is there a third-party malware removal product that’s both effective and trustworthy? Thanks in advance for any help.
It appears that the weknow.ac “virus” changes a group of Chrome policies with the idea to set a new default homepage and new tab page, as well as modify the browser’s settings. According to a discussion, you can see your current Chrome policies by typing chrome://policy/ into the URL bar. In case you’re affected, you should be able to notice the modifications of your policies immediately.
The advice here is to utilize the command line to delete or modify the affected policies by opening up “Terminal” and copying each of the following entries below:
defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageIsNewTabPage -bool false
defaults write com.google.Chrome NewTabPageLocation -string “https://www.google.com/”
defaults write com.google.Chrome HomepageLocation -string “https://www.google.com/”
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderSearchURL
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderNewTabURL
defaults delete com.google.Chrome DefaultSearchProviderName
After you’ve completed this step, restart your browser. You can find additional instructions at the end of this article.
Weknow.ac Virus – Update 2019
Weknow.ac has become more widespread and now features several different versions of its PUP domains. One of those domains recently detected is called Weknow.us and it sets the same suspicious web page as a home page. When checked, the other site also turned out to be outright dangerous for users due to a sheer lack of security.
So far, the Weknow.ac family of unwanted programs has continued to affect computers on several different operating systems and web browsers. The program was recently reported by security professionals whose customers have experienced Weknow.ac issues. These reports indicate a lot of threats being detected after some time spent with the Weknow.us or Weknow.ac hijackers installed on victim machines. In addition to ths, the Weknow.ac may not only target Macs, but the program also heavily attacks web browsers as well. The main browsers fallen victims to Weknow.ac have so-far been reported to be the following:
- Mozilla Firefox.
- Opera browser.
Furthermore, the weknow.ac is a software, which has the main goal to stay persistent on your Mac for as long as possible, making it’s removal this harder. To reach its end goal, Weknow.ac creates System Preferences “profile” that changes a lot of your browser’s default settings and may even change your browser’s default proxy or VPN address. This menace of a software is so invasiv, that even if you use your URL box to type something, you get redirects to the weknow.ac page.
Further analysis of Weknow.ac has indicated that it may belong to a family of adware viruses, known as CrossRider Ads. This W32 aware has been first detected back in 2015 and has been very active ever since. In addition to this, the adware may also flood your computer system with the following ads:
- Animated ads with media.
- Highlighted text ads.
- Banner advertisements.
- Ad-supported search results.
The main idea is for the CrossRider adware to work in combination with the hoax search site Weknow.ac in order to get you to visit a suspicious website, where you might be tricked into downloading or getting infected with another unwanted program or a virus.
Despite that users have told on forums that they have removed their settings and profiles for User Library directories of Chrome and Safari browsers, the virus was still reported to remain dangerous.
Weknow.ac – Ways of Distribution
Often times browser hijackers like Weknow.ac find their way to target Mac devices by being part of software bundles. There are various supposedly useful free third-party apps available across the web that feature potentially unwanted programs in their installers. And it is not that easy to reveal the presence of extras because the purpose of all these apps is to trick you into installing added apps without noticing their presence. So the information about these extras is usually well hidden. The majority of online users just keep clicking the Next button until the Finish button appears when installing newly downloaded apps. And that’s how the magic with Weknow.ac hijacker happens.
Recent cases of infected users uncover that rogue applications likeCrossRider first spotted back in 2015 as well as Fake Adobe Flash Player Updates have been utilized for the spread of Weknow.ac browser hijacker. These nasty apps could be in turn released on fake download sites, pages associated with redirecting ads, P2P networks and other channels of malicious files.
To prevent such unwanted consequences you should always choose the Advanced or Custom install settings. Before installing a new app on your Mac you should read carefully the details listed in these steps as the information may inform you about the presence of additional apps that are going to be installed by default if you don’t opt out their installation.
Тhe program is known to attack the preferences of Mac operating systems as well as those of popular web browsers like:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Opera browser
Weknow.ac – More About It
Weknow.ac is classified as a browser hijacker due to the changes that occur after its start on the system. Actually, its activities are most likely supported by an undesired program that has managed to trick you into allowing its installation on your Mac.
When this program first starts on your device it initiates several changes that usually affect essential browser settings. After changes the hoax search engine Weknow.ac becomes able to appear every time while you are browsing the web. Its simplistic main page could load as start page, new tab page while its deceptive search engine may be set as default one. Since all changes happen on the background you may not be aware of them until you open your preferred browser and see the main page of the hijacker:
To make its presence even more persistent the undesired program associated with Weknow.ac hijacker could create a configuration profile in the browser and control various settings through it. This, in turn, could be one of the reasons why you cannot fix browser settings and eventually get rid of this annoying hijacker.
Additionally, the presence of this browser hijacker on your Mac may be the reason why you see an increased number of annoying online ads including but not limited to pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, in-text links and images in the browser. This may result in sluggish browser performance and regular crashes of running apps.
What’s more some of the generated ads may endanger the security of your Mac as well as your privacy. Since the main purpose of Weknow.ac’s authors is revenue, they could skip checking the security of promoted pages. As a result, some ads generated by their bogus product may land you on poorly secured or even corrupted web pages.
As of the information collected by these hijackers, it is stated to be both personally and non-personally identifiable.
Information that may be collected according to that policy:
- Your device, apps, type, name and version of OS and other software you have
- Internet Protocol (IP) address, e-mail address
- Anonymous user identifiers, device configs and identifiers, advertising ID
- Your use and interactions of the site and services
- Your web page visits and the content you see
- Your search queries and the time and date of your searches
- Your interactions on social networks
- Your name, company name, birth date and gender
- Your home or work addresses, location, telephone and fax numbers
Furthermore, the policy states that the unintentional collection of email addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and login information is not excluded.
By using the site and services of Weknow.ac you grant approval for all of that information to be collected. All information may be shared with third parties.
Remove Weknow.ac Browser Hijacker
In order to remove Weknow.ac hijacker along with all associated files that enable its appearance in the browser, you should complete several removal steps. In the guide below you will find all removal steps in their precise order. You could choose between manual and automatic removal approaches. In order to fully get rid of present undesired programs and strengthen the security of your device we recommend you to combine the steps. Have in mind that installed files associated with this hijacker may be detected with names different than Weknow.ac.
In case you have further questions or need additional help with the removal process, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us at our email.