What is XCodeGhost Mac Malware? How to remove XCodeGhost Mac Malware?
The XcodeGhost Mac malware is a modified version of a real development environment. It is designed to appear just like the real program without giving out any signs that it is a dangerous strain. The main method of distribution is through various Internet portals and malicious sites. Various hacker-made pages which are optimized to appear in search engines, social networks and online communities. Many of its samples can also be found within file-sharing networks. The XcodeGhost Mac malware is generally spread through the malware web servers, in this particular case malicious hackers have uploaded numerous copies to the cloud storage services hosted by Baidu and other related portals.
The threat is contained within a compiler backdoor which makes it very easy to propagate across networks and most of the samples are difficult to detect. As soon as it has infected the system it will start to modify system services and deploying various malware content.
Infected computers with the XcodeGhost Mac Malware can be remote controlled by the hackers using the built-in Trojan client. This allows them not only to harvest sensitive data, including account credentials, but also to spy on them at all times. The security reports indicate that this also allows for various man-in-the-middle attacks to be orchestrated.
A list of the collected information done by the engine includes the following: Current time, Current infected app’s name, The app’s bundle identifier, Current device’s name and type, Current system’s language and country, Current device’s UUID and network type.
There are several advanced malware capabilities that have been reported with this particular malware:
- Read and write from clipboard
- Hijack opening specific URLs
- Prompting alert dialog
- Payload Infection
Users looking for development environments and similar software should be extra careful in order not to get infected with this virus threat.
|Name||XcodeGhost Mac Malware|
|Short Description||The XCodeGhost Mac Malware is a modified version of Apple’s own Xcode development environment which is widely available used by developers using the platform. The malware can cause a lot of malicious actions.|
|Symptoms||Modified system settings and files|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installers, Suspicious Sites|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss XcodeGhost Mac Malware.|
XCodeGhost Mac Malware – Why Do I Have It and What Can It Do?
The XCodeGhost Mac Malware unwanted application is being effectively distributed via freeware installers and bundled packages. You can get your Mac affected by it without even being aware, that the XCodeGhost Mac Malware has installed on your machine with a freeware installation or bundled package. You might avoid this, by unchecking options under the Advanced or Custom tab of an installation suite. Visiting suspicious sites, for instance the site of the XCodeGhost Mac Malware might get the program installed to your Mac.
XCodeGhost Mac Malware is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) which is considered a dangerous threat. It can cause numerous malicious actions, including ads pop-ups (such as the one displayed a little further below).
XCodeGhost Mac Malware may pose as a legitimate application that can provide useful functionality to the users. All these programs have a valid, Apple-provided developer certificate, thus macOS will install them without prompting a warning or a notification of any sort.
Remove XCodeGhost Mac Malware
If you want to remove the XCodeGhost Mac Malware unwanted software from your Mac machine we recommend that you use a specific anti-malware for Mac systems. With a specific anti-malware program, your computer will remain with a better protection and stay healthy performance-wise in the future.
About the XcodeGhost Mac Malware Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this XcodeGhost Mac Malware 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware?
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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
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
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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware:
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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware. 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware. 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware. 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove XcodeGhost Mac Malware files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as XcodeGhost Mac Malware, 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
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.
XcodeGhost Mac Malware FAQ
What is XcodeGhost Mac Malware 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware 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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware?
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 XcodeGhost Mac Malware?
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.