ActiveFromat is yet another application that tries to sneak itself unnoticed onto users' Mac devices and run intrusive activities to generate monetary gains for its creators. The application is capable of acting both as adware and a browser hijacker, delivering a double dose of annoyance.
The main distribution methods employed by such dubious applications are bundling or being disguised as an installer/update for another more popular software product. The heavy reliance on such underhanded tactics whose sole purpose is to mask the fact that an intruder application is being delivered to the Mac classifies them as PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs).
The advertisements generated by ActiveFormat may take numerous forms. However, they should all be approached with caution. It is quite common for users who click on the displayed ads to suddenly find themselves on a phishing page or website running another online tactic. As for the browser hijacker side of ActiveFormat, it will establish control over the user's Web browser immediately. More specifically, it will target the homepage, new tab page, and the default search engine settings.
ActiveFormat will force all three settings to start opening the address of a fake search engine - search.initialunit.com. Fake engines are incapable of producing results on their own. Search.initialunit.com is not an exception, and it will redirect all initiated search queries through the legitimate search.yahoo.com engine.
Users who have PUPs present on their devices also risk having their browsing activities tracked, packaged, and transmitted to a remote server. The most commonly stolen information includes the browsing and search histories, as well as device details such as the IP address, geolocation and ISP (Internet Service Provider).