Threat Database Adware AphroditeLookup


AphroditeLookup is a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) that targets Mac users. The application relies on misleading and deceptive marketing tactics to spread itself without being noticed by the user. For example, infosec researchers have observed AphroditeLookup hiding inside fake Adobe Flash Player installers.

Once established on the Mac, the application will show its true nature. First, in a typical adware fashion, it will start running an intrusive advertising campaign. The delivered advertisements could diminish the browsing experience on the device severely, but that is not the most worrying aspect surrounding them. Users who engage with the displayed advertisements could be redirected to unsafe third-party websites where they could be subjected to phishing or other online tactics, domains promoting more PUPs, or even compromised pages spreading serious malware threats. 

While the user is being flooded with unwanted advertisements, AphroditeLookip will initiate its browser hijacker part and take control over the Web browser. The PUP will change certain settings (usually the homepage, new page tab, and the default search engine) to promote a sponsored address. Browser hijackers are the preferred way for proliferating fake search engines.

While PUPs are not considered as a direct threat to the system they are installed on, that doesn't mean the users are not facing risks. PUPs are notorious for having data-harvesting capabilities. The gathered data could be limited to the browsing activities of the user and certain device details such as IP address and geolocation. However, some PUPs also try to access sensitive payment details that have been saved in the browser.


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