Threat Database Adware AssistiveMode


AssistiveMode is a dubious application leveraged against Mac users. It is equipped with several intrusive capabilities through which the application generates money for its creators. In general, users do not download and install programs such as Assistive mode knowingly. These applications classified as PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), instead, rely on underhanded distribution methods designed to hide their installation from the user's attention specifically. Some other examples of PUPs are MacOSDefender, ElementSignal and FinderTab.

AssistiveMode Details

Once the application has been deployed to the Mac system successfully, it will engage its adware and browser hijacker functions. Users will then be subjected to numerous unwanted advertisements that could lead to shady third-party websites. Users could be taken to various online strategies, phishing schemes, domains spreading PUPs and more.

As for the browser hijacker side of AssistiveMode, it is tasked with taking control over the browser's homepage, new tab page and default search engine. The goal of the application is to create as much artificial traffic towards the promoted page as possible. Typically, the unknown page that users will see belongs to a fake search engine. These engines cannot produce results on their own. Each search query will instead be run through a legitimate engine such as Yahoo, Bing and Chrome.

Are PUPs Unsafe?

PUPs do not pose a direct threat to the computer or device they are installed on and, as such, not considered to be malware. However, they have numerous intrusive capabilities that justify the decision to remove them as soon as possible. Keeping such applications means that you risk having your browsing activities tracked, packaged and transmitted to a remote server. Indeed, PUPs are known for having data-collection capabilities with some even trying to extract debit/credit card details or other payment information that has been saved into the affected browsers.


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