Threat Database Mac Malware DefaultExplorer


DefaultExplorer is a browser hijacker and adware that can modify your Web-browsing experience by redirecting searches or loading unwanted advertisements. This Potentially Unwanted Program is specific to macOS environments and may install itself through bundles or with the help of Trojans. Most anti-adware services should delete DefaultExplorer, and users should avoid disreputable download resources that might lead to its automatic installation.

Exploring the Issues with Surprise Browser Add-Ons

Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUPs outnumber the trickle of worms, Trojans, viruses, and other threats that make their way onto Apple operating systems like the macOS drastically. DefaultExplorer is something of a Johnny-come-lately to this group, which tends to monetize users' Web-browsing experiences at the cost of safety and consent. While its name is different from those before it, malware experts confirm DefaultExplorer's including most of the features anyone might expect from macOS adware.

Depending on the version, DefaultExplorer may redirect the users to unwanted search websites, launch pop-up windows, or inject 'advertisements by DefaultExplorer' advertisements into Web pages locally while they're loading. Its features can affect Safari, but also non-default browsers like Chrome and Firefox. In these respects, DefaultExplorer isn't very different from adware like FormatBoost, StandBoost, TrustedAnalog or SkilledObject.

For now, malware researchers lack hard evidence of DefaultExplorer's usual installation methods. However, most adware targeting macOS involves two tactics:

  • Using the Adload Trojan downloaders for a non-consensual installation routine
  • Bundling with unrelated software, including modified movie player updates, torrents, or illicit downloads like cracks

As is usually the case, Web surfers who hunt for illicit content or trust updates that aren't from official company websites are engaging in extremely risky behavior that can compromise their browsers. Trojan downloaders also carry even more severe security implications that don't stop at promoting third-party advertisements necessarily.

Finding a Better Default for Browsing the Web

Online searches redirecting to unusual websites can endanger users in many ways. Even if they don't interact with any suspicious downloads or links, they may expose their browsers to drive-by-download attacks that use scripts or other vulnerabilities for payload delivery. If prolonged, such a state is almost inevitably likely of causing more harm to users and their computers down the line.

Users also may encounter other quality of life problems with DefaultExplorer. One particularly common issue is the appearance of 'DefaultExplorer may damage your computer' alerts from macOS's built-in security. Users normally should be highly suspicious of any software that causes this warning message but malware researchers also see similar ones appear in harmless cases, such as buggy driver updates or accidentally-expired digital certificates.

Anti-adware and anti-malware services should scan affected PCs and remove DefaultExplorer, Adload, and related unwanted software without any issues. Users also should check for changes to homepages and other settings that might need manual reversal and consider cleaning temporary browser files.

DefaultExplorer isn't a Trojan, but it takes any Mac user's default choices away from them in service to advertising revenue. Like any hustler, it's worth showing to the door before it makes money off of someone else's labor.


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