Threat Database Adware FlexibleSearch


FlexibleSearch is a dubious application targeting Mac users. It falls into the categories of ad-supported software and a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). Applications such as FlexibleSearch are designed with the main goal of generating monetary gains for their creators through the delivery of unwanted and intrusive advertisements to the devices they are present on. Another scheme involves taking over the user's Web browser to drive artificial traffic towards a sponsored address. 

Both the advertisements displayed by adware and the search results acquired via a dubious search engine should be approached with caution. The advertisements could redirect to unsafe third-party pages, while the displayed search results could include numerous sponsored links that might not even meet the criteria of the search. Applications such as FlexibleSearch also are known for possessing at least a certain degree of data-harvesting capabilities. The browsing activities of the user could be tracked, packaged and uploaded to a remote server. The operators of the application could then exploit the data by selling it to interested parties that might include cybercriminals. 

PUPs rely on deceptive tactics that hide their installation from the users. They hide inside fake installers/updaters or are packaged alongside another more legitimate freeware application. When the user installs the other product, somewhere under the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' settings, the installation of the PUP would be added as a preselected choice. If you notice signs of irregular activities on your system, the best solution is to run a scan with a professional anti-malware solution. Look at the detected issues and delete any suspicious applications. 


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