Threat Database Mac Malware LeadingExplorerSearch


Researchers have identified another dubious app targeting Mac users. The application is named LeadingExplorerSearch. After analyzing this app, it was concluded that it is adware, which means that its main goal is to generate advertisements on the Mac devices it gets installed on. It is important to note that LeadingExplorerSearch is part of the AdLoad adware family, which is known for creating adware and other intrusive software.

Adware Like LeadingExplorerSearch Can Lead to Various Privacy Risks

Adware is a type of software that generates revenue for its developers by displaying intrusive advertisements. It can typically produce various types of ads, such as pop-ups, banners, overlays, coupons, etc., which can appear on visited websites and/or different interfaces. These ads are often used to promote scams, untrustworthy and even malicious software. Additionally, some ads can perform automatic downloads/installations when clicked.

It is important to note that any legitimate content displayed through these ads is not endorsed by the developers of the adware. Most likely, the promotion is conducted by scammers who exploit the product's affiliate programs to earn illegitimate commissions.

Moreover, adware, particularly those belonging to the AdLoad malware family, may have browser-hijacking functionalities, which modify browser settings to promote fake search engines and redirect users to malicious sites.

LeadingExplorerSearch may also possess data-tracking abilities, which are typical of adware. It collects user information such as browsing and search engine histories, cookies, usernames/passwords, and personally identifiable details, among others. This data can be sold to third parties or exploited for profit in other ways.

Users Rarely Install Adware and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) Knowingly

Distributors of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) and adware typically employ a range of deceptive tactics to trick users into downloading and installing their software. These tactics can include bundling the PUP/adware with other software programs that users actively seek to download, hiding the PUP/adware within the terms and conditions of installation agreements, or disguising the PUP/adware as a legitimate program or system update.

In some cases, distributors of PUPs and adware may use misleading marketing strategies to make their software appear more legitimate or necessary than it actually is. For example, they may create pop-up ads or browser notifications that claim the user's computer is infected with a virus or needs a system update. These pop-ups may then offer to scan the computer or update the system, but in reality, they are simply trying to get the user to download and install their PUP or adware.

Overall, the deceptive tactics employed by PUP and adware distributors are designed to trick users into installing their software, often without fully understanding what they are downloading or the potential risks associated with the software. As a result, it is important for users to exercise caution when downloading and installing software and to always read the terms and conditions of installation agreements carefully.


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