Threat Database Adware OptimalState


OptimalState is a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) that many Mac users may be surprised to find installed on their computers. This is a characteristic trait of all PUPs, as they do not expect users to download and install them intentionally. Instead, these applications employ various deceptive tricks designed to attract as little attention as possible to the installation process of the PUP. However, the effects of having OptimalState present on the Mac system will become noticeable almost immediately.

The application will begin to monetize its presence via an intrusive advertising campaign. Users will be subjected to numerous annoying advertising materials that might manifest as pop-ups, banners, coupons, in-text links and more. Clicking on any of the displayed advertisements should be done so with caution as they could redirect to questionable third-party websites.

In tandem with the adware functionality, OptimalState also will act as a browser hijacker. The PUP will take over the Web browser of the user and establish control over the homepage, new tab page and the default search engine. Infosec researchers have observed that on Safari browsers, OptimalState is programmed to promote the search engine. On a different browser, the application could be set to promote another bogus engine. Search engines that rely on browser hijackers have legitimate search capabilities rarely. In nearly all cases, they will redirect the search queries initiated by the users to either Yahoo, Bing or Google. 

While PUPs may not represent a direct danger to Mac systems, users should know that it is quite common for these applications to possess data-harvesting functions. PUPs mostly go after browsing-related data, such as visited websites, clicked URLs, and conducted searches. However, some have been observed to try and access sensitive data that has been saved into the browser. This information could include banking or payment details, as well as credit/debit card numbers. 


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