Threat Database Mac Malware ProgressLauncher


Researchers have uncovered a new untrustworthy app known as ProgressLauncher. This particular adware is primarily engineered with the aim of generating revenue for its developers by inundating users with unwanted and potentially harmful advertisements. What sets ProgressLauncher apart is its affiliation with the AdLoad malware family, indicating its connection to a broader ecosystem of unsafe software.

Of note, the creators of ProgressLauncher have specifically tailored this application to target Mac devices. This specialization underscores the evolving landscape of malware as attackers increasingly focus on macOS platforms, which have traditionally been perceived as more secure. As a result, Mac users must remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect their devices from threats and dubious apps like ProgressLauncher adware, which can disrupt their user experience and compromise the security of their systems.

ProgressLauncher may Carry Various Intrusive Functionalities

Advertising-supported software, or adware, functions as a platform for displaying advertisements, but the content of these ads is not always benign. In fact, adware often serves as a vehicle for promoting online tactics, untrustworthy or harmful software and even potential malware. Some of these advertisements, when clicked on, can execute scripts that perform covert downloads or installations on the user's device, leading to unwanted and potentially unsafe software infiltrations.

It's crucial to highlight that even seemingly genuine products or services advertised through adware may be endorsed by fraudsters who exploit affiliate programs to gain illegitimate commissions. This means that users may inadvertently support fraudulent activities by engaging in these advertisements.

Moreover, adware typically possesses data-tracking functionalities, and this may also be the case with ProgressLauncher. The data collected often includes a wide range of information, such as browsing and search engine histories, internet cookies, usernames and passwords, personally identifiable details, and financial-related information. This data, once harvested, can be monetized by selling it to third parties, potentially compromising the user's privacy and security.

Adware and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) may Hide Their Installations via Dubious Distribution Techniques

Adware and PUPs often employ dubious distribution techniques to conceal their installations on a user's device. These techniques are designed to make it challenging for users to detect and remove these unwanted software entities. Here are some common methods adware and PUPs use to hide their installations:

  • Bundling with Freeware: Adware and PUPs frequently bundle themselves with legitimate freeware or shareware applications. When users download and install these free programs, they often overlook the additional software that comes bundled with them. This bundling is typically disclosed in the fine print of installation wizards, and users may unintentionally agree to install the adware or PUP during the installation process.
  •  Deceptive Installation Prompts: Some adware and PUPs use deceptive installation prompts that trick users into agreeing to their installation. These prompts may be designed to resemble legitimate system updates or security warnings, leading users to believe that they are installing necessary software when, in fact, they are authorizing the installation of unwanted programs.
  •  Misleading Advertisements and Pop-ups: Adware often delivers misleading advertisements and pop-ups that prompt users to click on them. These ads may claim that the user's device is infected with malware or that they need to install a certain software to improve performance. When users click on these ads, they inadvertently trigger the installation of adware or PUPs.
  •  Fake Download Buttons: Some websites display fake download buttons that appear to be associated with the desired software. Users who click these buttons may unknowingly download and install adware or PUPs instead of the intended program.
  •  Browser Extensions and Add-ons: Adware and PUPs can disguise themselves as seemingly harmless browser extensions or add-ons. Users may inadvertently install these extensions while downloading other software or through deceptive browser prompts.

To protect against adware and PUPs, users should be extremely cautious when downloading and installing software from the Internet. They should always opt for custom or advanced installation options when available, carefully read installation prompts, and be vigilant for deceptive practices. Additionally, using reputable antivirus and anti-malware software can help detect and remove unwanted programs before they can cause harm to a user's device and data.


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