Threat Database Adware SearchWebMesh


SearchWebMesh is classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) that appears to be geared towards Mac users. As is usually the case with PUPs, SearchWebMesh relies on deceptive marketing tactics to spread itself. The application has been observed to hide inside a fake installer designed to mimic Adobe Flash Player.

Once inside the user's Mac system, SearchWebMesh can perform a wide range of dubious activities. The application will attempt to monetize its presence through an intrusive advertising campaign. Users will be presented with a variety of questionable advertising materials that can take the form of pop-ups, banners, surveys, in-text links and more. Engaging with the advertisements could take the user to potentially unsafe third-party websites. It is quite common for adware-type applications to lead users to deceiving pages. 

At the same time, SearchWebMesh will activate a browser hijacker process that will assume control over specific browser settings. The goal is to drive artificial traffic towards a promoted address, in most cases, that of a fake search engine. Users affected by SearchWebMesh will notice that their usual homepage, new page tab, and default search engine have all been modified to open the sponsored address. While it is present on the system, the PUP may prevent any further changes to the browser settings.

The most worrisome aspect of having PUPs such as SearchWebMesh installed on your Mac, however, is that nearly all of them are capable of data harvesting. Numerous details about the user's browsing habits could be tracked and then exfiltrated to a remote server. The data may include all visited websites, clicked URLs, conducted searchers, as well as device information such as the IP address, geolocation, and ISP (Internet Service Provider).


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