Threat Database Adware SkilledDeskSearch


SkilledDeskSearch is another dubious application that aims to enter users' Mac systems unnoticed and then monetize its presence there via intrusive methods. Analysis reveals that SkilledDeskSearch is connected to the AdLoad adware family. However, apart from its adware functionality, it is also capable of acting as a browser hijacker.

It should be noted that applications of this type are not distributed via the usual channels because users are highly unlikely to knowingly download and install them. That is why adware, browser hijackers, and other PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) employ various deceptive techniques to hide the fact that they are being installed. These methods most often include what is known as bundling or fake software installers. In fact, SkilledDeskSearch has been observed to spread itself via fake Adobe Flash Player installers.

SkilledDeskSearch Details

If it is deployed successfully on the Mac, SkilledDeskSearch will waste no time monetizing its presence there. The application will run an intrusive ad campaign that will flood the user with unwanted advertisements. The generated advertisements could impact the browsing experience on the device severely. Furthermore, they should be approached with caution. By clicking on advertisements delivered by such dubious sources, users risk being taken to suspicious or even unsafe third-party websites, potentially expensing themselves to online tactics, phishing pages, sites spreading more PUPs or even malware threats.

At the same time, SkilledDeskSearch will assume control over the user's Web browser and modify its homepage, new tab page and default search engine settings. All three will now be set to open a promoted Web address, usually belonging to a fake search engine. SkilledDeskSearch is not an exception and affected users will notice that their browser is now opening and Both are fake engines.

Finally, SkilledDeskSearch could be spying on the user's browsing activities. This is a common functionality observed among PUPs. In most cases, the targeted information includes the entire search history, as well as clicked URLs and visited sites. Device details such as IP address, geolocation, and more could also be collected and transmitted to the PUP's operators.


Even though PUPs are not categorized as malware and do not pose a direct threat, cybersecurity experts advise against keeping such applications on your computers or devices. PUPs increase the chances of users landing in unsafe places, while the gathered private information could be misused by the application's controllers in various different ways. Some PUPs are able to establish persistence mechanisms making manual removal a bit tricky. The easiest way to guarantee that your device is completely clean is to use a professional security solution.


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