SkilledObject is an adware that delivers advertisements through Web browsers automatically, along with also hijacking Web searches. The program may install itself through fake media player updates for Flash and include symptoms such as connection problems and computer damage warnings. All macOS users should consider removing SkilledObject with a preferable anti-adware or cyber-security application as soon as convenient for their Web-browsing safety.
Software Skilled at Doing Exactly the Wrong Things
Often the point of boasts for its curated and theoretically more secure environment, Apple's operating systems aren't flawless to the common adware that likewise infests their bigger brother of Windows. Showing just how much one little advertising attempt can go wrong, SkilledObject is part of a rush of new additions to the macOS software environment from Adload Trojan downloaders. Whether Mac users want it or not, it has advertisements, hijackings and more in store.
This Week In Malware Episode 44 Part 3: SkilledObject Mac Adware Threat Attacks With Annoying Advertisements on MacOS
SkilledObject is functionally similar to other adware using the same, Adload delivery methods, a la InitialSkill, OperativeMachine, TrustedAnalog, or DominantPartition. It takes over the user's browser search settings (for Safari, Firefox and Chrome) and redirects all searches to an affiliate site. It also loads advertisements in different formats, all of which contribute to the pay-per-click monetization model.
Meanwhile, users also may experience side effects from SkilledObject or Adload's installation. The most notably disruptive of these issues is inconsistent website connectivity issues (usually due to proxy settings changes). However, more visibly, malware experts point out the recurring 'SkilledObjectd will damage your computer' pop-ups. The additional 'd' on the end of the name is memorable, if cosmetic, characteristic of most adware of this grouping.
Preventing a Poorly-Programmed Object from Taking Browsers for Itself
Although malware experts don't rate SkilledObject as a Trojan, even adware and other, Potentially Unwanted Programs may cause security issues. Repeated contact with unvetted advertisements may result in exposure to drive-by-downloads and other exploits and more mundane tactics. Users also should remember that SkilledObject usually also involves an Adload Trojan downloader that may install other threats.
Although Adload is years old, SkilledObject is a fairly-new example of adware for macOS. Users should consider updating their security solutions' databases for appropriately-accurate detection of any newly-emergent PUPs and Trojans. Avoiding illicit and unofficial downloads, including software piracy sites and torrents, also helps avoid adware like SkilledObject.
Most adware programs will adequately delete SkilledObject or block its installation and most anti-malware tools will do the same for Adload. Additionally, many cyber-security suites provide all-inclusive databases that detect both illicit software and morally-questionable ones like unwanted adware.
SkilledObject may not mean to disrupt a user's Web-browsing experience, but neither does its developer care if it does so. Mac users can respond in kind by not considering the developer's feelings before taking SkilledObject off their hard drives and into the Trash.