StandardBoost is adware and a browser hijacker that redirects Web searches and displays advertisements in the user's browsers. It's specific to macOS systems and may instigate computer damage-related alerts while present. Users should apply safe browsing habits for avoiding unwanted installations and let a trusted anti-adware service delete StandardBoost for improving overall performance and security.
A Standard No Browser Should Live By
Not as numerous as overall Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs), but far more so than threats like Trojans, adware on the macOS is a tough knot to unravel. While their features rarely go to the point of attacking or harming users, they often use prestige-style tricks for optimizing their Web traffic, whether or not their user base approves. Another push in this direction is StandardBoost, a macOS piece of adware that may arrive during what looks like a Flash update.
StandardBoost is part of a spearhead of adware that uses fake Flash Player updates through the assistance of Adload Trojan downloaders. Other members of this group, with comparable features and security risks, include SkilledObject, TrustedAnalog, OperativeMachine, DominantPartition and CleanParameter. In many cases, the first symptom of StandardBoost's disguised installation is the appearance of a 'StandardBoostd will damage your computer' pop-up alert (note the additional letter on the end of the adware's name).
While a pop-up system alert may annoy some users, malware experts point to more concerning features in StandardBoost. The adware can reset the user's search engines in most browsers, including Safari, Chrome and Firefox. It also displays unwanted and potentially corrupted advertisements through methods like pop-ups, injected links, banners, or graphical overlays.
Boosting Out of an Advertising Trap
StandardBoost is noteworthy as a significant counter to the narrative of Mac security being an impenetrable barricade. Besides the security issues of its advertisements, the Adload Trojan family's role suggests that any compromised user also could receive more equally-unwanted and possibly even more threatening programs automatically. Users who avoid unofficial and disreputable download sources, such as pirated software sites and torrents, are at much lower risk from these attacks.
Meanwhile, the safety questions that StandardBoost's advertisements pose can harm users by exposing them to tactics, load scripts with abusable exploits, or interfere with browser performance and stability. Some users also complain of network connectivity problems from installations of StandardBoost and related adware.
Due to the above issues, malware experts can't endorse keeping StandardBoost, although it's not correctly classifiable as a Trojan. Like other adware, removing StandardBoost is best done by specialized anti-adware or anti-adware-inclusive security products.
What Apple's response will be to StandardBoost and its kindred advertising software is for the future to say. What users should do is more of a known factor: stop downloading Flash updates from fake sources.