ValidManager is yet another PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) that is being leveraged against Mac users. Like most apps of this type, it also spread itself via deceptive means. More specifically, ValidManager has been detected to hide inside fake Adobe Flash Player updates. As for its functionality, it combines the capabilities of adware with those of a browser hijacker.
In practice, this means that the application is programmed to run an intrusive ad campaign on the affected devices. Users will notice a drastic increase in the pop-ups, banners, coupons, in-text links, etc, that appear during their browsing. The advertisements could display clickbait messages in an attempt to lure users into clicking on them. Doing so risks triggering a forced redirect to an unsafe third-party website such as phishing pages, sites operating various online tactics or domains promoting additional PUPs.
As we said, the adware behavior of ValidManager is also accompanied by browser hijacker traits. The PUP will establish control over the user's Web browser. To be more specific, the application might target the homepage, new page tab and the default search engine settings. All three could be reassigned to now open a sponsored address, which in nearly all cases belongs to a fake search engine. Fake engines are incapable of producing results on their own. When the user inputs a search query, it will be redirected to either a legitimate engine such as Yahoo, Bing, Chrome, etc. or to a dubious engine that will display untrustworthy results filled with ad links.
By having PUPs installed on their Mac, users risk being spied on. PUPs are oftentimes equipped with data-harvesting routines that can access the search history, browsing history and all clicked URLs. In addition, it also could track device details - IP address, geolocation, ISP (Internet Service Provider) and more.