Remove ConnectedPlatform – Mac Adware

This post illustrates the dangers of installing a questionable browser extension called ConnectedPlatform. Also included on this page are Easy Fix solution, Manual Removal Guide, and cleaning the Homepage and Search section of infected internet software.

ConnectedPlatform is a questionable browser module that operates on the Mac OS computer. Security professionals placed this unwanted tool under the classification of potentially unwanted application (PUA). Like most browser threats, ConnectedPlatform has the sole objective of infiltrating the internet application like Google Chrome or Safari and alter the current configuration without asking for the Mac user’s approval. ConnectedPlatform is indeed a very aggressive application that penetrates the Mac computer while employing various deceitful techniques.

How ConnectedPlatform infects the Mac computer?

The scheming ways of cyber scammers to attack Mac computer are successful due to the use of freeware and shareware. ConnectedPlatform is commonly attached to these cost less applications and host them on a Mac user’s favorite file-sharing sites. The unwanted program is usually embedded to free games, utilities, creativity apps, download manager, media player and so on.

It is also important to note that ConnectedPlatform is sometimes bundled to the fake software update being promoted in aggressive pop-up advertisements. The pop-up warning is actually a webpage that disguises as a software update for Adobe or Google products. It claims that several issues were found on the Mac computer and user should download and install the critical update. Once run on the computer, it will make way for the installation of ConnectedPlatform. Aside from this threat, this deceitful tactic may also install similar malicious apps like SuccessAdvanced and SmartDivision. See the image below for a screen capture of the bogus software update.

Screenshot of ConnectedPlatform App

Risks of installing ConnectedPlatform app

Once ConnectedPlatform is installed, it will start broadcasting various types of ads, including excessive pop-ups and persistent redirections. Such ads usually appear while the Mac user is surfing the Internet and consequently, it completely hijacks the Web display. Redirects initiated by the ConnectedPlatform application meant driving the browser to various malicious pages like Re03.biz, Rdsb21.club, and so forth. Consequently, accidental visit to these suspicious websites may lead to other adware or malware contamination.

In addition, these are instances when, after the installation of the ConnectedPlatform application, the Mac user begins to witness unnecessary browser changes. The homepage and search are usually replaced by an unknown URL that was supposed to extract the details from the search. Besides search terms, sensitive details such as IP address, web browser make and version, and computer details are also saved.

Procedures to Remove ConnectedPlatform from Mac

This area contains comprehensive procedures to help you remove adware and potentially unwanted program from the computer.

Guide on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understand and execute by Mac users.

Quick Fix - Scan the Mac Computer with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP's. Moreover, it can get rid of adware like ConnectedPlatform. You may need to purchase full version if you require to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

Install Combo Cleaner

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on "Start Combo Scan" to start removing ConnectedPlatform.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanner, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable in manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 1 : Delete ConnectedPlatform from Mac Applications

1. Go to Finder.

2. On the menu, click Go and then, select Applications from the list to open Applications Folder.

3. Find ConnectedPlatform or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag ConnectedPlatform to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Right-click on Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.

Step 2 : Remove Browser Extensions that belongs to ConnectedPlatform

1. Locate the add-on or extension that is relevant to the adware. To do this, please follow the following depending on affected browser.

Safari - Choose Preferences from the Safari menu, then click the Extensions icon. This will open a window showing all installed extensions.

Chrome - Select Preferences from the Chrome menu, and then click the Extensions link found on the left pane.

Firefox - Choose Add-ons from the Menu. Look at both the Extensions and Plug-ins lists when it opens a new window.

2. Once you have located ConnectedPlatform, click on Remove or Uninstall, to get rid of it.

3. Close the browser and proceed to the next steps.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that have installed ConnectedPlatform

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar please select Go > Go to Folder...

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • com.ConnectedPlatform
  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:

- Connected Platform

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing ConnectedPlatform to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the most latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option+Command+4

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files as you may also delete the same item on another folder as we go on.

5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Please restart the computer.

7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.

9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support

10. Lastly, go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.

- Connected Platform

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to Launchpad, Utilities folder, open Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

Force Quit Apps

3. Click on Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to ConnectedPlatform adware.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from this link:

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download if most recent version is available. This is necessary in finding recent malware threats including ConnectedPlatform.

3. If it prompts to close all running web browser, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

MBAM for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, ConnectedPlatform is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove ConnectedPlatform from Homepage and Search

Safari

- Open your Safari browser.
- Go to Safari Menu located on upper left hand corner, and then select Preferences.
- Under General tab, navigate to Default Search Engine section and select Google or any valid search engine.
- Next, be sure that "New Windows Open With" field is set to Homepage.
- Lastly, remove ConnectedPlatform from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.

Google Chrome

- Open Chrome browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
- Look for 'On Startup' area.
- Select 'Open a specific page or set of pages'.
- Click on More Actions and select Edit.
- Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing ConnectedPlatform. Click Save.
- To set default search engine, go to Search Engine area.
- Click on 'Manage search engines...' button.
- Go to questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click 'Remove from list'.
- Go back to Search Engine area and choose valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.

Mozilla Firefox

- Run Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type the following on the address bar and hit Enter on keyboard : about:preferences
- On Startup area, select 'Show your home page' under 'When Firefox starts' field.
- Under Home Page field, type the desired URL to replace ConnectedPlatform settings.
- To configure default search engine, select Search on left sidebar to display settings.
- Under Default Search Engine list, please select one.
- On the same page, you have an option to Remove unwanted search engine.

Optional : If unable to change browser settings, execute these steps:

Some user complains that there is no way to change browser settings because it is grayed out by ConnectedPlatform. In such situation, it is important to check if there is unwanted profile. Please do the following:

1. Quit any running applications and launch System Preferences from your Dock.

2. Under System Preferences, click Profiles.

3. Select ConnectedPlatform or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.

Remove Profile

4. At the bottom of this window, click minus [-] button to delete the account. Please refer to image above.

5. Close the Profiles window and open the affected browser to change all settings associated with ConnectedPlatform.

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