Remove ScalableSkill – Mac Adware

There are many Mac users that are getting bothered by unwanted browser changes that merely cause annoyances like extreme pop-up ads and redirects. These disruption modules by adware normally show up when Mac user is having browsing session or searching the internet for specific topic. Adware that might be implicating the said disturbances on internet browser programs like Safari, Google Chrome, or Firefox could be ScalableSkill app.

More About ScalableSkill

ScalableSkill is deemed as potentially unwanted application (PUA) or Adware (ad-supported software). This unusual browser program is skillful in accomplishing the mentioned payloads because the real intent of its author is to exploit the internet browser program to generate online revenue. As PUA, ScalableSkill can be sneaky in penetrating Mac computers. Adware makers are injecting the code to a number or freeware that Mac users are fond of downloading. During installation, it runs a simultaneous setup of ScalableSkill where the process is completely hidden from Mac users. Once installed, ScalableSkill will attack the browser program especially Safari and commit several unnecessary changes that will have an effect on web user’s browsing activity.

Adware is another category where ScalableSkill belongs. Mac security professionals noticed that one task of this malicious application is to exhibit various kind of advertisements on the internet software. Therefore, pop-up ads, redirects, banners, and push notifications will be highly visible once ScalableSkill becomes part of the browser program. The worst thing about its promotional scheme is, it supports the online marketing of similar suspicious applications and this is why most of the pop-ups originating from ScalableSkill is redirecting browser pages to sites that host adware or malware.

ScalableSkill

Origin of ScalableSkill

Basing at the description window as well as its magnifying glass icon, we can clearly confirm that ScalableSkill is just a remake of SkilledControl, ProgressTrend, and InterfaceSample. There is nothing distinct about the individual characteristics of these adware. Actually, they only differ from the name assigned by adware makers. Besides that, everything is the same from its penetration method to performing several illicit actions once installed on Mac computer.

The recommendation for this new variant remains the same as its old edition and that is getting rid of it to restore safety and privacy on the browser. Complete steps to remove the threat are outlined below. Also included in the removal process are malware and virus scanners to locate and delete hidden malicious items relevant to ScalableSkill adware.

Procedures to Remove ScalableSkill 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 System 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 ScalableSkill. 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 ScalableSkill.

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 ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill

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 ScalableSkill, 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 ScalableSkill

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.ScalableSkill
  • 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:

- HelperPages, ServiceLegacy

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing ScalableSkill 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.

- HelperPages, ServiceLegacy

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 ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill.

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, ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill. 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 ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill. 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 ScalableSkill 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 ScalableSkill.

Post Last Modified On July 9, 2020

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