Remove StandardBoost (Mac Adware)

This article is about the suspicious browser extension called StandardBoost. Included on this page are Easy Fix solution, Manual Removal Guide, and cleaning the Homepage and Search section of compromised internet program.

If Mac users are experiencing issues on their internet application like for example, it keeps on showing aggressive pop-up ads and redirects, there may be an adware that is commanding the browser to produce such objects. Aside from the annoyances from continuous ad display, adware is able to steal several information from the browser. It can track web user’s data that are presently stored on the browser. Thus, Mac users’ online privacy is already compromised. One adware that can perform such malicious tasks is called StandardBoost.

What is StandardBoost App?

Technically, StandardBoost was designed to perform as internet browser extension. But due to the usage of different intrusive tactics to penetrate the Mac computer, it was listed under the category of potentially unwanted application (PUA). Actually, StandardBoost is just another rendition of previously released malware like InputBalance, InitialMachine, and SimpleSearchGuide. All of these browser threats can contaminate the computer via different misleading online schemes.

Attackers are employing techniques such as software bundling hoax, bogus software update, and malicious ad campaign that promotes StandardBoost as valuable browser extension. Of all these mentioned techniques, only the latter is requiring Mac user’s intervention to install the app. The rests are relying on the hosts software to carry the adware inside the computer and run a simultaneous installation.

Risks of installing StandardBoost App

Ads that will show up on the browser during the existence of StandardBoost are unusual. In fact, they are not user-friendly. Most ads emerging from the adware infection are unsafe and could contain malicious links that forwards the browser pages to other questionable websites particularly ones that are offering fake software updates as shown in the image below.

Screenshot of StandardBoost fake update

The data tracking abilities of StandardBoost app could yield to identity theft. It is able to extract browsing and personal information such as favorite websites, browsing history, visited pages, username, password, and IP address or geographical location of Mac user. This information monitoring method by StandardBoost will persist as long as the unwanted browser extension is operational. In addition, the affected internet browser program will display an alert message “StandardBoostd will damage your computer.”

Obviously, StandardBoost is a threat to online privacy and security of Mac users. Thus, immediate computer cleanup is recommended. Please follow the guide below to completely remove StandardBoost from the compromised computer and internet program. As stated, scan the computer with effective virus and malware removal tools to delete hidden malicious items associated with the threat.

Procedures to Remove StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost. 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 StandardBoost.

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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost

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 StandardBoost, 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 StandardBoost

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.StandardBoost
  • 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:

- Standard Boost, InputBalance

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

- Standard Boost, InputBalance

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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost.

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, StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost. 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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost. 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 StandardBoost 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 StandardBoost.

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