ValidMemory is a browser extension that was designed for internet navigator like Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox. As of now, ValidMemory is listed under the category of potentially unwanted application (PUA) and is specifically targeting Mac OS.
By infecting the computer, makers of ValidMemory will be able to utilize it for their online frauds and other illicit activities that will heavily affect the performance of browser program. It also brings risk to online privacy and security of Mac users. In addition, the compromised browser program could detect the risks and therefore, it will display a warning “ValidMemory will damage your computer.”
How ValidMemory Enters Mac?
It is worth to mention that this threat is just a reproduction of previous PUA like RecordMapper, ApolloSearch, and ExploreActivity. They all belong to the same group of adware. Having said that, ValidMemory applies similar infiltration tactics and its primary method is to integrate ValidMemory to software installer and then, host this package on various file servers. Because the host application is often appealing like free games, tools, media player, files converter, or creativity suite, there are chances that Mac user may download this malicious software bundle. Obviously, running the installation of this package automatically loads ValidMemory app and Mac user are not aware of this.
Aside from the software bundling scheme, there are traces of infection where ValidMemory originates from the fake software update that web users normally encounters when visiting uncommon websites. Due to its clever disguise as system alert claiming to have identified issues due to obsolete program, Mac users were often tricked to download the supposed software update that will secretly install ValidMemory app on the computer. Please see image below for sample of fake software update that could pop-up on the browser when visiting malicious websites.
Threat to Privacy and Security
Like most PUA, ValidMemory is able to collect various data from the browser. It can log search keywords, favorite websites, visited pages, username, passwords, IP address, and other sensitive information. In normal operation, these collected data are utilized to elevate the online revenue of attackers by showing ads that are more relevant or appealing to web users. However, there are cases that adware makers were inspired to sell the amass data to third party online marketers due to attractive offers.
Also, bear in mind that ValidMemory ads are coming from an underground advertiser’s network. Therefore, most of it are unusual marketing objects that are utilizing the unfair online promotional method like excessive pop-ups and redirects. In the end, the intentions of these ads were to drive web users into visiting a bad landing page that is often the root for malware infection. So, better remove ValidMemory app as soon as it appears on Mac computer.
Mac Protection Against ValidMemory
The total protection of Mac computer lies behind how cautious the user is and how efficient is the installed anti-virus application. These combination works side-by-side to keep the computer away from malware, virus, or PUA like ValidMemory. That being said, there is no reason to relax while browsing the web or downloading files even if computer is guarded by a security application. Remember that computer viruses are sometimes smart enough to exploit vulnerabilities in the system in order to infiltrate the computer while evading the security app.
Procedures to Remove ValidMemory 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 ValidMemory. 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.
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 ValidMemory.
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 ValidMemory 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 ValidMemory or any unwanted program.
4. Drag ValidMemory 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 ValidMemory
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 ValidMemory, 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 ValidMemory
1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.
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.
4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:
The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. Attackers may masks the actual name with following:
- ValidMemory Daemon
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing ValidMemory 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.
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.
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 ~):
10. Lastly, go to your Finder and open the Applications Folder. Look for subfolders with the following names and drag them to Trash.
- ValidMemory Daemon
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.
3. Click on Force Quit button.
4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belongs to ValidMemory 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 ValidMemory.
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.
5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats, ValidMemory 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 ValidMemory from Homepage and Search
- 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 ValidMemory from the Homepage field. Replace it with your preferred URL to be set as your default homepage.
- 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 ValidMemory. 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.
- 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 ValidMemory 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 ValidMemory. 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 ValidMemory or any relevant profile from the left pane. See image below.
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 ValidMemory.