Mac security professionals warn against an encounter with the malicious browser extension called SmartDivision. As per the report, this supposed enhancement tool is currently targeting widely-used browser applications like Google Chrome and Safari. By the time that SmartDivision app is active on the Mac computer, it issues various kinds of intrusive advertisements, including pop-ups, redirects, and pop-under or the push notification alert. SmartDivision contamination is also said to be the culprit for the unwanted changes in the browser that overrides the homepage and search settings.
How does SmartDivision app enters the Mac computer?
Most Mac users who encounter SmartDivision app wonder how it can enter the computer without their consent. As a matter of fact, there are several ways that attackers are employing to widely spread the adware. One is by a fake software update that web users generally encounter when visiting sites that are involved in the illegal distribution of films, software or audio files. One other thing, the installation of freeware that comes from suspicious sources can also be the source of SmartDivision application infiltration. Worst of all, the distribution of suspicious freeware bundles has also been observed as a means of infecting the computer with more dangerous threats, including viruses and malware.
The penetration techniques of the SmartDivision application can easily persuade Mac users into installing or accidentally running the carrier. Hence, it is recommended to stay away from these sources of infection.
Objective of SmartDivision adware
The questionable browser extension operates in the computer as an Adware and data recorder. As such, Mac users may encounter different types of misbehaviors, including excessive pop-up ads, redirects, and banners. These ads cause severe disruption to the online surfing of the Mac users. Worse, the ads could contain malicious links that can lead to installation of unwanted programs including SampleSkilled, CleanSearch, and many more.
Keep in mind that aside from its selfish moneymaking objective, SmartDivision is able to collect browsing data of users. It records search keywords, visited pages, favorite websites, username, contact details, and so on. Later on, this can lead to privacy theft and the collected data will be misuse for other online fraudulent activities of the attackers.
Procedures to Remove SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision. 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 SmartDivision.
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 SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision or any unwanted program or suspicious item. It could be in disguise as a different file.
4. Drag SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision
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 SmartDivision, 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 SmartDivision
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:
- Smart Division App
If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing SmartDivision 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.
- Smart Division App
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 SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision.
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, SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision. 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 SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision. 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 SmartDivision 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 SmartDivision.