What is ExtraList
ExtraList belongs to the PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) category. It is a bogus program, which takes control over your browser and floods it with all sorts of annoying ads like pop-ups, banners, in-video sponsored content, and shady redirects. This parasite can also obtain sensitive information from you, such as passwords, IP addresses, GPS coordinates, bank account credentials, credit card numbers and web history. It is not uncommon for ExtraList to install other shady browser extensions or toolbars, or open unfamiliar pages as new tabs.
How it is distributed
In most cases, the victim doesn’t realize that they’ve installed ExtraList on their computer. However, it is an application, which is promoted as a useful tool for your Mac, so you may have downloaded and installed it on your device purposely. If it’s the first scenario, this malicious software was probably able to spread via a fake update message, or freeware installations. To make sure you don’t install malicious programs on your computer, you have to choose the Custom or Advanced option in the Setup Wizard when available. This will give you control over the installation process, and you’ll be able to see the full software list with apps that are going to get access to your PC. We highly recommend opting out of any additional applications you’re not familiar with, since they most likely are malware in disguise.
How it operates
Unwanted software are known as annoying applications, the majority of which are programmed to flood your browser with aggressive advertisements, which will become an obstacle to your everyday work online. The sponsored content will become so persistent, that they will even go as far as to interrupt videos you’re watching online. No ad blocker software will be able to stop ExtraList. This parasite is programmed to monitor your online activity and collect web data like browser history and search results, so it can produce specifically targeted ads you’ll be most likely to click on. For each click you make, the PUA will create revenue for its creators. Bu the thing is, there’s nothing stopping the cyber criminals from sharing the valuable data obtained from your Mac, with other shady third-parties.
The longer you allow this parasite to stay on your computer unattended, the worse the consequences will get. The frequent browser crashes and slow internet speed may be just the beginning. The parasite may try to promote dubious pages, which seek to infect your Mac with dangerous viruses. If you want to protect your privacy and return your Mac to a malware-free state, you should remove every trace of ExtraList from the system.
Staying safe from ExtraList
Apart from having a reliable AV software installed on your Mac, there are other things you can do to ensure your device’s safety. We highly recommend you to:
- Pay close attention when you install third-party software, especially torrent files, so you don’t install shady additional applications that you don’t want. In most cases, that’s how malicious parasites are able to infect your computer;
- Read any Terms and Conditions you see, so you know exactly what you agree to. The last thing you want is to unknowingly give permission to a nasty virus to infiltrate your Mac;
- Follow links that lead to trustworthy sites only;
- It is best to visit only reliable and official websites. You never know what dangers might lurk behind an unfamiliar site;
- No matter how attractive an ad is, if you are not familiar with the website it redirects to, it might be best to steer clear of it and not click;
- Always check the sender’s email address before opening a message. If it states that it’s from an official company, compare the email with the one given in their official page. If there is no match, delete the message, since it most likely is fake and has malicious aims;
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. More often than not, such files carry infections that can seriously damage your computer.
How to manually remove ExtraList from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the ExtraList PUA, the instructions below can help you to remove it manually. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to Utilities. You can do that by using the ⇧+⌘+U key combination, or by going to Finder and choosing Utilities from the Go main menu at the top.
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it.
3. A list will be displayed. Find any processes that seem suspicious to you and use the ‘Force Quit‘ option to quit them completely.
4. Open Finder. Click on the Go button from the main menu at the top, and choose Applications. An alternative way is to use the ⇧+⌘+A key combination.
5. Look for any suspicious applications, especially ones with a name similar to ExtraList. If any are found, right-click on them and select the ‘Move to Trash‘ option.
6. Remove any related left-over files by going to Finder‘s search bar and typing the name of the app you want to remove. Make sure to modify the two drop down menus above to ‘System Files‘ and ‘Are Included‘, so that any hidden files are visible for you to remove. Once you find the files you want to remove, simply drag them to Trash.
7. All that’s left for you to do is remove any related extensions to ExtraList from your Mac browsers.
For Mozilla Firefox extensions:
- Open the Firefox browser and from the ‘burger’ menu in the top right corner of the window select ‘Add-ons’.
- Select any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and click ‘Remove’.
For Google Chrome extensions:
- Open the Chrome browser and select Tools > Extensions from the menu (the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window).
- Locate any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and remove them.
For Safari extensions:
- Open the Safari browser. From the Safari menu choose Preferences. Select Extensions from the options at the top.
- Find any extensions you think are related to the virus, select them and click ‘Uninstall’. A new window will show up asking for confirmation. Click Uninstall again, for the extension to get deleted permanently from your browser.