Mac Virus

Bankworm “Virus” Apple Scam Removal (Mac Guide) Sept. 2019 Update

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This article describes the characteristics of a recently discovered browser hijacker named Bankworm “Virus”. This program is an online advertising tool, which may introduce some changes to the homepage or to the search engine of your default browser without your direct approval and may initiate redirects to unfamiliar web pages, ads, banners, and offers.

What is more, Bankworm “Virus” could easily incorporate itself within Safari,Chrome, Firefox and other popular browsers and install certain new toolbars and components inside them which may disturb your normal online experience. In the text below, you can read more about the activities of this program, its danger level, and other important specifics, as well as the methods you could use to effectively uninstall the hijacking components and remove the annoying ads.

What are browser hijackers?

Programs, which are entirely focused on promoting different goods, services, software and commercial offers are commonly categorized as browser hijackers. Such pieces of software are usually legitimate instruments of the online marketing industry. They are set to display all sorts of ads on your screen while you are browsing which is why they normally get incorporated into your default browser. The moment you open a new browsing session it is likely that dozens of different banners, links, and web offers may get loaded on your screen and may start aggressively prompting you to click on them. You may not be able to see your pages or browse without being interrupted every now and then by a new pop-up, ad or a blinking box which won’t go away unless you click on it (or sometimes even if you do so). What is more, your browser may stop responding to your commands and may begin to redirect you to sponsored pages instead of the websites you may actually want to visit. You may also notice the presence of a new search engine or a new homepage which have replaced your browser’s default ones.

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!

For an inexperienced user, all these changes might look really disturbing. In fact, some people might even be worried that Bankworm might be some kind of insidious and dangerous virus. The truth is, so far, we have not found any evidence of anything malicious, which might be initiated by a browser hijacking software like this one. Compared to a real computer virus, for instance one from the rank or a Ransomware or a Trojan horse, Bankworm “Virus” should typically be nothing more than a mere source of browsing irritation. This program does not normally target your files shouldn’t be able to corrupt or delete anything.

A real virus, however, may target some particular files in your system, delete or modify them, steal your credentials or insert other viruses. In contrast to that, most hijackers aren’t really capable of causing any direct harmful effects. Due to its ad generation and redirecting activities, though, such software could be classified as potentially unwanted and most people would likely prefer to uninstall it from their system.

Distribution of a browser hijacker:

Programs like Bankworm “Virus” Apple Scam and similar ad-generating software could usually be found all over the Internet. In most of the cases, the hijacker is distributed via program bundles or some free download links, ads and browser applications. Unlike threats like Ransomware or Trojans, however, the browser hijacker cannot install itself on your computer on its own. To become part of your system, it usually needs you to run an installation package to which the undesirable software has been added.

Now, most sers usually use the Automatic, Default, Quick or Standard settings to set up a new program on their PC. However, this method of installation is not the one we’d advise you to use, especially if you want to have control over the given software setup package and prevent the installation of potentially unwanted software such as Bankworm, which could have been bundled inside. What we would advise you instead is, the moment the installation wizard of the software you want to install starts, simply select the “Advanced” or “Custom” settings instead of the Automatic ones. These options will usually open a menu where you can manually review and select what to install and what to leave out from the installation package. Look for pre-selected checkmarks and additional applications marked as “suggested” or “recommended” and carefully consider whether you need them or not.

How to uninstall Bankworm “Virus” and bring your browser back to normal?

The instructions in the Removal Guide below will show you the exact steps, which you need to take if you want to eliminate Bankworm “Virus” from your system. Follow them carefully or use the assistance of the professional anti-malware program suggested there for fast and automatic removal.


Name Bankworm
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Various ads, pop-ups, banners and sudden page redirects may start interrupting your normal web activity. 
Distribution Method Spam messages, email attachments, free download links, ads, torrents, software bundles, automatic isntallers. 
Detection Tool

Bankworm “Virus” Apple Scam Removal


We get asked this a lot, so we are putting it here: Removing parasite manually may take hours and damage your system in the process. We recommend downloading ComboCleaner to see if it can detect parasite files for you.

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.



To remove parasite on your own, you may have to meddle with system files and registries. If you were to do this, you need to be extremely careful, because you may damage your system.

If you want to avoid the risk, we recommend downloading ComboCleaner
a professional malware removal tool.

More information on ComboCleaner, steps to uninstallEULA, and Privacy Policy.

Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to activity-monitor

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:


Now click on Sample at the bottom:


Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

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Maximum file size: 128MB.

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Virus Scanner Result


The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

First, Force Quit Safari again.

Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.


Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

Preferences in Safari

and then again on the Extensions tab,

extensions in safari

Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.

The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
Privacy in Safari

Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

General Tab in Safari

Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
Default Home Page

Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

firefox-512 How to Remove Bankworm From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefoxclick on mozilla menu (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

pic 6

The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.

chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundHow to Remove Bankworm From Chrome in OSX:

 Start Chrome, click chrome menu icon —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  chrome-trash-icon.

pic 8

 Click chrome menu icon again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

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