Mac malware is booming, with various adware and rogue antispyware strains steadily gearing up for a rise. A particularly deleterious vector of attacks, though, spans phishing and other forms of social engineering that target users’ credentials and personal data. On top of that, cybercriminals are constantly refining their tactics and trying their hand at highly persuasive methods to get hold of this valuable information. One of these hoaxes has seen a dramatic spike lately. It involves the “Required Data Notice” popup alerts mimicking ones from the legit Microsoft AutoUpdate. This service is intended to facilitate the way updates of Microsoft’s products are rolled out to Macs. Its benign essence is a major red herring in the new info-stealing campaign, where perpetrators deposit a malicious program onto macOS systems that keeps triggering the copycat popup dialogs. The infection is referred to as the Microsoft AutoUpdate Mac virus.
The purpose of the authentic Microsoft AutoUpdate notifications under scrutiny is to let the users know about a change in the company’s policy regarding the avenues of obtaining and handling diagnostic information related to their software, such as Office, Skype and the like. The alert emphasizes that these new practices won’t affect confidential details about the user or other products running on the Mac. All in all, this is a commonplace notice familiarizing the customers with certain tweaks. Once a person clicks OK, the message shouldn’t appear anymore. However, lots of Mac users have been complaining about persistent nature of the popups. They don’t vanish after the terms acceptance, plus the affected machines start running hot due to high processor load whenever the screens appear. This is merely one of the discrepancy reported by the victims.
There is one more red flag making people doubt the safe origin of these entities. In some cases, the users are redirected to a suspicious website that requests PII (personally identifiable information) under the guise of Microsoft. Among other things, the details include first and last name, credit card stuff, email, and Mac admin password. Obviously, Microsoft would never gather these details in such a manner. The entirety of adverse effects caused by these popups come down to the activity of the Microsoft AutoUpdate Mac virus. It is a stealthy application that usually comes bundled with harmless free software so that the users aren’t alerted. When on board, the parasite runs a series of commands to display the fake “Required Data Notice” message recurrently. This popup is linked to a phishing web page that tries to swindle personal information out of the victims.
The skyrocketing CPU usage could be caused by a furtive cryptocurrency mining script affiliated with the malware, although this is more of a speculation at this point. Perhaps the Microsoft AutoUpdate virus leads to a peculiar glitch in the host Mac, making the system allocate too many resources to some regular task. One way or another, this interference needs to be terminated before the consequences grow beyond a controllable point. Follow the steps below to address the issue.
Manual removal of Microsoft AutoUpdate Mac virus
The following walkthrough will help you get rid of the Microsoft AutoUpdate Mac virus. Keep in mind, though, that the infection is stubborn and may hide its core files to prevent effective manual cleanup. In any case, finding and deleting some malware components is half the battle, so go ahead and adhere to the procedure as illustrated below.
- In Finder, select Utilities under the Go menu
- Go on to the Activity Monitor
- Look for an unfamiliar, potentially dodgy entry on the running processes list. Select it and click the Quit Process button at the top of the pane. Your Mac will display a confirmation dialog – select Force Quit there
- Return to Finder and select Applications under the Go menu
- Examine the list for an item you don’t remember installing recently, select it and send it to the Trash. If the system asks for your admin password to continue, type it in
- Select the System Preferences entry under Apple Menu
- Go to Accounts and pick Login Items to view the list of applications launched when your Mac is starting up. Find the unwanted item and delete from the list
Now that you have completed the manual repair, check whether or not the Microsoft AutoUpdate popup continues to appear. If it’s still there, then you’ll need to take the fix a notch further.
Remove Microsoft AutoUpdate Mac virus using automatic cleaner
There are quite a few benefits of using an effective automatic removal tool to sort out Mac malware issues. These include thorough detection and eradication of all malicious files, including obfuscated ones, as well as a smooth user experience requiring a minimum of efforts. Here’s what you need to do:
- Download and install Combo Cleaner. It is a tried-and-tested utility with security and optimization features on board.
- Open the tool and click Start Combo Scan button on its Dashboard. It will check your Mac for memory hogs, privacy issues, and viruses such as the Microsoft AutoUpdate infection. As soon as the app displays its scan report, make sure all the troublemaking items are selected and hit the Remove Selected Items button.