How does OSX/VSearch-A work?
OSX/VSearch-A has two main modes of operation. The adverts will either take the guise of a screen which will present itself to you when you are installing it or they will be in the interface of your software. The actual adverts themselves may display as either pop-up windows, a main banner advert or as side boxes at the sides of your screen.
So, is it more than just a nuisance and should you be concerned about it? Well a lot of people have an issue with adware due to its ability to monitor which websites you are looking at. This is so that the programmer can then customize the type of advertising they are showing you based on the sites you most often visit. Obviously this form of targeted advertising is more likely to interest you and therefore raise the likelihood that you will click on it, and hopefully purchase whatever it is the ad is marketing. This is why you will find if you have been looking at, let's say, a new fitted kitchen you will start noticing more adverts that are showing you similar products.
Who are the creators of this adware?
It is mainly created by software developers. They use it to try and recover any costs that were incurred while they were developing a genuine piece of software. The OSX/VSearch-A adware will be bundled with that program, which allows it to be easily distributed. They also do this so that they can offer the legit program for a very low price, or even for free. Because of this, some people accept that adware is a 'necessary evil' because it enables them to download programs they do find useful for little or no cost. However, sometimes this adware comes bundled with other programs and as a result most users don't even realize that they are also installing adware alongside with the program they wanted to install in the first place. Because of such unethical software distribution methods OSX/VSearch-A has been detected as malware (com.vsearch.agent.plist, VSearchAgent.app).
Having said that, adware is increasingly being used by large companies who wish to take advantage of the fact that these days traditional advertising is no longer as effective as it once was. How many of us pick up a printed magazine these days? More and more of us are finding our information and entertainment online.
Is OSX/VSearch-A malicious software?
This really depends which side of the fence you sit on: someone who doesn't mind it and puts up with it so that they can download freebies, or someone who finds its penchant for watching our browsing habits intrusive. These people argue that as adware has been installed without making it expressly clear to the user, then it is spyware.
How do I stop this adware invading my Mac?
The bottom line is: install a reputable anti-virus program. Once it's downloaded, make sure you run it regularly and keep it up-to-date. Also, don't download and install programs from websites you don't know or trust. To remove OSX/VSearch-A and other malware from your Mac, please follow the steps in the removal guide below. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Please leave a comment down below. Good luck and be safe online!
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
OSX/VSearch-A Removal Guide:
1. First of all, download anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove adware and other potentially unwanted files from your Mac. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this adware. Hopefully you won't have to do that.
2. Open the terminal window on your Mac. If you don't know how to open it, please watch this short video.
3. Copy/paste the contents below into Terminal:
#This will remove the VSearch virus pieces. It does require a restart of the system.
sudo rm rf /Library/Application\ Support/VSearch
sudo rm rf /Library/LaunchAgents/com.vsearch.agent.plist
sudo rm rf /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.vsearch.daemon.plist
sudo rm rf /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.vsearch.helper.plist
sudo rm rf /Library/LaunchDaemons/Jack.plist
sudo rm rf /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/Jack
sudo rm rf /System/Library/Frameworks/VSearch.framework
4. Reset your web browser and that's about it! OSX/VSearch-A should be gone.