Also known as: MacBooster, MacOS:Bundlore-CX, Program.Unwanted.MacBooster.3, PUP.MacBooster
Category: Potentially unwanted application (PUA)
Variants: MacBooster 6, MacBooster 7, MacBooster 8
MacBooster is a potentially unwanted program that may be introduced to macOS devices while installing other applications. MacBooster claims to be a legitimate system optimization tool, although its functions are often unnecessary and may even interfere with the user’s experience. Once present on the system, MacBooster will try to persuade the user to purchase a subscription by displaying notifications about their device’s supposedly bad performance.
MacBooster does not attempt to hide itself — once installed, the app will run automatically and frequently interrupt the user to display alerts about lagging performance and supposed risks.
Other indicators that MacBooster is present on your system include:
Your device starts to heat up due to background processes.
You notice third-party software that you don’t remember installing.
Specific keywords in websites are automatically hyperlinked to third-party sites.
You notice a substantial increase in the frequency of advertising pop-ups.
Banners for the same products appear uniformly across all websites.
Sources of the infection
MacBooster often comes bundled together with freeware apps downloaded off the internet, although it may also hide in legitimate software purchased off certain vendors. During setup, the bundler software will attempt to sneak MacBooster in as part of an “automatic” or “full” installation. MacBooster may also be purchased directly from its official website by users looking for macOS system optimization tools.
MacBooster may also be introduced to your device by:
Files shared through messaging platforms or SMS.
Files downloaded from cloud storage or online repositories.
Files shared through peer-to-peer (P2P) channels.
Good cybersecurity habits go a long way to keep potentially unwanted programs like MacBooster out of your macOS device. Avoid downloading files from potentially dangerous websites — and when you do, don’t forget to scan them for malware. Always choose to run a “custom” installation for new programs and carefully read each prompt to make sure the setup wizard does not introduce any unwanted tools.
Other protective measures include:
Verify the authenticity of new tools or programs you wish to download. Reading user impressions and expert reviews may tip you off that the app comes bundled with MacBooster or other unwanted software.
Use NordVPN’s Threat Protection to scan programs and files for malware while they’re being downloaded. Threat Protection will also alert you if you’re about to enter a known infected website to prevent drive-by download attacks.
You can remove newer versions of MacBooster from your macOS device like any other program — just drag it to “Trash.” However, MacBooster version 3 and older could only be fully removed using the app’s own uninstaller. After deleting MacBooster, we recommend that you perform a malware scan to remove any lingering files on your system.