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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Starting to panic a little bit... Random audio ads playing in background?


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ChuckieRoberts

 
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This is my first post here - I joined a few days ago after the first occurrence. A random audio ad for Gaviscon started playing - I had a few pages open in Google Chrome at the time so I thought it was one of those annoying auto play ads, but I scanned each page and found nothing.

I joined this forum whilst running a virus scan with Sophos, just in case it couldn't find anything, but it did - it found several threats in my Java cache. Just to be safe I deleted the entire cache and thought I was safe.

But a few minutes ago another ad started playing, and then another, I quickly killed Chrome and my MSN client (aMSN) but the ad kept playing.

I'm running another scan now but I would like some advice - has anybody had this problem? If it comes to it I will take it to the Apple Store and have it wiped (but will the virus not just transfer over with my back up?)

Is there anything anybody can recommend I do? I'm running Snow Leopard, if that matters.

Cheers.
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ChuckieRoberts

 
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Also, how dangerous could a virus like this be? Is it just designed to annoy/spam, or could it be more serious? Or is there another explanation for it?
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chscag

 
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You do not have a virus. Read the following: LINK

Make sure you have the pop blocker turned on in Chrome or any browser you might be using.
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ChuckieRoberts

 
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@chscag

Thank you for the reply and the link. The only thing I would say is that for a while now i've been getting these odd warnings on boot up asking for permission. Net-sessions(then a line of numbers)or mac-sessions or something similar, I can't remember. I first denied it permission (because it didn't make sense to just give a random program permission to run), and my Mac had a spaz attack.

The clock and date reset to the original activation date (several years ago) and several programs didn't run correctly.

I googled the message and apparently it was a normal Mac process, but I didn't get any explanation as to why it was suddenly asking for permission. So i rebooted and gave it permission and it didn't ask again until a few days ago.

And there was nothing running during the ads, at all, I checked - it was just the desktop. I only use Google chrome and that has a pop up blocker on by default.
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robduckyworth

 
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Chuckie Roberts, are you running little snitch?

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First up change the PRAM battery if your model Mac has one, and it helps if you provide model and operating system. Then reset the PRAM and if need be, boot from the install disc and run Repair Disk from there. And if you got Little Snitchm, MacDefende etc trash them.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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ChuckieRoberts

 
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I'm going to be honest with you all - these words mean nothing to me... Haha. I have no idea what a PRAM battery is or indeed what 'little snitch' is. I don't suppose you could put it in simple terms for the village idiot?
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Theres nothing wrong with Little Snitch as long as you know what it's doing.

Its an outward firewall for checking what your Mac is trying to send information to externally.

when the ad next plays, check the running processes in Activity monitor, not just whats open on the Dock. this will show the culprit.

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ChuckieRoberts

 
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@RobDuckyWorth

Hi, I don't have anything like that running, but I did check my activity monitor. Once again, it's all just words, i'll give you the gist - tell me if you recognise anything?

- UserEventAgent
- SystemUIServer
- Speech Synthesis Server
- (Sophos, which is still running)
- rcd
- prl_naptd
- pboard
- netsession_mac_8d9378b (this is the program that asked for permission)
- mdworker
- Mac_SwapperDemon
- loginwindow
- Launchd
- imagent
- IJEPWAgent
- HP Event Handler
- Growl Helper App
- (several entries titled Google Chrome Renderer, and one named Chrome Helper)
- Fontd
- Folder Actions Dispatcher
- one entry just called 'firewall'
- Dock
- AppleSpell.service
- Airport Base Station Agent
- 3500-4500 Series Button Monitor (I think this is related to a printer I haven't used in years...)

I recognise most of them, but there are few that i just don't recognise. Does anyone here see anything worrying?
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robduckyworth

 
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have you installed a download manager? do you have adobe applications?

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Let's try this. Quit every app completely and open each app that you had open when this noise occurred one at a time. This way, you can figure out what app is triggering these ads.

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ChuckieRoberts

 
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@Vansmith

The only two apps I had open on both occurrences were Chrome and aMSN. It seems to be completely random so I don't think that's an option as the two ocurrences were days apart.
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Notice that he's running the "Growl Helper App"....
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ChuckieRoberts

 
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@chscag

Growl came when I installed DropBox.
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ChuckieRoberts

 
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I can honestly say it's never caused me any bother before.
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