How to remove Nanocore malware from Mac



CategoryRemote access tool


It’s designed to be undetected, so it has no identifiable symptoms

Infection method

Infected emails attachments, redirected ads, and bundled software

System damage

Compromised data and banking information, and system control


Manual removal with CleanMyMac X anti-malware tool

What is Nanocore?

Have you ever let an IT professional take control of your computer to help you with a problem? A lot of corporations will do this so their IT teams can remotely install apps or help you regardless of where you are. It’s an incredibly useful tool – when it’s in the right hands.

Nanocore is commonly called a remote access tool, or RAT, designed to take control of your Mac secretly. Once it does that, it has complete access to your hard drive and can allow other malicious software to run amuck. Not only can Nanocore open a backdoor for other software, but it can also take control of things like your microphone or camera — going a step beyond just stealing your information but also invading your privacy.

How did Nancore get installed?

The most popular way Nanocore spreads from computer to computer is through infected email attachments. This is why it’s so important that you only open attachments from people you know and trust. Otherwise, you could be opening up your computer to a whole world of frustration if you’re not careful.

Tip: Always check the actual link address by hovering your cursor over the link. It may differ from what it says on the button.

Other popular methods for installing Nanocore are using browser redirects and social engineering. For example, it will redirect you to ads that appear to be antivirus or app updaters when in reality, it’s Nanocore tricking you into installing a version of it on your Mac.

How to remove Nanocore manually

Since Nanocore is virtually undetectable, getting rid of it is going to require just a little bit of work. The first thing you’ll need to do is force quit out of any apps that Nanocore is posing as.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. In a new Finder window, click Go > Applications > Utilities.
  2. Look for a process that looks suspicious and is using a ton of processing resources.
  3. Select that process and click the Stop icon at the top.
  4. Confirm to Force Quit the apps.

After you force quit the app(s), you’ll want to remove any files that are buried deep in the system library by following these steps:

  1. Back in Finder, click Go > Connect to Server.
  2. Type Library/LaunchAgents in the dialogue box.
  3. Click Go.
  4. Again, see if you have any suspicious files in there, and then just delete them.

You’ll need to repeat these steps, but in step 6, you’ll want to navigate to different folders. Here’s a list of folders that you’ll want to go through both in the system library and user library:

  • Library/LaunchAgents
  • ~/Library/Application Support
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents
  • /Library/LaunchDaemons

Once you clear out all of those supporting files, you should restart your whole computer. It gives your Mac the chance to start fresh and reload the software you have installed.

Get rid of other malware installed on your Mac

Since you can’t tell when you have Nanocore installed, there’s no telling how much malware it might have installed, too. So it’s a good thing to frequently scan your computer for any dubious software lingering on your hard drive.

Fortunately, the app CleanMyMac X is a great tool. It will scan your hard drive and automatically get rid of any of the malicious software it finds. In fact, here’s how easy it is to use CleanMyMac X to get rid of malware:

  1. Open CleanMyMac X (free version is available here)
  2. In the sidebar, click Malware Removal and then click Uninstall.

That’s really all there is to it. Since that was so simple, there’s also a privacy scan you can and should run just to make sure your data is staying safe.

  1. In CleanMyMac X, click Privacy.
  2. Click Grant Access if you need to.
  3. Then, you’ll need to click Scan.
CleanMyMac X - Recent items in Privacy module

The results of your scan will show you all the vulnerabilities you have on your Mac. So it’s pretty straightforward and helpful to support you in staying secure.

Don’t let yourself lose control over your computer to a RAT like Nanocore. It sneaks onto your computer and steals your private data without you even realizing it. Even if you already had Nanocore or something equivalent installed, hopefully, you found this to be helpful. And are more confident on when to trust remote-access tools and when to be a little more cautious.