Recently I responded to a suggestion that I "upgrade Flash" on my macOS system only do end up with several applications running, and intruding into my browser and desktop that I did not (mean to) install:
- Mac Ads Cleaner
- Mac App Cleaner
- Porn Cleaner
I followed instructions I found online for removing these apps and believe they are gone (Bitdefender's virus and malware virus scan shows no remaining malicious software).
However, I wonder what they did while they were on my machine. What I could see is that they were very intrusive: launching themselves, setting themselves up to re-launch on start, resetting my browser's homepage to a spoof "safe" search engine — even popping up a window when they were installed by moving to the Trash. But I would like to know what else they did while installed *that I couldn't see.
What do these (specific) apps do? Have they done any lasting damage? Or are they only a nuisance while installed?
Note that this isn't a general question about being infected or how to handle it, but what these specific and fairly widespread apps did while installed.