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My screen is acting in a altered/hacked way. it seems to pulsate or vibrate and there is some shadows overlaying (gohsting) on desktop screen. it looks like a terror corps invaded the screen. It first occured years ago on my older mac  After opening files downloaded from a torrent site.( not realizing danger) and got on my new laptop now, not knowing it were those files on the external HD that got me in trouble the first time. The screen gohsting, overlayer and slight pulsation started immedeatly after opening the files and got me scared. Also i found 400plus photo's on my HD of very disturbing nature which were probably downloaded with the torrent.

I have tried already the obvious solutions : clean installs, resetting nvram running in save mode (which helps a bit) etc. but it only got rid of a part of the problem.  and still the screen is not completely as it should be.

different anti virusses didn't show anything. bitdefender, clamxav, and my full malwarebytes program. i have searched on the apple support community but no real similar problems are reported

I am still in search of a solution as i realy can't work on my macbook. and wan't to look deeper into this.


i am worried it is some code/programm that has changed my startup settings. I have checked my hardware by official apple repair center which didn't show any problem and changed the screen and logicboard .


Is there anywhere i could start to look or what i could do to further find this malicious alteration of my display? as malwarebytes didn't find anything should i run other malwarebytes programs ?


Many Thanks for all possible help! it is very much appreciated!


kind regards






I have been with this problem for some time now

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Hello @johny:

Before a possible referral to Malwarebytes staffers and/or experts please continue below.

It may be best to start with the basics.  Please consider running the Apple Mac internal hardware diagnostics:  How to use Apple Diagnostics on your Mac

  1. At the conclusion of the internal diagnostic, does the diagnostic report appear visually perfect? The diagnostic does not use your macOS.
  2. Was an error of any kind reported from the diagnostic?
  3. Did the Apple Service Repair Center make any suggestions?  Recovery mode -> reinstall macOS?
  4. Do you have perfect off-line full system backups (Time Machine or not) from a period just before the issue began?

After, please reply to this topic with the diagnostic results and answers.

Thank you.


Edited by 1PW
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hello 1PW,

thanks for your quick response and help!

I ran the internal hardware diagnostics. but there are no errors reported.

the screen stays the same at the end of the diagnostics . and after restarting it still shows the problem.


I do not have a back up from before the problem started on this new mac. :(  i have a time machine backup but thats with the screen problem.

(at this moment i have a "clean system" due to recent clean install, i haven't put the back up back again. but the problem is there.)


kind greets




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What you're describing sounds like a hardware defect with the screen, not a malware issue. Have you had an Apple tech take a look at it yet? If not, you should do so now. The diagnostics available to you through the system are limited and can't always identify all hardware issues.

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Hello @johny:

The above seems to indicate that you have two different Macs and that the older (first) Mac has the screen issues and the newer (second) Mac is still without fault.

If I am correct (or mostly correct), please continue below so as to glean details from ONLY the older, first, failing computer.

For a thorough analysis to commence, please reply to this topic with as much relevant and detailed information as you are technically able:

  1. Click on  Menu -> click on About This Mac -> click on Overview (tab) -> click on System Report... (button) -> click on Hardware Overview:  Report Apple's Model Name and Apple's Model Identifier.  (e.g. MacBook Air --- MacBookPro11,5)
  2. Click on  Menu -> click on About This Mac -> click on Overview (tab) -> click on Version.  Report the macOS version and (build).  (e.g. macOS Mojave 10.14.6 (18G6020))
  3. If viable, please perform a screenshot of the reported screen issue.  Screenshot capture files must be attached to forum replies.

Thank you.

Edited by 1PW
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Hello 1PW and treed ,

thanks for your replies!

I had my macbookpro checked already  3 times by an official apple repair centre.

first time they replaced the screen . that didn't resolve the problem and  I contacted apple support again, they made an appointment for a hardware check by an official apple repair centre . this didn't have any result . i hoped by replacing the logic board and thus having a clean system by apple and empty SSD  would get rid of the *alteration?* in the screen. But it is still there, and i haven't connected any storage devices or downloaded anything that could give a problem. I even deleted everything in my icloud.

My older mac , macbook 2007 , i do not use anymore because of the screen. it is not realy possible to work on it. My new macbook pro has/had the same problem as the older .but doing a clean install en resetting the nvram did clear it up already a bit. as did placing the new logic board. But still the screen "pulsates"

When running the new macbook pro in "savemodus" the vibrating seems to have stoped, but the overlayer is still there.


the models name is :MacBook Pro.    macbookpro15,2

Mac OS Catalina version 10.15.6


I don't think it is going to be visisble on a screen shot or video . i made a video of my screen and you see slight shiverings . i don't think  the vibrating is realy visible .


hope this helps


kind greets



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hello again,

I have had contact with the apple repair center that did the repair .and they say this is not a hardware problem as to the results of hardware checks and the replacements done.

I am still looking to find whats causing this screen behavior .  I as i think this is still kind of malware related. but i can't find the origin of it in my Boot or system.

Are there any other programs from malwarebytes or different,  i can run to check my macbookpro more thouroughly??? or places i can look to trace this problem.



i am very grateful for all help reached out!


with kind regards









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I'm not really seeing anything in your video. The only thing I can think that you might be seeing is the normal brightness changes that a MacBook Pro will make to the screen in response to changing ambient light. You can try turning off "Automatically adjust brightness" in System Settings -> Displays.

I do not believe that what you're seeing is a malware issue at all, and it's important to understand that there's no known way that the screen itself could be infected. If you still think that you may be infected with something no antivirus is detecting, however, I would recommend the following:

1) Reboot into recovery mode and erase your hard drive

2) Reinstall the system

3) While running the newly-installed system, before doing anything else, check to see if the problem still exists. If it does, it's definitively not due to malware or any other software, and you'll want to go back to Apple with this information. If the problem is gone, proceed with the remaining steps.

4) Manually restore documents only from a backup

5) Re-download and reinstall all the software you had installed previously

For more details on how to do 1 and 2, see:


Of course, make sure you've got good backups before you start any of this.

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Hello Treed.

It is there! not seen ufo's :) i think compresion of the video file etc. reduce the quality. and make et less visible :( It is realy a small shivering vibration. like some frequency . you see the screen move slightly all the time!

I get headache from it like my inside of brain tences up hard and I have days of complaits after working just a bit on it.

I have checked with a similar macbookpro of a friend for some time (or on the windows laptop i now use) and i don't have such experience on that .

This made me search closer for the reason and what i always suspected actualy happens in the screen!

not only this shiverings . but also blocks of the letters move in a pattern and you see sometimes like every second or two impulses on the screen like ghosting.


Don't realy know if this is a virus??? but i hoped that scanning more, than just the malwarebytes antivirus for mac, would show up some faults or hidden codes in my system? is this possible? 


I don't seem to find any other malwarebytes software for mac??? it does exist on windows....


I have tried realy everything there is with completely erasing and reinstalling the software. It looks more like the base system is corupted.


would you maybe know where i should have to look for deeper checks of my system? or a forum ?


many greetz




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If you have already erased the hard drive and reinstalled the system cleanly, without importing software from backup, then it is definitively not malware. All signs are pointing to a hardware issue of some kind, so I'd go back to Apple support with the information you now have in hand and ask them to take another look.

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2 hours ago, johny said:

So this would not be traceable with any kind of "malware" software ?

I would just say that it's not traceable to any known kind of malware. There's alway a chance of infection by something nobody else in the Mac world has ever seen to date, but the chances of that are close to zero at this point.

And as to other Malwarebytes software for the Mac, you are correct in that much of the functionality of those Windows products are either built in to Malwarebytes for Mac or are of little to no use with macOS. The Browser Guard extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers are available for Mac use, if you need those.

Edited by alvarnell
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Thanks ! 

I was just curious because my scan of my Mac takes 3 secs and my windows 3 hours . So there must be a difference in how it scans? The Mac is a faster system but 3 secs is really quick . Is this because it doesn’t bother to look deeper in Mac system because it is supposed to be safe itself and everything in a Mac is more connected? 

thanks for your help! 

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12 minutes ago, johny said:

Thanks ! 

I was just curious because my scan of my Mac takes 3 secs and my windows 3 hours

Read here.  Why Malwarebytes scans so fast on Mac devices


PS: my Mac also takes about 3 seconds. My Windows (however little used) with the threat scan takes just over a minute.
The long scan on Windows is done with the custom scan which is not recommended if not rarely: on Windows just run the threat scan once a day.

Edited by MAXBAR1
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20 hours ago, alvarnell said:

I would just say that it's not traceable to any known kind of malware.

hello alvarnell. 

can I ask you as a mac guru ?   my problem started occuring right after oping those torrent files( screen start acting "strange") . haven't seen any program open when clicking on those files. but my cumputer stoped for a while , like very bussy. and got scared,   there was a readme file in there, stating i was terrorized by some "name"....

Could a non-virus "programm/command" change anything in my mac undetected?  and still keep acting even when erasing and reinstalling my osx.

having done those clean install did reduce the severeness of the problem. but some of the problems stays.


thanks a lot!





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3 hours ago, johny said:

Could a non-virus "programm/command" change anything in my mac undetected?  and still keep acting even when erasing and reinstalling my osx.

Theoretically, it might be able to and there was talk years ago about being able to modify NVRAM or other firmware, but I'm not aware of anything like that being found. macOS does check the integrity of your primary firmware periodically, so you would have gotten an alert if that had become corrupted. If you haven't done so already, you should perform this  https://support.apple.com/HT204063.

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Hello again,

I have tried restting NVRAM a couple of times.  this did clear some of the screen alterations visible. but still something is given these strange impulses in my screen .

If placed the logicboard correctly that should have given a new firmware, not?

I do have in my system.log a message that could be worriesom??  " the first sampled color of the immage isn't solid, this isn't an apple logo image"  "isapplelogoBootImage = NO"

I don't know if this is related to the problem .  Should I be worried about that?  i can't read a systemlog, but someone offered to have a look and said that indicates something screwy is going on?


many thanks again!


kind regards  J


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15 hours ago, johny said:

If placed the logicboard correctly that should have given a new firmware, not?

Firmware is updated when you install a new macOS, macOS Update or macOS Security Update, so regardless of what was on the logic board when it was replaced, it would have been updated as soon as you or the tech installed one of the above. And, as I mentioned earlier, it is checked ever time to boot the system to make sure it hasn't been hacked or corrupted. SilentKnight can tell you if it's up-to-date.

I'd need a ton of additional information about that system.log message to even guess what it means.

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Hi Alvarnell,

My firmware is up to date . running Silentknight showed everything was ok.  i am doing a check with another app from that site .

It is realy strange that the look of my screen still looks strange even after installing a logicboard and reinstalling a new osx. even from a bootable usb.  

where could such a thing then still reside?    

Is there any way to check your bootsystem on unusal/unoriginal programs/commands ? Is it possible to reinstall/overwrite your bootsystem?   i get dubious sites when looking for that on the net :s


What would be needed to see where this system.log message is related to? where can i look for?

I did attach my system.log  If you would wanted to have a look?


I am gonna try to install a clean osx with another mac on external hard drive and boot to that, to see if the problem(s) reside my the osx ....


many thanks again for your time!




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