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Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses! POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!"?

"Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" is one of many scams designed to trick Mac users into believing that their computers are infected with several (in this case three) viruses. This one is categorized as a fake virus alert. Virus alerts and other fake messages of this type are usually displayed on deceptive, untrustworthy websites.

Users do not generally visit these websites intentionally - potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) often force redirects to them. Similarly, PUAs are often installed unintentionally without users' knowledge. In addition to unwanted redirects, these apps serve users with intrusive ads and collect various browsing-related information.

Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses! scam

This website enables a pop-up window stating that a trojan virus ("e.tre456_worm_osx") was detected and immediate removal is required. The deceptive website itself contains information that the the visitor's Mac computer is infected with three viruses: two malware and one phishing/spyware infection.

To prevent further damage (loss of photos, apps, and other data), users are urged to scan their systems by clicking the "Start Scan" button within five minutes of visiting this deceptive site (it contains a running timer). Once clicked, this button leads to download of the Mac-Mechanic app (the promoted app might be different).

This website may seem to be an official Apple site, however, Apple has nothing to do with this scam. These deceptive websites generally promote apps and attempt to trick people into downloading them. To then use the apps, a purchase if often required.

In summary, scams such as "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" are used to extort money from users by tricking them into believing that their computers are infected with viruses. Do not trust these websites, or the applications they promote. The best option is to simply ignore these sites and close them.

If a website cannot be closed in the normal way, use Activity Monitor and 'force quit' the browser app. Alternatively, restart the computer. Do not, however, restore the previously closed session, since this will reopen the deceptive website that caused the problem in the first place.

As mentioned above, most visitors arrive at these websites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted apps. In addition to unwanted redirects, these apps often deliver intrusive ads (coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on) that are displayed using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site.

Therefore, they conceal underlying content of any visited website. When clicked, they usually redirect to untrustworthy websites. Clicking these ads can allow download/installation of other unwanted applications. Many PUAs also collect browsing-related data such as IP addresses, search queries, URLs of visited websites, geo-locations, etc.

This might also include personal details. Developers continuously share the data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Thus, having potentially unwanted apps of this type installed can result in privacy/browsing safety issues or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady websites, loss of private information.
Malware Removal (Mac)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your Mac with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

"Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" is just one of many scams of this type, and very similar to Your System Is Infected With 3 Viruses, This Mac Is Not Secure, Your MacOS 10.12 Sierra Is Infected With 3 Viruses, and a number of others.

These scams are displayed on websites designed to trick people into purchasing unnecessary applications or pay for services. Unwanted apps that cause redirects to deceptive websites are usually very similar. Most are installed unintentionally, cause unwanted redirects, collect data, and deliver advertisements.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some potentially unwanted apps have official websites from which they can be downloaded, however, most users install them through intrusive advertisements or when they are bundled with other (usually free) software.

"Bundling" is a deceptive marketing method used to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps by hiding them in "Custom", "Advanced" and other options/settings of the download/installation set-ups. Developers avoid disclosing information about the inclusion of unwanted apps in set-ups.

Many users skip download/installation steps without checking the aforementioned settings, and developers use this to their advantage.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software using official/trustworthy sources and avoid using third party software downloaders, installers, and other similar channels. Never skip software installation steps without studying them first. Check all available "Custom/Advanced" (and other similar) settings/options and deselect offers to install unwanted applications.

Note that intrusive ads may seem legitimate, however, many redirect to untrustworthy websites (such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.). If you experience these ads or redirects, check the list of installed programs on your operating system and extensions, add-ons, plug-ins on your browser.

Remove any unwanted/suspicious entries immediately. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" website's pop-up window:

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

We have detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) on your Mac.

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Appearance of "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses! scam (GIF)

Screenshot of a deceptive website promoting "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" scam:

deceptive website promoting Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses! scam

Text presented in a deceptive website promoting "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" scam:

Your Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan
is infected with 3 viruses!
Monday January 7, 2019 10:31 AM

Your Mac is infected with 3 viruses. Our security check found traces of 2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware. System damage: 28.1% - Immediate removal required!

The immediate removal of the viruses is required to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos or other files. Traces of 1 phishing/spyware were found on your Mac with OSX.

To avoid more damage click on 'Scan Now' immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!

3 minute and 46 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Screenshot of the Mac-Mechanic installer:

mac-mechanic installer

Screenshot of the Mac-Mechanic application:

mac-mechanic application

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Mac malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner for Mac By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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