Apple.com-clean-os.live POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Apple.com-clean-os.live" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "apple.com-clean-os.live"?

apple.com-clean-os.live promotes potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) and, therefore, this website should not be trusted. It is used to trick MacOS users into believing that their operating systems are infected with malicious programs and encourages them to take immediate action. Users do not usually visit mostapple.com-clean-os.live intentionally.

PUAs installed on their systems are responsible for these unwanted redirects. Additionally, apps of this type usually collect data and deliver intrusive advertisements. The apple.com-clean-os.live website is very similar to apple.com-cleaning-os.live.

apple.com-clean-os.live scam

apple.com-clean-os.live is usually opened in a new tab or browser window. Once visited, it displays a pop-up window stating that this website has detected a computer infection - at time of research, a Trojan (e.tre456_worm_osx). It encourages apple.com-clean-os.live visitors to begin a repair process immediately.

The website informs users that the Mac is infected with three viruses: two malware infections and one phishing/spyware infection. It states that unless these infections are removed, they might cause system damage, data loss, and personal and banking (financial) information might be at risk. A "Scan Now" button starts a fake virus scanning process.

When complete, it states that it has detected some viruses. In our example, it found three viruses: Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv. To remove them, users are encouraged to download a potentially unwanted application  called Mac-Tweak-Pro, however, it might also offer download of other apps of this type.

Regardless, never download and install apps that are promoted through deceptive, untrustworthy websites such as apple.com-clean-os.live (and other websites of this type). Other PUAs cause unwanted redirects to dubious websites. These apps usually display intrusive advertisements such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

They are annoying and, when clicked, often open untrustworthy (possibly malicious websites) or run scripts designed to download/install even more unwanted apps. Another downside of having PAUs installed is information tracking.

Apps of this type often gather browsing-related (and other) information such as search queries, geo-locations, IP addresses, geo-locations, URLs of visited websites, etc. PUAs can also collect personal/sensitive information. Developers share the recorded data with third parties who usually misuse it to generate revenue.

Some of these parties might be cyber criminals. Thus, having PUAs installed can cause privacy issues, problems with browsing safety, and some people might even have their identities stolen. We strongly recommend that you uninstall all dubious, unwanted apps immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Apple.com-clean-os.live" 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.
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These unwanted applications are usually presented as useful, legitimate tools that are capable of providing various features, tools, and so on. In fact, most generate revenue for their developers, provide none of the functions promised, and simply cause problems.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, users do not download and install potentially unwanted apps voluntarily. This usually happens when they click dubious, deceptive advertisements or download/install software. To trick people into unwanted installations/downloads, software developers often use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling".

They "bundle" unwanted apps in software download/installations set-ups, hiding them in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. Developers avoid disclosing information about bundled apps. Despite this, users who perform installations/downloads without paying attention, and leave available settings unchanged, are responsible for these infections.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Do not download software from dubious/untrustworthy sources such as third party downloaders, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrents, eMule and other channels of this kind. Use only direct links and official, trustworthy websites.

Check "Custom"/"Advanced" and other options or settings when installing (or downloading) software, especially if the software is free. Opt-out of offers to install PUAs and only then finish the installation/download process.

Bear in mind that many ads on the internet seem legitimate, however, they often cause redirects to untrustworthy websites such as pornography, gambling, adult dating, and others. If a web browser causes these redirects, or displays ads that cause them, check for suspicious browser apps (plug-ins, add-ons or extensions) and remove all unwanted entries immediately.

Also check the list installed programs on your Mac computer and uninstall all dubious entries. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Appearance of "apple.com-clean-os.live" scam (GIF):

Appearance of apple.com-clean-os.live scam (GIF)

Screenshot of the unwanted application (Mac-Tweak-Pro) that is promoted through apple.com-clean-os.live:

mac tweak pro unwanted application

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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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