Mac OS X Is Infected (4) By Viruses POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses"?

"Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses" is a typical virus alert. Pop-up windows of this type appear only on untrustworthy, deceptive websites. Typically, people visit these sites unintentionally - they are redirected by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs), which cause unwanted redirects, deliver advertisements, and collect browsing-related information.

Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses scam

The "Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses" pop-up window informs people that their Mac computers are infected and operating systems are damaged. It urges users to take immediate action and to scan the system for viruses. It also encourages them not to ignore this warning and gives just one option: to click the "OK" button.

When clicked, another pop-up window called "Security Recommendation for Macs" opens and states that the system could be vulnerable and the user should consider scanning it for viruses.

It goes on to state that scanning the operating system for viruses will ensure that information such as credit card/banking details, emails and account passwords, Facebook, Skype and other chat logs, photos, other data, and the webcam are safe and secure. This pop-up encourages users to download and install potentially unwanted apps such as MacKeeper for this purpose.

If the "Start Now" button is clicked, it starts the download/installation process of a PUA, which is supposedly anti-virus software or another such tool. Installed PUAs usually cause redirects to deceptive websites, which are used to promote other unwanted, potentially malicious apps.

These redirects to untrustworthy websites are not the only problem. Most PUAs gather information such as IP addresses, geo-locations, search queries, URLs of visited websites, and so on. In some cases, they target personal/private information. Developers share the data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

The behaviour of PUAs and their developers can lead to problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, or even identity theft. Furthermore, many PUAs feed unsuspecting users with coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and other intrusive ads.

These are annoying and, if clicked, often open dubious websites or even run scripts that download/install other unwanted apps. If you believe an app of this type is installed, remove it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Mac OS X is infected (4) by 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.

The number of deceptive websites designed to promote scams is countless, however, some examples include "Apple.com-clean-os.live", "APPLE.COM RECOMMENDS", and "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!". Generally, these scams trick people into downloading and installing unwanted software.

The software is usually presented as legitimate, however, none of these websites (or apps promoted through them) should be trusted.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Generally, unwanted apps are installed due to people clicking intrusive ads or installing/downloading software without paying attention to the details. Developers use the "bundling" method, which allows them to trick people into downloading/installing unwanted apps together with regular software that they wish to download and install.

They hide information about the bundling of unwanted apps in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar parts of the software download or installation set-ups. Furthermore, many people install or download software in a hurry and leave available settings unchanged - this is how they cause unwanted installation/download of PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

You are advised to download all software using official and trustworthy sources (including direct links). Third party software downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, unofficial websites, and other similar sources should not be used.

Additionally, check each available option (such as "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar sections) of any download/installation setup. Dismiss offers to download/install unwanted apps before finishing the download/installation process.

Various intrusive ads should not be trusted, since they often redirect users to untrustworthy websites, such as pornography, gambling, adult dating, and other dubious websites. If you encounter unwanted redirects or intrusive ads, check for unwanted plug-ins, extensions, and add-ons installed on the browser, and programs on the computer/operating system.

Remove all unwanted 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 the first pop-up window:

Your Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses and Your system is damaged, You must clean the system from viruses, as quick as possible! Do not ignore this warning!

Screenshot of a second pop-up displayed by this deceptive website:

pop-up that appears after clicking OK button

Text presented in a second pop-up window:

Security Recommendation for Macs
Consider running a virus scan on your Mac.
Your system may be vulnerable after you visit risky websites.
Make sure that your sensitive data isn't exposed:
Secure your credit card details and banking information.
Protect your email password and other account passwords.
Safeguard your Facebook, Skype, AIM, and other chat logs.
Keep safe your private photos, family photos, and other files.
Ensure your webcam canít be accessed remotely.
We highly recommend using Mac security utility to detect and remove malware, adware, viruses, and suspicious apps.
How to Remove:
Step 1: Click the button below to download and install App.
Step 2: Run App and remove all potential viruses immediately.

Another variant of "Mac OS X Is Infected (4) By Viruses" pop-up scam promoting MacRepair unwanted application:

Mac OS X Is Infected (4) By Viruses pop-up scam

Text presented within this pop-up:

Initial pop-up:


Your Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses and Your system is damaged.
You must clean the system from viruses, as quick as possible!

** Do not ignore this warning **



Background page:


Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!

We discovered that Your Mac OS is damaged on 37,2% and contains (4) viruses.

If you will not delete viruses right now, then it can result in the damage of system files, data, appendixes and etc.

You need to do (step by step):

Step 1: Push the button Download and get free antivirus app.

Step 2: Download MacCleaner and recover Your system!

Appearance of this "Mac OS X Is Infected (4) By Viruses" pop-up variant:

Mac OS X Is Infected (4) By Viruses pop-up scam (GIF)

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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