Flash Player Auto Update Daemon POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Flash Player Auto Update Daemon" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Flash Player Auto Update Daemon"?

"Flash Player Auto Update Daemon" is a fake system notification (pop-up window) encouraging Mac users to update their Flash Players. Typically, such notifications appear due to installed adware-type apps that are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). These usually feed users with ads and collect browsing-related data.

Flash Player Auto Update Daemon scam

This fake notification states that a "Flash Player Auto Update Daemon" (supposedly a legitimate Flash Player) is outdated/not optimized for the Mac and needs to be updated. It goes on to state that it will not work with future versions of MacOS operating systems and should be updated to improve compatibility.

In fact, this pop-up window often tricks people into downloading other PUAs, possibly similar to the one already installed (that causes the fake notification). Unwanted apps of this type often feed users with advertisements such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

When clicked, these ads open dubious websites or run scripts that download and install other unwanted applications. Furthermore, they conceal underlying content of visited websites, which can be very annoying. Another problem is data tracking.

Many PUAs gather browsing-related data such as IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, and so on. They might also target personal details. PUA developers share the information with third parties (possibly cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

If there are any unwanted apps of this type installed on your system, remove them immediately, since they could lead to problems with privacy, browsing safety, or even result in identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "Flash Player Auto Update Daemon" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious 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), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious 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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Many adware-type apps trick people into downloading unwanted apps by displaying fake notifications. These pop-ups windows should not be trusted and often appear due to installed potentially unwanted apps. PUAs are promoted as useful apps, however, when downloaded and installed, they cause a number of problems.

Furthermore, only the developers benefit from them. Most PUAs deliver none of the functionality (tools, features) promised by developers.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases, people install PUAs unintentionally when they click intrusive ads that execute certain scripts or when developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - this is used to trick users into downloading and installing unwanted apps with other, regular software.

Developers usually hide information regarding the bundling of PUAs in "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual", and other similar options/settings of the download or installation set-ups. Information regarding the inclusion of these within set-ups is not properly disclosed.

Note, however, that these unwanted downloads and installations usually happen only when people leave all settings unchecked and unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To avoid these downloads and installations, download software from official sources/websites and using direct links. Avoid using torrents, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, unofficial pages, and so on. Do not skip steps of software download or installation setups without checking "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings.

Deselect offers to download and install any unwanted apps. Avoid clicking intrusive ads, especially on dubious websites. In many cases, these ads redirect users to untrustworthy websites, such gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.

If you experience these unwanted ads and redirects, check your browser for any unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins, and uninstall them. Also check the list of installed programs on your computer. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Screenshot of the installer of a fake Adobe Flash Player:

installer of a fake adobe flash player

Fake Adobe Flash Player installer's technical analysis:

  • Detection names: Avast (MacOS:SurfBuyer-X [Adw]), ESET-NOD32 (a variant of OSX/Adware.SurfBuyer.D)
  • Full list of antivirus detections: VirusTotal
  • Executable file name: AdobeFlashPlayer (2).iso
  • Sample first submitted: 2019-04-01 (created 2019-03-15)

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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