Apple.com-scan.live POP-UP Scam (Mac)

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

What is "apple.com-scan[.]live"?

apple.com-scan[.]live is a scam website designed to trick people into downloading a potentially unwanted application (PUA) called Cleanup-My Mac. The site displays a fake virus alert stating that the Mac computer is infected with some viruses that should be removed immediately.

This website (or apps promoted though it) should not be trusted. Typically, apple.com-scan[.]live is visited when people are redirected to it by PUAs already installed on their systems. These apps usually feed users with advertisements and gather information relating to their browsing habits.

apple.com-scan[.]live scam

apple.com-scan[.]live first displays a pop-up window stating that it has detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) and urges visitors to begin the repair process immediately. When this pop-up is closed, the website itself encourages visitors to scan their systems by clicking the "Scan Now" button.

It then states that the system is infected with three viruses that it has detected: two malware infections and one phishing/spyware computer infection that can cause data and financial loss. To avoid any possible damage, users are encouraged to scan their systems within five minutes. When the "Scan Now" button is clicked, it starts to run a fake virus scan.

When finished, it displays scan results stating that it has detected the Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses. The apple.com-scan[.]live website encourages people to download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application by clicking the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button, however, this actually leads to download of Cleanup-My Mac.

Note that apple.com-scan[.]live and apps promoted should not be trusted. Generally, installed PUAs also serve users with various intrusive advertisements such as pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, and others. Once clicked, these ads open dubious, potentially malicious websites or run scripts designed to download and install other unwanted applications.

In summary, clicking ads displayed by PUAs (or on dubious pages) can lead to unwanted installations or even computer infections. PUAs can also perform data tracking when installed. They gather information relating to browsing habits such as IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, ULRs of visited sites, and so on.

Developers share the details with other parties - potentially, cyber criminals. These misuse the data to generate revenue. If installed, PUAs cause problems with privacy, browsing safety, and can even lead to identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "Apple.com-scan.live" virus
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Serving IP Address
Sibling Domains mail.com-scan[.]live
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you notice the presence of dubious/unwanted applications, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications, spam email campaigns.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information, possible malware infections.
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
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There are many untrustworthy, scam websites similar to apple.com-scan[.]live that are designed to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted applications.

Some examples are "Apple.com-repair[.]live", "Your Mac is heavily damaged! (33.2%)", and "Mac OS X Is Infected (4) By Viruses". Do not to trust these pages or to download the software that they are designed to promote.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs can be installed through clicked intrusive ads (that are capable of executing particular scripts), however, they are also downloaded and installed together with other, regular software. This happens when developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling".

They do not disclose information about bundled/additionally-included programs and hide them in "Custom", "Advanced", or other similar settings of the download or installation set-ups. Furthermore, people often cause unwanted installations and downloads when they leave available setup settings unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Avoid downloading software (especially if it is free) from unofficial or untrustworthy websites, using torrents, eMule or other Peer-to-Peer networks, or third party downloaders. Download using official sources (websites) and direct links. Do not leave available "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar options of the download/installation setup unchecked.

Avoid clicking ads displayed on dubious pages, since they often lead to adult dating, pornography, gambling, and other, similar untrustworthy websites. If redirects happen without clicking ads, or ads appear continually, check all extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins installed on the browser and programs on the computer.

Remove any unwanted/suspicious applications immediately. 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 apple.com-scan[.]live website pop-up error:

apple.com-scan[.]live pop-up error

Text presented in apple.com-scan[.]live pop-up window:

We have detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) on your Mac.
Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of the apple.com-scan[.]live website encouraging users to download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application. In fact, the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button leads to download of the Cleanup-My Mac app:

apple.com-scan[.]live website encuraging users to download Cleanup-My Mac

Text presented in this page:

Your Mac is heavily damaged! (33.2%)
Please download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application to remove 3 Viruses from your Mac.
Virus Name: Tapsnake; CronDNS; Dubfishicv
Risk: HIGH
Infected Files: /os/apps/hidden/os-component/X/snake.icv; /os/local/conf/keyboard/retype.icv...
Application: Advanced Mac Cleaner
Rating: 9.9/10
Price: Free

Screenshot of Cleanup-My Mac unwanted application:

Cleanup-My Mac 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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