Macos-online-security-check.com POP-UP Scam (Mac)

Also Known As: "Macos-online-security-check.com" virus
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "macos-online-security-check[.]com"?

macos-online-security-check[.]com is deceptive, scam website that is used to promote a potentially unwanted app (PUA) called Mac Cleanup Pro. Visitors are encouraged to download and install this app to remove viruses that this website has supposedly detected. In fact, this is a common scam that displays a fake virus alert. It should not be trusted.

People are often redirected to these websites by PUAs already installed on their browsers or computers. PUAs feed users with ads and gather information relating to browsing activity.

macos-online-security-check[.]com  scam

macos-online-security-check[.]com displays a pop-up window stating that this website has detected a trojan virus that should be removed immediately. When closed, this scam website informs visitors that their Mac computers are infected with more than one virus that it has detected: two malware infections and one phishing/spyware infection.

Visitors are encouraged to scan their systems within a few minutes, otherwise the detected viruses might cause data or even financial loss. If the "Scan Now" button is clicked, this website starts a fake scan that, once finished, states that it has detected Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses.

To remove them, macos-online-security-check[.]com offers download of the Mac Cleanup Pro app by clicking the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button. In fact, the website states that it promotes the Mac Speedup Pro. We advise against downloading applications that are promoted using scam websites. If opened, these websites should be ignored and closed.

Apps that cause redirects to pages such as macos-online-security-check[.]com often display intrusive ads and collect information. They deploy pop-up ads, coupons, banners, surveys, and so on. When clicked, these ads often cause redirects to dubious websites or even execute scripts designed to download and install unwanted apps. Information tracking is also an issue.

Many PUAs record IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations and other browsing-related data. In some cases, they target personal, sensitive details. Developers share the data with third parties who misuse it to generate revenue.

Therefore, having apps of this type installed can lead to problems with privacy and identity theft. We strongly recommend that you remove all installed PUAs immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Macos-online-security-check.com" virus
Threat Type Scam, Fake error, Phishing, Mac Virus.
Detection List (macos-online-security-check[.]com) Emsisoft (Phishing), Kaspersky (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites, you notice the presence of unwanted applications.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information, financial losses.
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.

There are many scam websites that are virtually identical to macos-online-security-check[.]com including, for example, apple.com-optimize[.]live, apple.com-clear[.]live, and apple.security-help-center[.]club. None of these websites should be trusted and the same applies to apps that they promote.

All PUAs are similar. They are presented as useful and legitimate apps, however, if installed, they provide no real value and cause only problems (unwanted redirects, intrusive ads, and so on).

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Most users download and install potentially unwanted apps inadvertently through intrusive ads that they intentionally (or accidentally) click, or together with other, usually free software. Developers often use the so-called "bundling" method to trick people into causing unwanted downloads and installations.

This is achieved by hiding PUAs within "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings of other software set-ups. Typically, information regarding the bundling of apps within setups is not properly disclosed. Furthermore, many users skip software download/installation steps without checking the settings, which often leads to installation of PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent unwanted downloads and installations, download software (especially if it is free) from official websites and use direct download links. Avoid using third party software downloaders, installers, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks and other such tools to download (or install) software.

Check "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings included in set-ups and dismiss offers to download or install any unwanted programs. Do not trust intrusive ads, since, once clicked, they usually redirect to untrustworthy websites, such as gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on.

If these ads or redirects appear without visiting any dubious pages or clicking dubious ads, check installed extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins on your browser and programs on your computer. Remove any unwanted apps/programs 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 macos-online-security-check[.]com pop-up window:

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

Fake scan results displayed by macos-online-security-check[.]com:

macos-online-security-check[.]com fake scan results

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: Mac Speedup Pro
Rating: 9.9/10
Price: Free

Appearance of macos-online-security-check[.]com scam (GIF):

Appearance of macos-online-security-check[.]com  scam (GIF)

Mac Cleanup Pro application by this scam website:

Mac Cleanup Pro application promoted by scam website

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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