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

Also Known As: apple.com-monitor.live pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

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

The apple.com-monitor[.]live website is used by scammers to promote the Cleanup My Mac potentially unwanted application (PUA). This website displays a fake virus alert notification stating that users' computers are infected and encourages them to download and install the PUA, which supposedly removes the detected viruses.

This website is commonly opened by a PUA that is already installed on the computer or browser. Therefore, most people do not visit this page intentionally. Furthermore, PUAs usually collect user-system information and display intrusive ads.

apple.com-monitor[.]live scam

apple.com-monitor[.]live displays a pop-up window notifying visitors that the Mac computer is infected with a trojan named "e.tre456_worm_osx". It states that this trojan should be removed immediately.

The apple.com-monitor[.]live website itself states that the visitor's system (Mac) is infected with not one, but three viruses: two malware infections and one phishing/spyware program. It also states that these viruses can cause data loss and put visitors' personal and banking details at risk.

To avoid any further damage, people are encouraged to scan their systems within five minutes. Once the "Scan Now" button is pressed, apple.com-monitor[.]live begins a fake scanning process. When that scan is finished, this website states that it has detected Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses.

To remove them, users are encouraged to click the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button which, if clicked, downloads the Cleanup My Mac app, although the website encourages users to download another unwanted app called Advanced Mac Cleaner. Note that neither this website nor the app promoted though it should be trusted.

All claims about detected viruses are false and are used to trick people into downloading potentially unwanted applications.

Websites such as apple.com-monitor[.]live are often opened by already-installed PUAs, which serve their users with unwanted, intrusive ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads and so on. Typically, when clicked, these ads open untrustworthy or possibly malicious pages, or they run scripts that cause unwanted downloads and installations.

Additionally, PUAs gather data such as IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations, and so on. People who develop these apps usually share the recorded information with other parties (who might be cyber criminals). These third parties misuse private data to generate revenue.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-monitor.live pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud, Mac Virus
Fake Claim The fake error message claims that system is infected and encourages users to download a dubious 'system cleaning tool' immediately.
Serving IP Address
Distributed Unwanted Apps Cleanup My Mac
Detection Names Spamhaus (Phishing), Fortinet (Spam), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, 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
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 promote unwanted apps. For example, apple.com-monitor[.]live is very similar to apple.com-mac-booster[.]live, macos-online-security-check[.]com, apple.com-optimize[.]live, and many other sites. The main purpose of these scam websites is to trick people into installing unwanted apps such as Cleanup My Mac.

PUAs that open these scam websites are all very similar. Developers promote them as legitimate apps, however, most cause problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, and so on. PUAs provide none of the feature promised and only lead to problems.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Potentially unwanted apps are most commonly downloaded and installed through clicked intrusive advertisements and together with some other (usually free) software. There are many cases when PUAs are hidden in "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" and other similar options of the software download or installation set-ups.

This method is called "bundling". Developers use it to trick people into downloading and installing unwanted apps with other regular software that they wish to download/install. Typically, unwanted downloads and installations happen when users do not check the settings and leave them unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download software from official and trustworthy sources, and avoid deceptive, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks, downloaders, and so on. Install all software properly - check "Custom", "Advanced" and other options of any download and installation setup. Do not allow unwanted apps to be downloaded and installed.

Avoid clicking intrusive ads, since many download/install unwanted apps (they run scripts capable of these actions). If unwanted ads or redirects occur regularly, this might be due to PUAs. Check apps are installed on the browser and remove any dubious, unwanted extensions, plug-ins and add-ons immediately.

Do not install unwanted, suspicious programs on the operating system. 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 pop-up window displayed by apple.com-monitor[.]live:

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

Fake virus scan results provided by apple.com-monitor[.]live:

apple.com-monitor.live 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: Advanced Mac Cleaner
Rating: 9.9/10
Price: Free

Another variant of apple.com-monitor.live website promoting Your MacOS 10.14 Mojave Is Infected With 3 Viruses! pop-up scam:

apple.com-monitor.live second variant

Screenshot of Cleanup My Mac application:

apple.com-monitor.live cleanup my mac app

Appearance of apple.com-monitor[.]live scam (GIF):

apple.com-monitor.live appearance in 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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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