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

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

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

apple.com-scan-mac[.]live is a typical scam web page that scammers use to promote an unwanted application. In this case, the web page promotes the Cleanup My Mac app. Note that apple.com-scan-mac[.]live encourages people to download and install this app by displaying information about detected viruses, however, it is simply a fake virus alert.

Neither scam websites nor apps promoted through them should be trusted. Redirects to dubious, deceptive sites often occur due to potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on browsers or computers.

apple.com-scan-mac[.]live scam

When apple.com-scan-mac[.]live is visited, it displays a pop-up window stating that this web page has detected a trojan virus called "e.tre456_worm_osx". The window encourages users to remove it immediately. According to the text in the background, the system is infected with more than one trojan.

It is stated that the Mac computer is infected with three viruses, a number of malicious programs, and one phishing/spyware program that might cause data loss and put banking information at risk. To remove these viruses, people are given five minutes and are encouraged to press the "Scan Now" button, which supposedly scans the system for viruses.

When the scan is finished, it indicates that it has detected Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses. To remove them, users are required to click the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button. This button downloads the Cleanup My Mac unwanted app. Since this is a scam, we recommend that you simply ignore these suggestions.

These and other dubious web pages are often opened by PUAs, which, if installed, collect browsing-related details and serve deceptive and intrusive ads. PUAs record details relating to users' browsing habits such as IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites and other data that might include sensitive information.

PUA developers share this data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. This can cause problems with browsing safety, privacy or even lead to identity theft. Furthermore, PUAs deliver various advertisements. Some examples include coupons, banners, surveys, and pop-ups.

Typically, these are displayed via tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, they conceal underlying content of all visited websites. Furthermore, if clicked, these ads redirect people to potentially malicious websites or execute scripts that download and install other potentially unwanted apps.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-scan-mac.live pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim The website delivers a fake message claiming that system is infected and encourages users to download a dubious system cleaner.
Serving IP Address
Promoted Unwanted Application Cleanup My Mac
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 browser 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.
▼ 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.

apple.com-scan-mac[.]live is very similar to many other scam pages of this type such as apple.com-shield[.]live, apple.com-monitor[.]live, and apple.com-mac-booster[.]live. All of these site are created to trick people into downloading and installing apps that supposedly eliminate viruses detected by the scam web pages.

All PUAs are very similar. Generally, their main goal is to generate revenue for their developers by causing unwanted redirects, feeding users with ads, and gathering information. They provide no real value and only cause problems.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases, PUAs infiltrate systems or browsers through intrusive advertisements or other software. PUAs are often downloaded and installed together with other, usually free software. This happens since developers bundle (include) unwanted apps into download/installation set-ups.

They hide related information in "Custom", "Advanced" (or similar) settings and hope that people will download/install software without checking them. If users leave these settings unchanged, they allow PUAs to be downloaded and installed with regular software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Avoid downloading software and files using third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients eMule, unofficial pages and other similar sources. Download from official and trustworthy websites. Additionally, do not finish any download/installation setup without checking "Custom"/"Advanced" settings and deselecting offers to download or install apps.

Furthermore, avoid clicking intrusive ads, especially on dubious websites. If clicked, they often open sites relating to pornography, adult dating, gambling, and so on. If these sites are being opened without clicking ads or unwanted apps appear on any web page, check the list of installed browser apps (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons) and remove all unwanted entries.

The same applies to unwanted/suspicious programs installed on the computer/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 (and on the background web page):


We have detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) on your Mac.

Press OK to begin the repair process.


Text in the background:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Thursday, June 6, 2019 12:42 PM

Your Mac is infected with 3 viruses. Our security check found traces of 2 malware and 1 phishing/spyware. System damage: 28.1% - Immediate removal required!

The immediate removal of the viruses is required to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos or other files.
Traces of 1 phishing/spyware were found on your Mac with MacOS 10.14 Mojave.

Personal and banking information is at risk.

To avoid more damage click on 'Scan Now' immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!
4 minute and 33 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Scan Now

Another variant of the apple.com-scan-mac[.]live web page:

Apple.com-scan-mac[.]live another version

apple.com-scan-mac[.]live providing fake scan results:

apple.com-scan-mac[.]live fake virus detections

Text presented on 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

At time of research, apple.com-scan-mac[.]live promoted the Cleanup My Mac potentially unwanted application:

Cleanup My Mac unwanted application

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

Appearance of apple.com-scan-mac[.]live 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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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.

QR Code
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