Remove apps that redirect to the "ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!" scam web page
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!"?
"ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!" is a fake notification relating to viruses and malicious applications - these are 'detected' by a deceptive website disguised as an official Apple site. In fact, this is a scam website designed to trick people into contacting scammers by calling them on the telephone number provided.
We strongly recommend that you ignore this scam and do not call these people. All malware detections mentioned on this web page are fake.
When opened, this scam website displays a number of pop-ups. According to one, MAC OS X is infected with viruses and other malicious applications, and these must be removed and system damage repaired. It is also states that if the website is closed, the operating system will remain damaged and vulnerable.
Another pop-up states that the website has detected the ZEUS virus and, additionally, a suspicious trojan was attempting to access logins, banking details, and track Internet browsing activity. It is stated that the firewall installed on the operating system failed to protect the system and that the system was damaged.
Visitors are urged to visit the nearest Mac repair service or to call the "+1-877-885-8689" number. Note, this is not an official Apple customer service number and belongs to scammers. If contacted, they attempt to extort money from unsuspecting people.
The scammers who designed this deceptive site try to trick people into purchasing unnecessary software or paying for "online technical support". Do not take this and other scams seriously. If a browser opens these scams, ignore them.
Scam websites are often opened by browsers that have potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed. Typically, people download and install apps of this type unintentionally. When installed, they cause redirects to dubious, deceptive websites, gather user-data and feed people with intrusive advertisements.
Generally, unwanted apps of this type record IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, etc. In some cases, PUAs target sensitive details. Developers share the information with third parties who misuse it to generate revenue. These third parties include cyber criminals.
Another problem with PUAs is that some display deceptive, intrusive ads. When clicked, they open dubious or even malicious sites or execute scripts that cause unwanted downloads/installations. Some examples of ads displayed by PUAs are coupons, banners, surveys, various pop-up ads, etc.
|Name||ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!! pop-up|
|Threat Type||Mac malware, Mac virus|
|Fake Claim||Scam website delivers a fake message (pop-up window) claiming that system is infected with the ZEUS virus and other malware, and encourages visitors to contact scammers via the telephone number provided|
|Serving IP Address (scam website)
|Phone Number Used By Scammers
|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.
"ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!" is a common scam, which is typical of many websites of this type on the Internet. Some other examples are apple.com-scan-mac[.]live, "Your Mac is infected with 4 viruses", and "Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses". These pages inform visitors of 'detected' viruses and encourage them to install unwanted apps or contact scammers.
If a PUA is installed on a browser or computer, it might be the reason for redirects to deceptive websites such as this. Furthermore, PUAs can cause problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, or even identity theft. We strongly recommend that you remove all unwanted apps immediately.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Unwanted apps (PUAs) are often downloaded/installed when people click ads that should not be trusted or when they download/install software that has unwanted app(s) bundled into the setup. By bundling apps into set-ups, developers attempt to trick users into downloading/installing unwanted apps with regular software.
Information about the inclusion of PUAs in set-ups is usually hidden in "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other similar parts). In summary, unwanted downloads and installations happen when people fail to check and change any the aforementioned settings, which effectively gives permission for PUAs to be downloaded or installed.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Third party downloaders, installers, torrent clients, eMule (and other Peer-to-Peer networks) and other such tools/sources should not be trusted to download or install software. The safest way to download programs is to official sites and direct download links. Additionally, all downloads/installations should be handled properly.
Check "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" and other similar options or settings of any setup and dismiss offers to install (or download) unwanted apps. Furthermore, not all ads (especially if they are displayed on dubious sites) should be trusted.
If clicked, they often redirect to untrustworthy websites, usually relating to gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc, If intrusive ads or unwanted redirects occur regularly, check for unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins installed on the default browser and uninstall them.
This should also be applied to unwanted programs installed on the 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 a scam website stating that a computer is infected with the ZEUS virus:
Text presented in the pop-up:
Warning: ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!
A suspicious TROJAN was trying to access your logins, banking details & tracking your Internet activity.
Your Firewall has failed to protect and is damaged. Your Accounts May be Suspended Until your take an action.
Your personal information may have leaked. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUIRED. Your hard disk has a Trojan Virus! Please do not try to fix manually, it may crash your data. Consequently, we are performing additional security checks to verify system security.
Please visit your nearest MAC service centre or call help desk
Customer service +1-877-885-8689 (TOLL-FREE)
Appearance of "ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!" scam (GIF):
Another variant of "ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!" pop-up scam:
Text presented within the pop-up:
Warning: ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!
Customer Service: +1-800-674-3208 (TOLL-FREE)
A Suspicious TROJAN Was Trying to Access Your Logins, Banking Details & Tracking Your Internet Activity.
Your Firewall has failed to protect and is damaged. Your Accounts May be Suspended Until You Take an Action.
Your Personal Information May Have Leaked. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUIRED
Your Hard Disk Has A Trojan Virus! Please Do Not Try to Fix Manually, It May Crash Your Data.
Consequently, we are performing additional security checks to verify system security.
Please Visit Your Nearest MAC Service Center OR Call Help Desk
Customer Service: +1-800-674-3208 (TOLL-FREE)
********** IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUIRED **********
Please contact network administration to rectify the issue.
Please do not open internet browser for your security issue to avoid data corruption on your registery of your operating system. Please contact network administration department at +1-800-674-3208 (TOLL-FREE)
A Trojan horse, or Trojan, in computing is a non-self-replicating type of malware program containing malicious code that, when executed, carries out actions determined by the nature of the Trojan, typically causing loss or theft of data, and possible system harm. The term is derived from the story of the wooden horse used to trick defenders of Troy into taking concealed warriors into their city in ancient Greece, because computer Trojans often employ a form of social engineering, presenting themselves as routine, useful, or interesting in order to persuade victims to install them on their computers.
A Trojan often acts as a backdoor, contacting a controller which can then have unauthorized access to the affected computer. The Trojan and backdoors are not themselves easily detectable, but if they carry out significant computing or communications activity may cause the computer to run noticeably slowly. Malicious programs are classified as Trojans if they do not attempt to inject themselves into other files (computer virus) or otherwise propagate themselves (worm).
A computer may host a Trojan via a malicious program a user is duped into executing files or browsing internet.
Please contact network administration department at +1-800-674-3208 (TOLL-FREE)
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:
- What is ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!! pop-up?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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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