Avoid being scammed by criminals who misuse GoToAssist software

Also Known As: GoToAssist pop-up scam
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to prevent issues caused by GoToAssist scam?

What is GoToAssist scam?

GoToAssist (now called RescueAssist) is a legitimate remote support platform that is used mainly by customer support organizations and support teams, however, scammers also use this platform. In this case, they attempt to trick people into downloading and installing GoToAssist using a tech-support scam web page. This site implies that visitors' computers are infected with viruses and encourages them to use the aforementioned software to solve the problem/remove detected viruses. Most people do not visit these websites intentionally - they are redirected to them by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

GoToAssist scam scam

According to this tech-support scam, the user's Mac computer (MacOs) is infected with three viruses: two malware infections and one phishing/spyware infection. It is stated that these malicious programs might put personal and banking information at risk. To remove malware, users are encouraged to download and install GoToAssist so that scammers can connect to their computers remotely and "help" to remove detected malicious software. Typically, scammers perform fake scans and try to sell various computer protection packages, which usually cost in the of region of $200 and $1000. They might also attempt to install various PUAs (supposedly anti-virus/anti-spyware software) and encourage users to purchase them (pay for software activation). This particular scam page advertises an unwanted application called Cleanup My Mac. Note that tech-support scams should never be trusted, and the software advertised on them should never be downloaded or installed. Scammers might use programs such as GoToAssist to install other malware such as ransomware - these programs cause data and financial loss. If your browser opens a scam web page, the best option is to ignore the information included and close it.

Scam sites are opened by PUAs installed on browsers or operating systems, however, this is not the only problem that they cause. PUAs gather data and display ads. They collect IP addresses, addresses of opened pages, entered search queries, geolocations, and other information. Developers send the data to other parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Additionally, PUAs display unwanted ads (in the form of coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc.) - if clicked, these open malicious pages or even lead to download/installation of other PUAs.

Threat Summary:
Name GoToAssist pop-up scam
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim According to this scam page, the user's computer is infected with viruses.
Related Domain apple.com-scan-mac[.]live
Serving IP Address (apple.com-scan-mac[.]live) 52.29.39.28
Promoted Software GoToAssist and 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.
Additional Information GoToAssist is legitimate software that is often misused by scammers. They use it to remotely connect to computers and install unwanted software.
Damage Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information, financial loss, installation of unwanted applications (possibly malware).
Removal

To eliminate GoToAssist pop-up scam our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

GoToAssist is one of a number of programs that scammers try to trick people into installing through scam sites. Another example is TeamViewer. Typically, these scam pages display virus alerts to trick visitors into believing that their computers are infected with a malicious program. To remove the programs, they are encouraged to download and install (or even purchase) certain software. Their main goal is to extort money from unsuspecting people. Examples of similar scam pages are apple.com-scan-mac[.]live, "We Detected Unwanted Pop-Ups on Your Mac", and apple.com-shield-devices[.]live. In most cases, these sites are opened by PUAs, which are advertised as 'useful' and 'legitimate'. In fact, they open scam sites (and others), display ads, and gather information.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

People often download and install PUAs through intrusive ads or together with regular software. They are often tricked into these unwanted downloads or installations when software developers use a marketing called "bundling" - they include PUAs into download or installation set-ups of other programs. Information relating to this additional software is usually hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar parts of the set-ups. Furthermore, many people download/install programs without checking the available options, or they click intrusive ads - this causes unwanted downloads and installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download your files and programs using official websites and direct download links. Channels such as third party downloaders, dubious, unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (and other similar sources) should not be trusted. Do not install programs using third party installers. Furthermore, all downloads and installations should be performed properly. If a setup includes "Custom", "Advanced", and other settings, ensure that you check them (they often contain offers to download and install unwanted programs). Any such offers should be dismissed before completing the download or installation. It is not safe to click intrusive ads, especially if they are displayed on dubious websites. They can open other, potentially malicious pages or lead to unwanted downloads and installations. Typically, browsers display ads and open dubious pages when there are unwanted apps installed on them. To prevent this situation, uninstall unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons. Also remove any unknown or unwanted programs installed 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.

Cleanup My Mac unwanted app:

cleanup my mac unwanted application

Instant automatic removal of GoToAssist pop-up scam: 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 GoToAssist pop-up scam. 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. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select "Applications". In the applications folder, look for "MPlayerX", "NicePlayer", or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove gotoassist pop-up scam related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

GoToAssist pop-up scam removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove gotoassist pop-up scam related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove gotoassist pop-up scam related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove gotoassist pop-up scam related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
GoToAssist pop-up scam QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of GoToAssist pop-up scam on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of GoToAssist pop-up scam today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.