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Remove unwanted apps promoted via apple.com-shield-guard.live

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

What is "apple.com-shield-guard[.]live"?

apple.com-shield-guard[.]live is a rogue website designed to deliver fake error messages. The purpose of this site is to promote various dubious applications (at time of research, apple.com-shield-guard[.]live promoted Cleanup My Mac).

Research shows that visitors typically arrive at apple.com-shield-guard[.]live inadvertently - they are redirected by intrusive advertisements (encountered on other rogue sites) or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) already present on the system - these usually infiltrate computers without permission and, as well as causing redirects, deliver intrusive advertisements and record sensitive data.

apple.com-shield-guard[.]live scam

As mentioned above, apple.com-shield-guard[.]live promotes the Cleanup My Mac application. To achieve this, apple.com-shield-guard[.]live delivers pop-up messages that attempt to scare visitors. The messages state that the system is infected/damaged and that users must clean/fix it immediately, since stored data is at risk.

To achieve this, users are encouraged to download the aforementioned application. Be aware, however, that applications promoted in such dubious ways should not be trusted. Neither should websites such as apple.com-shield-guard[.]live.

Apps such as apple.com-shield-guard[.]live2 often encourage users to perform a 'full system scan', which presents them with many errors/infections that must supposedly be eliminated. The free versions of these applications are incapable of fixing errors and, therefore, victims are encouraged to purchase the 'full' or 'advanced' versions.

The lists delivered by these applications are usually fake. PUAs intentionally deliver fake scan results to scare and trick victims into purchasing the software. Once purchased, these apps merely clean the fake list and deliver no real value for regular users. Therefore, we strongly advise you to uninstall apps such as apple.com-shield-guard[.]live.

PUAs that promote websites such as apple.com-shield-guard[.]live commonly deliver coupons, banners, pop-ups, and other intrusive advertisements. These redirect to various malicious websites and some even execute scripts that download/install other PUAs.

Therefore, clicking them might result in various system infections. Intrusive advertisements are delivered using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, they often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. Unwanted apps also perform data tracking.

They record queries entered into search engines, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other data relating to browsing activity. Collected data is likely to contain personal information that developers share with third parties who misuse it to generate revenue.

Thus, having data-tracking applications installed on your computer might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-shield-guard.live pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim This scam page claims that it has detected a virus and encourages visitors to remove it immediately
Promoted Unwanted Application Cleanup My Mac
Serving IP Address 95.179.146.120
Detection Names Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.

Many rogue websites are identical to apple.com-shield-guard[.]live. The list includes apple.com-scan-mac[.]live, apple.com-shield-devices[.]live, and apple.com-shield[.]live. All of these sites have the same purpose: to trick users into downloading and installing various unwanted applications.

Therefore, these sites should never be trusted - no website can detect malware on your system and such messages are simply scams.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs usually infiltrate computers without permission, since developers proliferate them using intrusive advertising and "bundling" methods. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software.

Developers hide "bundled" applications behind "Custom/Advanced" settings or sections of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users rush these procedures and skip steps. In addition, they click various advertisements without understanding the possible consequences.

This behavior often leads to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted applications.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that developers invest many resources into intrusive ad design, thereby making them seem legitimate. Once clicked, however, they redirecting to dubious websites such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, and similar.

If you encounter such ads/redirects, eliminate all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins immediately. Additionally, select "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each step of the download/installation processes. Decline offers to download/install additional applications and opt-out of those already included.

You are advised to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since they often include rogue applications. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, preferably using direct download links.

The key to computer safety is caution. 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 within the first pop-up:

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Second page of apple.com-shield-guard[.]live website:

Appearance of apple.com-shield-guard[.]live second page

Text presented within this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:26 AM

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 28 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Scan Now

Third page of apple.com-shield-guard[.]live website:

Appearance of apple.com-shield-guard[.]live third page

Text presented within this page:

DOWNLOAD REQUIRED
Your Mac is heavily damaged! (33.2%)
Please download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application to remove 3 Viruses from your Mac.
VIRUS INFORMATION

Virus Name: Tapsnake; CronDNS; Dubfishicv
Risk: HIGH
Infected Files: /os/apps/hidden/os-component/X/snake.icv; /os/local/conf/keyboard/retype.icv...
REMOVE VIRUSES NOW
VIRUS REMOVAL

Application: Advanced Mac Cleaner
Rating: 9.9/10
Price: Free

Appearance of "apple.com-shield-guard[.]live" scam (GIF):

Appearance of apple.com-shield-guard[.]live scam (GIF)

Screenshot of Cleanup My Mac unwanted application:

Cleanup My Mac potentially unwanted application

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:
▼ 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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