Avoid downloads from apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu

Also Known As: Apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu from Mac?

What is apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu?

apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu is one of many scam websites, in this case, used to trick people into downloading and installing Cleanup My Mac, an application designed to remove viruses that this deceptive web page has supposedly detected. Do not install apps that are advertised on scam websites - messages about so-called 'detected viruses' are fake. Browsers usually open websites such as apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu due to potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on them or the MacOS system. I.e., people do no generally visit these sites intentionally.

apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu  scam

When opened, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu displays a pop-up window, a fake notification stating that the site has detected a trojan virus ("e.tre456_worm_osx"). Visitors are encouraged to remove this virus immediately. The background web page states that the operating system is infected with three viruses: two malware and one phishing/spyware virus. It also states that system damage is at 28.1% and personal and banking information is at risk. To prevent further damage such as data loss, visitors must scan their systems by clicking the "Scan Now" button. The apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu site then starts a fake scan, which detects viruses called Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv. If clicked, the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button downloads the maccleaner.pkg file, which is an installer (setup file) of the Cleanup My Mac application. We strongly advise you not to download or install this file. This app is probably useless and not free of charge. In summary, there is a high probability that developers promote this app to deceptively extort money from unsuspecting people. If the browser opens apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu or another scam page, ignore the site and close it.

Generally, browsers open pages such as apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu due to PUAs installed on them. These apps force users to visit untrustworthy web pages, collect user-system information and display intrusive ads. PUAs gather data relating to users' browsing habits such as IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, and other personal details. People behind these apps share the data with other parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Furthermore, PUAs often display intrusive ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, and pop-up ads. People who click them are usually redirected to untrustworthy websites such as apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu or this allows the ads to download or install other PUAs.

Threat Summary:
Name Apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu 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
Detection Names (apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu) 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 three days free trial available.

Note that apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu is similar to apple.com-shield-guard[.]live, apple.com-shield[.]live, apple.com-shield-devices[.]live, and many other sites. Typically, scammers use these web pages to promote dubious applications. They design them to display fake notifications about 'detected viruses' and attempt to trick people into installing unwanted apps (that supposedly remove the viruses). PUAs responsible for redirects to scam pages are generally very similar - they provide no 'useful features' and are designed only to open dubious web pages, gather data, and/or display unwanted ads.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In some cases, PUAs can be downloaded from their 'official' download websites, however, people usually download and install them inadvertently/accidentally through clicked deceptive ads or the set-ups of regular programs that were downloaded from the internet. Typically, developers include PUAs in download/installation set-ups and hide related information in options such as "Custom, "Advanced", and so on. Unfortunately, many people fail to check and change these settings. Typically, PUAs are downloaded and/or installed when the settings available in various set-ups are left unchanged.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download and install software with care. When downloading software, use only official, trustworthy sources and direct links. Avoid using third party downloaders such as torrents, and so on. Check "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings when installing software, especially if it is free. Deselect offers to install unwanted apps and only then finish the installation process. Avoid clicking intrusive ads, especially those displayed on untrustworthy websites. If you encounter various ads that redirect you to gambling, adult dating, and other untrustworthy websites, check your browser and list of installed programs. Remove any unknown/unwanted entries (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins, etc.). If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text in the pop-up window:

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of the background page:

apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu second page

Text in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Monday, September 2, 2019 5:04 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 0 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Screenshot of fake scan results:

apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu third page

Text in 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-mac-optimizer[.]icu scam (GIF):

Appearance of apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]icu scam (GIF)

Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac potentially unwanted app:

Cleanup My Mac 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 three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted applications promoted via apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu website using Combo Cleaner:

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 apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up 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.

Apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up 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 apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up 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 apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up 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 Apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu pop-up on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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