Stop apple.com-mac-optimizer.xyz from installing fake mac cleaners

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

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

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

Similar to apple.com-mac-optimizer.icuapple.com-shield-devices.liveapple.com-mac-booster.live and others, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]xyz is a scam website. It operates by tricking users into downloading/installing varied fake cleaning tools for the MacOS (Mac operating system), by displaying fraudulent warnings of detected viruses. The software it recommends for removal of said threats (Cleanup My Mac) is most likely fraudulent and therefore incapable of scanning for or eliminating threats. Few visitors every access apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]xyz intentionally, most get redirected. Such redirects are caused by clicking on invasive advertisements (usually located within compromised websites) or by adware-type PUAs already present in systems. It must be mentioned, that undesirable apps do not need explicit user consent to be installed onto their devices.

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

Once accessed, the apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]xyz website shows a pop-up window, claiming it has found "e.tre456_worm_osx" - a trojan virus. In its background page it displays an alarming status report of user's device: three viruses present (two malware and one phishing/spyware type), system damage at 28.1%, personal and banking data at risk, and permanent damage imminent. This fake report of such severe infections is employed to alarm users into clicking the "Scan Now" button. After that is done, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]xyz pretends to do a system scan and "detects" Tapsnake, CronDNS and Dubfishicv viruses. Naturally, it then prompts users into downloading its proffered cleaning tool (Cleanup My Mac). Once the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button is clicked, it downloads the maccleaner.pkg file. This file and others akin to it - are used to proliferate PUAs (for example, fake mac cleaning tools). Downloading/installing this file is strongly advised against, as any applications it installs are likely to be illegitimate and nonfunctional. The same extends to fake Mac cleaners (Mac Cleanup ProAdvanced Mac CleanerMac Mechanic and many others), as they are unlikely to have any appropriate functions and are designed to trick users into buying them.

Overall, PUAs tend to offer nonoperational features, despite their legitimate and harmless appearance. Instead of delivering on any promises, they generate rogue redirects to sale-oriented, untrustworthy, potentially malicious websites, run intrusive advertisement campaigns (pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc.) and some can even track data. By monitoring browsing habits (search engine and browsing history), they can gather personal information (IP address, geolocation and personal details). This vulnerable data is then sold to third parties and can easily end up in the hands of cyber criminals. Therefore, PUAs can lead to various system invasions and/or infections, as well as severe privacy issues (even culminate in identity theft). Due to the threats they pose, all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-mac-optimizer.xyz pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Serving IP Address 94.237.60.42
Symptoms Your Mac became slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you get redirected to shady websites.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers, torrent file downloads.
Damage Internet browsing tracking (potential privacy issues), displaying of unwanted ads, redirects to shady 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.

Scam websites are innumerous; promoting "practical" and "beneficial" products and/or warning of imaginary system infections. These websites are highly untrustworthy and downloading/installing any content they offer - is strictly advised against. They spread PUA installation files and consequently, the unwanted apps themselves. These applications are designed to appear legitimate and functional. The various features they supposedly have - rarely work as advertised and often are outright nonfunctional. The only goal that PUAs have, is creation of profit for their developers. Therefore, instead of operating as promised, they generate redirects, deliver invasive ad campaigns and track data.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs can be downloaded as "legitimate" and "advantageous" software from untrustworthy sources. They can also be installed alongside regular programs. "Bundling" is a deceitful marketing technique, by which ordinary software is pre-packed with undesired applications. Rushed and inattentive approach to software installation can also be faulted for PUA infiltrations. By ignoring terms, skipping steps and using pre-set options users can end up installing rogue apps. Intrusive adverts can also further PUAs by executing scripts, designed to autonomously download/install them.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Users should always use official and verified sources for downloading programs, as opposed to P2P (peer-to-peer) sharing networks and other third party downloaders. When installing, it is advised to read terms and study possible options. Additionally, it is encouraged to use "Custom/Advanced" install settings and opt-out/decline supplementary offers. While browsing, users should avoid dubious websites and adverts. Intrusive ads often look absolutely ordinary, however a dead giveaway can be the untrustworthy sites they redirect to (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling and similar). Should users encounter such ads/redirects, they are recommended to inspect their system and remove all suspicious apps and/or browser extensions/plug-ins. 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:

Background page screenshot of applecom-mac-optimizerxyz

Text in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:38 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

Screenshot of fake scan results:

Screenshot of fake scan results provided by applecom-mac-optimizerxyz

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[.]xyz scam (GIF):

Appearance of applecom-mac-optimizerxyz

Screenshot of maccleaner.pkg installer used to spread Cleanup My Mac unwanted application:

Screenshot of installer setup for Cleanup My Mac unwanted app

Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac potentially unwanted app:   

Screenshot of 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 distributed via apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]xyz 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.xyz 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.xyz pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-mac-optimizer.xyz 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.xyz 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.xyz 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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

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.xyz 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.xyz pop-up on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.