Stop your browser from causing redirects to safetyvpn.net

Also Known As: safetyvpn.net pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove safetyvpn[.]net from Mac?

What is safetyvpn[.]net?

safetyvpn[.]net is one of many deceptive websites used to trick visitors into believing that their devices are infected with viruses. It targets mostly mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones, but can also be opened by desktop computer users. The main purpose of these sites is to advertise various apps that supposedly remove 'detected' viruses, errors, and so on (in fact, they are fake). Do not trust pages such as safetyvpn[.]net or download/install apps promoted through them. In many cases, deceptive web pages are opened by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on browsers.

safetyvpn[.]net scam

Once opened, safetyvpn[.]net displays a pop-up with information stating that the iPhone has been compromised and encourages visitors to resolve this problem immediately. Another safetyvpn[.]net web page displays a fake warning stating that the iPhone is severely damaged by six viruses. Additionally, it states that safetyvpn[.]net detected a Trojan that infected the browser when the user was visiting corrupted websites. To prevent any further damage, visitors are encouraged to remove viruses by clicking the "Remove Virus" button. At time of the research, this button led to a download page (in the Apple App Store) for the SecureCall PRO and Outlaw VPN applications. It is likely that safetyvpn[.]net is also used to promote other applications. Applications that can be downloaded from the App Store are often legitimate, however, do not trust software that is promoted through sites such as safetyvpn[.]net or trust these web pages.

Browsers usually open pages such as safetyvpn[.]net due to PUAs installed on them. In addition to unwanted redirects, PUAs usually collect user-system information such as geolocations, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, IP addresses and other, sometimes personal details. The people behind these apps usually send the data to other parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. This can lead to problems with browsing safety, privacy, or even more serious issues such as identity theft. Therefore, remove all PUAs installed on the browser or computer immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name safetyvpn.net pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Serving IP Address 157.230.152.172
Detection Names Sophos AV (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Promoted Application SecureCall PRO and Outlaw VPN.
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.

safetyvpn[.]net is similar to numberonevpn[.]com, mobillevpn[.]info, thevpnsafety[.]com and other pages of this kind. They promote various apps in deceptive ways (by informing visitors of 'detected' fake viruses, errors, etc.). Even if the apps are legitimate, do not download or install them, due to the methods that developers use to promote them. Do not trust any PUAs, since they are useless and simply cause problems.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are usually installed via intrusive, deceptive advertisements that people click, or when developers use a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". They use this method to trick people into downloading and/or installing PUAs with other regular programs. To achieve this, they hide offers to download or install additional software in settings such as "Custom" and "Advanced" of the software set-ups. Unfortunately, many people leave these settings unchecked and unchanged, thereby allowing PUAs to be downloaded or installed by default with regular software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Do not download programs from unofficial, untrustworthy websites, through Peer-to-Peer networks, third party downloaders, or other such tools/sources. We strongly recommend that you use only official websites and direct download links. Check all settings available in various set-ups. Dismiss offers to download or install additional, unwanted apps. Do not trust or click intrusive ads, especially if they are shown on dubious pages. For example, on those relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on. These can lead to potentially malicious pages or cause downloads/installations of unwanted, potentially malicious apps. Remove any unwanted apps installed on the browser (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) immediately, since they might be the reason for unwanted redirects and ads. Additionally, remove all unwanted programs installed on the system. 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 pop-up displayed when safetyvpn[.]net is visited:

safetyvpn[.]net pop-up window

Text presented in this pop-up:

Your iPhone Has Been Compromised

Immediate Action Is Required!

Screenshot of a second safetyvpn[.]net page:

safetyvpn[.]net secon page

Text presented in this page (desktop and mobile version):

WARNING!
Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged by (6) viruses!
We have detected that your Browser is (45.4%) DAMAGED by BROWSER TROJAN VIRUSES picked up while surfing recent corrupted sites.
Immediate action is required to prevent it from spreading and infecting sensitive data like your Facebook account, Whatsapp messages photos and private applications.
Here is how you can solve this in just a few seconds (Step by Step)
Step 1: Tap REMOVE VIRUS to install SecureCall from the App Store.
Step 2: Open the application to activate the latest update and remove any older (Infected) versions.
Remove Virus

Appearance of safetyvpn[.]net scam (GIF):

Appearance of safetyvp[.net scam (GIF)

SecureCall PRO download page:

SecureCall PRO download website

Download page of Outlaw VPN:

Outlaw VPN download website

To enable pop-up blocking, fraudulent website warnings, and remove web browsing data in mobile Apple devices, follow these steps:

First, go to "Settings", and then scroll down to find and tap "Safari".

enable pop-up blocking step 1

Check if the "Block Pop-ups" and "Fraudulent Website Warning" toggles are enabled. If not, enable them immediately. Then, scroll down and tap "Advanced".

enable pop-up blocking step 2

Tap "Website Data" and then "Remove All Website Data".

enable pop-up blocking step 3

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 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 safetyvpn.net 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.

safetyvpn.net pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove safetyvpn.net 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 safetyvpn.net 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 safetyvpn.net 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
safetyvpn.net 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 safetyvpn.net pop-up on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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