Avoid downloads from apple.com-clean-mac.site and other similar websites

Also Known As: apple.com-clean-mac.site pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is apple.com-clean-mac[.]site?

apple.com-clean-mac[.]site is one of many deceptive websites that displays fake notifications of 'detected viruses'. Typically, websites of this type promote various dubious applications.

Note that apple.com-clean-mac[.]site encourages visitors to download and install Cleanup My Mac, however, it might also be used to promote other apps. In any case, do not download apps from websites such as apple.com-clean-mac[.]site.

apple.com-clean-mac[.]site scam

When visited, apple.com-clean-mac[.]site displays a pop-up window stating that it has detected a trojan virus named e.tre456_worm_osx. It encourages visitors to take immediate action and scan their systems by clicking the "Scan Now" button in the background.

The apple.com-clean-mac[.]site site states that the Mac computer is infected with two malicious programs (malware) and one spyware/phishing-type program that place personal and banking information at risk. When the scanning process is finished, apple.com-clean-mac[.]site states that it has detected the Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv high-risk viruses.

To remove them, users are encouraged to click the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button, which then downloads an installation file (maccleaner.pkg) of the Cleanup My Mac application.

This dubious app is not free of charge and is unlikely to fix any problems. It also provides false results (detects fake errors, problems, etc.). Never trust apps that are advertised on/through deceptive websites.

Browsers open pages such as apple.com-clean-mac[.]site when potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are installed on them. These apps usually gather data and/or display intrusive advertisements. They collect data relating to users' browsing habits including, for example, IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, addresses of opened websites, and so on.

Developers send the information to other parties (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Additionally, PUAs might be designed to display unwanted ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and other annoying and often deceptive ads.

If clicked, these open dubious websites or run scripts that cause download or even installation of various unwanted applications.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-clean-mac.site pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Symptoms Your Mac becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.
Fake Claim This deceptive website performs a fake system scan and displays results of viruses (supposedly present on the system) that must be eliminated.
Promoted Unwanted Application Cleanup My Mac
Serving IP Address
Detection Names Fortinet (Malware), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
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.

apple.com-clean-mac[.]site is very similar to apple.com-scan-mac[.]xyz, apple.com-mac-optimizer.icu, apple.com-shield-guard.live, and a number of other websites of this type. Generally, these web pages trick people into believing that their computers are infected and offer to remove viruses with a dubious application.

PUAs are all very similar: they open dubious, deceptive sites, record details, and/or feed users with unwanted advertisements. You are advised to ignore sites such as apple.com-clean-mac[.]site and uninstall all installed PUAs immediately.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Most users download and install PUAs accidentally or inadvertently. Typically, they download/install them through the set-ups of other (usually free) software. In many cases, PUAs are included in various set-ups as additional offers, however, these can go unnoticed, since usually hidden in settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on.

This marketing method is called "bundling". Developers use bundling to trick people into downloading and/or installing unwanted apps with software that they willingly wish to download.

In summary, PUAs are often downloaded and/or installed when people leave settings available in the set-ups unchanged. In other cases, unintentional downloads and installations occur when they click deceptive ads. When clicked, some ads run scripts that start the download or installation processes of unwanted software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

To avoid unwanted downloads or installations, we recommend that you download all programs from official websites. Do not use tools or channels such as third party downloaders, unofficial pages, third party installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), and so on.

If a setup contains any settings (such as "Custom", "Advanced"), check them and decline offers to download/install additional software. Do not click intrusive ads, especially when they are displayed on dubious sites. If your browser displays unwanted ads or causes redirects to dubious pages, remove all unwanted apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) that are installed on it.

Also remove any 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.

Text in the pop-up:


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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of the main apple.com-clean-mac[.]site page:

apple.com-clean-mac.site background page

Text in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Monday, September 16, 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 33 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Scan Now

apple.com-clean-mac[.]site displays fake scan results:

apple.com-clean-mac.site detects fake viruses

Text in this page:

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

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

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

Appearance of apple.com-clean-mac[.]site scam (GIF):

Appearance of apple.com-clean-mac[.]site scam (GIF)

Cleanup My Mac installer:

cleanup my mac installation setup

Cleanup My Mac app:

cleanup my mac unwanted application

Instant automatic Mac malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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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