Avoid downloads from apple.com-clean-mac[.]website and other similar sites

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

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

apple.com-clean-mac[.]website is one of many deceptive websites that informs victims of viruses that they have supposedly detected on visitors' computers. The main goal of these sites is to trick people into installing a dubious app that will apparently remove the viruses.

In this case, visitors are invited to download and install an app called Cleanup My Mac. Do not trust apple.com-clean-mac[.]website (or similar sites) or apps that are advertised through them.

People do not generally visit pages like apple.com-clean-mac[.]website intentionally - browsers often open these deceptive websites when potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are installed on them.

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

apple.com-clean-mac[.]website displays a pop-up window stating that it has detected a trojan virus named "e.tre456_worm_osx". The main apple.com-clean-mac[.]website web page informs visitors that their systems are infected with three viruses (malware and phishing/spyware).

To prevent further system damage and loss of apps, photos and other files, apple.com-clean-mac[.]website encourages visitors to remove these viruses immediately. It also states that the presence of these viruses puts visitors' personal and banking information at risk.

To remove them, users are required to scan systems by clicking the "Scan Now" button. This launches a fake scanner that detects viruses called "Tapsnake", "CronDNS", and "Dubfishicv". To remove them, visitors must supposedly click the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button.

This downloads the maccleaner.pkg file, which, if launched, installs Cleanup My Mac. In fact, this file is used to distribute other dubious apps. Do not trust apple.com-clean-mac[.]website or download software through this site. The best option is to simply close it - ignore this and other similar pages in future.

In many cases, people arrive at sites such as apple.com-clean-mac[.]website due to PUAs installed on their browsers. In addition to causing unwanted redirects, PUAs record details relating to users and feed them with unwanted ads.

Typically, these apps are used to collect IP addresses, URLs of opened websites, entered search queries, geolocations and other details relating to users' browsing habits. PUA developers share the details with other parties (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse them to generate revenue.

Furthermore, PUAs can display unwanted ads. In most cases, they display coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and others. People who click them are usually redirected to untrustworthy websites, or they allow the ads to run scripts that download/install unwanted, potentially malicious apps.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-clean-mac.website 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 'existing viruses' that must be eliminated.
Promoted Unwanted Application Cleanup My Mac
Serving IP Address
Detection Names BitDefender (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[.]website is just one of the many pages of this type. Other examples are apple.com-scan-mac[.]xyz, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]xyz, and apple.com-mac-optimization[.]xyz. These sites inform visitors that their computers are infected and that this problem can be resolved by installing a specific app.

PUAs that open these websites are also very similar. They help developers to generate revenue by opening dubious web pages, displaying ads, and gathering various user details. You are advised to uninstall PUAs immediately, since they can cause problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, and even identity theft.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Generally, people download and install PUAs through the download or installation set-ups of various (usually free) software or deceptive advertisements. PUAs are distributed by including them into the set-ups of regular software  Typically, offers to download or install this additional software are hidden in setup options such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on.

Furthermore, many people fail to check them - by leaving them unchanged, they agree to download or install additional, unwanted software by default. In other cases, unwanted downloads and installations are caused through deceptive ads. If clicked, these run scripts that start the download or installation processes of PUAs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download files from official websites and avoid using other sources such as Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, third party downloaders, and so on. Third party installers should not be trusted.

If the download or installation setup includes settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", check them carefully and dismiss offers to download/install additional software. Do not click intrusive advertisements, especially when they are displayed on dubious websites.

These often open other untrustworthy websites or cause download/installation of unwanted applications. If the browser opens dubious web pages or displays unwanted ads, check the list of apps installed on the browser and remove all unknown or unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins.

The same applies to programs of this type installed on the computer. 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 apple.com-clean-mac[.]website pop-up window:


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[.]website page:

apple.com-clean-mac[.]website main page

Text in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Monday, September 23, 2019 11:04 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 32 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Scan Now

Screenshot of apple.com-clean-mac[.]website displaying fake scan results:

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

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[.]website scam (GIF):

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

Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac installer:

Cleanup My Mac installation setup

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 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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