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
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to avoid redirects to apple.com-clean-mac[.]website on Mac computers

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 94.237.52.84
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 three days free trial available.

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:

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 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:

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-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 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 unwanted applications promoted via apple.com-clean-mac[.]website site 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-clean-mac.website 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-clean-mac.website pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-clean-mac.website 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-clean-mac.website 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-clean-mac.website 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-clean-mac.website 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-clean-mac.website pop-up on your mobile device.
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