Stop redirects to the apple.com-optimize-mac.live pop-up scam site

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

How to avoid being redirected to apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live on Mac computers

What is apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live?

apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live is designed to advertise dubious applications. At time of research, it promoted the Cleanup My Mac app. Note that apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live is a deceptive site, which informs visitors that their computers are infected with viruses. Websites of this type display fake virus notifications to trick people into downloading and installing an app that supposedly removes the viruses. Neither pages such as apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live nor apps advertised through them are trustworthy. People usually do not visit these addresses intentionally - they are redirected to them by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on their browsers or computers.

apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live scam

Once opened, apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live displays a pop-up window stating that the site has detected a trojan virus called e.tre456_worm_osx. It encourages visitors to begin the repair process immediately. The main page states that the operating system is infected with two malicious and one phishing/spyware programs. To avoid further damage (loss of apps, photos, etc.) and protect banking and personal information, users are encouraged to scan their systems by clicking the "Scan Now" button. This starts a fake scanning process, which, once finished, states that the computer is infected with Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv. To remove them, visitors must supposedly click the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button. This downloads the maccleaner.pkg file, which, if opened, starts installation of the the Cleanup My Mac app. In fact, this installation setup could be used to install other dubious apps. Do not install or use apps that are distributed through deceptive web pages.

Frequently, people are redirected to websites such as apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live by PUAs. If installed, these collect browsing-related details and display intrusive, deceptive ads. They record details relating to users' browsing habits such as IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited pages and possibly other, sensitive data. Developers send the data to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Furthermore, PUAs are often designed to deliver intrusive advertisements. For instance, various coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc. If clicked, these might redirect people to potentially malicious web pages or execute scripts that download/install other unwanted applications.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-optimize-mac.live pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus.
Serving IP Address 94.237.52.84
Detection Names Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Promoted Unwanted Application Cleanup My Mac
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.

apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live is very similar to other scam pages. Some examples are lp.macsmart-cleanupc[.]club, your-mac-security-analysis[.]net, and apple.com-clean-mac[.]website. These sites are created to trick people into downloading and installing dubious apps that supposedly remove fake viruses (that have not actually infected computers). PUAs are all very similar. They cause unwanted redirects, feed users with ads, and gather information. They provide no real value for regular users and cause only problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, and so on. They might even lead to identity theft.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases, PUAs infiltrate systems and/or browsers via intrusive advertisements (that people click) or set-ups other software. They are often included in various download or installation set-ups as additional 'offers', however, information regarding these offers is usually hidden in options such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on. Developers place them in this section, since they are aware that many people leave settings available in set-ups unchecked and unchanged. This gives permission for PUAs to be downloaded and installed with regular software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Avoid downloading/installing software or files using third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients eMule, unofficial pages, or other similar sources/channels. Download from official and trustworthy websites. Additionally, do not finish any download/installation process without checking settings available in set-ups, and deselecting offers to download/install additional, unwanted apps. Avoid clicking intrusive ads, especially when visiting dubious websites. If clicked, these might open untrustworthy sites (including apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live) or download/install unwanted apps. Typically, redirects to dubious sites or unwanted ads can be stopped by removing unknown, suspicious apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) installed on the browser, or software of this type 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 a pop-up displayed by apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live:

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED

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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Main apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live page:

apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live main page

Text in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Thursday, September 26, 2019 2:03 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-optimize-mac[.]live displays false detections:

apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live 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-optimize-mac[.]live scam (GIF):

Appearance of apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live scam (GIF)

Cleanup My Mac installer:

Cleanup My Mac installer

Cleanup My mac app:

Cleanup My Mac 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-optimize-mac[.]live 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-optimize-mac.live 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-optimize-mac.live pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-optimize-mac.live 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-optimize-mac.live 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-optimize-mac.live 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-optimize-mac.live 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-optimize-mac.live pop-up on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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