Prevent being scammed by apple.com-guard-device.live

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

How to remove apple.com-guard-device[.]live from Mac computers

What is apple.com-guard-device[.]live?

apple.com-guard-device[.]live is a scam site, which is designed to endorse the Cleanup My Mac application using scare tactics. This website operates by alerting users of supposed threats it has detected. Note that any viruses apple.com-guard-device[.]live detects are false. This web page should not be trusted and the products it advertises should not be downloaded or installed. Typically, scam websites offer apps, which are fake and nonoperational. Few users access apple.com-guard-device[.]live intentionally - most are redirected to it by intrusive advertisements or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) already present on their Mac operating systems.

apple.com-guard-device[.]live scam

Initially, apple.com-guard-device[.]live displays a pop-up window requesting immediate action. It claims to have found "e.tre456_worm_osx", a trojan virus within the user's system. The background page lists additional problems, which have supposedly been detected. This comprises three viruses: two malware and one phishing/spyware. It further states that the user's personal and banking information is at risk. It attempts to scare users by showing a countdown of time remaining before the alleged damage becomes permanent. By clicking the "Scan Now" button, users are shown a fake system scan in progress. When this process is finished, it 'finds' the Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses and lists infected files. When the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button is clicked, it downloads the maccleaner.pkg file. This, and other similar files, are used to proliferate unwanted apps. Do not open the maccleaner.pkg file, as software installed by it is often rogue and/or nonfunctional. The same recommendations extend to Cleanup My Mac (the app advertised by apple.com-guard-device[.]live), which is classed as a PUA. There are many similar fraudulent apps available including, for example, Mac Cleanup ProMac MechanicMac Space Reviver, etc. These applications usually require payment to be activated, however, they are usually fraudulent and nonoperational.

PUAs are released by the thousand and most share certain traits. They typically seem legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" and "beneficial" features/abilities, however, in most cases, these features do not work as advertised, if indeed they are operational at all. The only goal of all unwanted software/content is to generate profit for the developers, whilst regular users receive no genuine value. Rather than delivering any real value, PUAs cause redirects to various sale-based, untrustworthy, or even malicious websites. They can also hijack browsers and deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (e.g. pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, and so on), however, their most dangerous ability is data tracking. By monitoring browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search engine history, etc.), they collect users' personal information (IP addresses, geolocations, and private details). Note that this data is then sold to third parties and can end up being used for criminal purposes. Therefore, PUAs can cause various browser and system infiltration/infections and lead to severe privacy issues (and even identity theft). To protect device integrity and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-guard-device.live pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Detection Names BitDefender (Malware), Spamhaus (Malware), Fortinet (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 3.9.247.63
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-guard-device[.]live is virtually identical to apple.com-shield.liveapple.com-mac-booster.liveapple.com-clear.live, and thousands of other sites. Most of these scam websites use scare tactics (they warn of various false threats and viruses, etc.) to pressure users into downloading the software they endorse (the programs are often redundant). This type of website is often force-opened by PUAs already present on the system.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download pages. They can also be installed together regular content. The deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular software with unwanted apps is called "bundling" and is very prominent amongst PUA developers. It is also quite successful. Therefore, rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.) increases the risk of potential system infiltration and infections. Intrusive advertisements are also capable of the downloading/installing unwanted applications. By clicking them, users can trigger these ads to execute scripts designed to make rogue downloads/installs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Use official and verified download channels. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, unofficial and free file-hosting websites, third party downloaders and similar are untrustworthy and should not be used. Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and decline download/installation of additional content (e.g. apps, tools, features, etc.). Note that intrusive ads usually seem normal and harmless, however they can redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and similar). If you experience these ads/redirects, inspect your system and remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. 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 window apple.com-guard-device[.]live displays:

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 apple.com-guard-device[.]live background page:

Apple.com-guard-device[.]live background page

Text in the background page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Wednesday, October 2, 2019 9:14 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 33 seconds remaining before damage is permanent.

Scan Now

Screenshot of fake scan results delivered by apple.com-guard-device[.]live:

Apple.com-guard-device[.]live scan results

Text presented on this webpage:

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

Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac installation setup:

Cleanup My Mac installer

Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac unwanted application:

Cleanup My Mac app

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-guard-device[.]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-guard-device.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-guard-device.live pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-guard-device.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-guard-device.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-guard-device.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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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-guard-device.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-guard-device.live pop-up on your mobile device.
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