What is apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live?
apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live is the address of a website that scammers use to trick people into downloading and installing a rogue application called Cleanup My Mac. This website informs visitors that their computers are infected with viruses and suggests they be removed with the aforementioned software.
This is a deceptive website and should not be trusted - do not download or install software advertised on it. Sites such as apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live are usually opened when a potentially unwanted application (PUA) is installed on the user's browser or computer.
Apps of this type force people to visit dubious web pages. They also gather information and display intrusive ads. In most cases, people download and install PUAs inadvertently.
apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live first displays a pop-up window stating that this website has detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) on the Mac. According to the message in the background, the system is infected with three viruses (two malware and one phishing/spyware).
Visitors are encouraged to remove them immediately, since their presence can cause loss of apps, photos, and other damage. It is mentioned that visitors' banking information is also at risk. To avoid damage, apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live suggests that computers are scanned by clicking the "Scan Now" button.
Note that apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live launches a fake scanner, which detects three high-risk viruses: Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv.
To remove them, people must supposedly download the Advanced Mac Cleaner app, however, at the time of the research, when clicked, the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button downloaded the "maccleaner.pkg" file. This installed the Cleanup My Mac app. The file is used to install a number of different rogue applications.
PUAs (including those that force people to visit deceptive websites such as apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live) also gather data relating to users' browsing habits. For example, IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries and other, possibly sensitive details.
Developers share the data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Furthermore, PUAs often display intrusive ads such as coupons, banners, surveys, and pop-up ads. When clicked, these usually redirect people to untrustworthy websites or download/install other PUAs.
|Threat Type||Mac malware, Mac virus.|
|Fake Claim||According to this website, the visitor's computer is infected with viruses that should be removed immediately.|
|Detection Names||Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal).|
|Serving IP Address||22.214.171.124|
|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.
Apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live is similar to apple.com-optimize-mac[.]live, apple.com-clean-mac[.]website, apple.com-clean-mac[.]site and many other scam websites of this type. Typically, scammers use these pages to promote dubious applications.
These pages display fake notifications about detected viruses and are used to trick people into installing unwanted apps that supposedly remove those viruses.
PUAs that are often responsible for redirects to such pages are also very similar. They open dubious pages, gather various data and/or display unwanted ads. Besides, most are useless and are designed only to generate revenue for their developers.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
In some cases, PUAs can be downloaded from supposedly official download websites, however, people generally download and install them accidentally. This happens through clicked deceptive ads or the setups of other programs (often, freeware).
Developers include PUAs in the download/installation setups of other software and hide related information in settings such as "Custom, "Advanced", and so on. Many people fail to check or change the settings, thereby agreeing by default with offers to download/install additional, unwanted software.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Programs and files should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links. Do not use third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, or dubious web pages to download or install software.
These tools/sources are often used to trick people into downloading unwanted software that might be malicious. Check "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar settings of the download/installation setup and deselect offers to download/install unwanted apps.
Do not click intrusive ads, especially if they are shown on untrustworthy websites. They can lead to unwanted downloads, installations, or simply cause redirects to potentially malicious web pages.
Remove all unwanted apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) that are installed on the browser and also apply this to programs of this kind 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 a 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-optimizing-mac[.]live web page:
Text in this page:
Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Wednesday, October 23, 2019 9:46 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.
Screenshot of 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
Infected Files: /os/apps/hidden/os-component/X/snake.icv; /os/local/conf/keyboard/retype.icv...
REMOVE VIRUSES NOW
Application: Advanced Mac Cleaner
Appearance of apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live scam (GIF):
Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac installer:
Screenshot of Cleanup My Mac 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:
- What is apple.com-optimizing-mac.live pop-up?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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.