Avoid downloading software from apple.com-optimizing-mac.live

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

How to remove apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live from Mac computers

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 scam

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 Summary:
Name apple.com-optimizing-mac.live pop-up
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 94.237.52.84
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-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:

apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live background 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.

Scan Now

Screenshot of fake scan results:

Apple.com-optimizing-mac.live detects fake viruses

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-optimizing-mac[.]live scam (GIF):

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

Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac installer:

Cleanup My Mac installer

Screenshot of Cleanup My Mac unwanted application:

Cleanup My Mac app potentially unwanted 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-optimizing-mac[.]live scam 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-optimizing-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-optimizing-mac.live pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

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

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