Stop getting scammed by apple.com-mac-optimizer.live

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

How to remove "apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live" from Mac?

What is "apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live"?

Apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live is a scam website, which uses scare-tactics to trick users into installing the Cleanup My Mac application. When accessed, it alerts visitors of various threats it has detected and promotes said app for their elimination. It must be emphasized, that no website can detect infections/issues present on devices; therefore, any threats sites claim to find are all fake. It is strongly advised against downloading/installing software endorsed on such pages, as it is likely to be illegitimate and nonoperational. In most cases, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live is entered through redirects, caused by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already present on the device.

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

Apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live displays a pop-up window, which informs visitors that a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) was found on their MacOS (Mac Operating System). It states that immediate action is required and urges users to click "OK" to begin the repair process. After this window is closed, more information is provided in the background page, concerning the "detected" threats. The apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live webpage proclaims that there are three viruses present, two malware and one phishing/spyware - on the MacOS. It further alarms users by stating that their personal and banking information is at risk, and shows a count-down clock until data damage becomes permanent. Clicking the "Scan Now" button initiates a fake scan, which results in the "detection" of "Tapsnake, CronDNS and Dubfishicv" viruses. Additionally, users are informed that their Mac is damaged at 33.2 percent. The site recommends Advanced Mac Cleaner for the removal of these viruses. However, the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" begins the process of downloading the Cleanup My Mac application. This results in the download of the maccleaner.pkg file, which is known to be used for PUA proliferation. It is expressly advised against installing this file, as any software installed is usually fake and nonfunctional. The same extends to Cleanup My Mac, which is classified as PUA. There are many similar unwanted apps out there, e.g. K9-MacOptimizerQuick Mac CareMac Cleanup are promoted as Mac-specific cleaners and optimizers. Applications of this kind typically require activation to become operational, i.e. they need to be purchased to work. However, despite being activated, they often remain nonoperational.

In general, PUAs share many common qualities. They appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" features. Rarely do these features work as advertised, usually they do not function at all. The only purpose of all unwanted content is to generate revenue for its developers; to users it is worthless. These apps are designed to cause redirects to untrustworthy and malicious websites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (pop-ups, surveys, banners, etc.) and some can track data. The latter record users' browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collects their personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and personal details). This sensitive data is then shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), seeking to misuse it for financial gain. In summary, PUAs can cause various browser and system infiltrations/infections, as well as lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety - all suspect applications and browser extensions must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-mac-optimizer.live pop-up
Threat Type Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim The fake error claims that the user's MacOS is infected and encourages download of a system cleaner. 
Detection Names Spamhaus (Phishing), Fortinet (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.
Removal

To eliminate apple.com-mac-optimizer.live pop-up our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live is identical to apple.com-optimizing-mac.live, apple.com-shield.live, apple.com-scan-mac.xyz and many others. Most scam webpages warn visitors of threats/issues they have detected and push them into installing the apps they advertise. No website can find such problems on systems, therefore they are all fake. The promoted software is also commonly fraudulent and unable to operate as promised. These deceptive sites are mostly accessed via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download websites, where they are typically advertised as "free" software. However, these applications can also be inadvertently installed alongside other products. "Bundling" is the term used to describe this false marketing technique of pre-packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious content. Rushing through download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.) - increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled apps onto devices. Intrusive advertisements are another known source of PUAs. Once clicked, these ads can execute scripts, designed to download/install such applications without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is highly recommended to always research content to verify its legitimacy, before downloading/installing it. All downloads should be done via official and verified channels. Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar sources - are considered to be untrustworthy; therefore, are advised against use. Download and installation processes should be treated with caution. That includes reading terms, studying all available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings and declining to download/install additional apps, tools, features, etc. When browsing, users are urged to avoid suspicious webpages and adverts. Intrusive ads usually look legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to various dubious websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). Should users experience advertisements/redirects of this type, it is strongly advised to inspect the system and remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-is. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the 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 "apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live" background page:

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

Text presented in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Friday, October 25, 2019 3:45 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 10.15 Catalina.

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 system scan:

apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live fake scan

Text presented 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-mac-optimizer[.]live" scam (GIF):

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

Cleanup My Mac application installer:

Cleanup My Mac installer

Screenshot of Cleanup My Mac application:

Cleanup My Mac app

Instant automatic removal of apple.com-mac-optimizer.live pop-up: 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 apple.com-mac-optimizer.live pop-up. 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. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove unwanted applications promoted via apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]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-mac-optimizer.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-mac-optimizer.live pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-mac-optimizer.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-mac-optimizer.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-mac-optimizer.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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
apple.com-mac-optimizer.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-mac-optimizer.live pop-up on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of apple.com-mac-optimizer.live pop-up today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.