Stop being 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 computers

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

apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live is a scam website, which uses scare-tactics to trick people into installing the Cleanup My Mac application. When accessed, it alerts visitors of various threats it has detected and promotes the app to eliminate them. Note that no website can detect infections/issues present on devices. Therefore, any 'threats' these sites claim to find are fake. Do not download/install software endorsed on these pages, since it is often bogus and nonoperational. In most cases, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live is entered through redirects caused by Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) 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 the 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 sites claims that there are three viruses present (two malware and one phishing/spyware infection) on the MacOS. It further attempts to alarm users by stating that their personal and banking information is at risk, and showing a count-down timer until data damage becomes permanent. Clicking the "Scan Now" button initiates a fake scan, which results in "detection" of "Tapsnake, CronDNS and Dubfishicv" viruses. Additionally, users are informed that their Mac computers are damaged at 33.2 percent. The site recommends Advanced Mac Cleaner for the removal of these viruses. In fact, "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" begins the process of downloading the Cleanup My Mac application. This results in download of the maccleaner.pkg file, which is known to proliferate PUAs. You are advised against installing this file, since any software installed via it is usually bogus and nonfunctional. The same extends to Cleanup My Mac, which is classified as a PUA. There are many similar unwanted apps online, including K9-MacOptimizerQuick Mac Care, and Mac Cleanup, all of which are promoted as Mac-specific cleaners and optimizers. These apps typically require activation to become operational (i.e., must be purchased to work). Despite being activated/purchased, however, they often remain nonoperational.

In general, PUAs share many commonalities. They often seem legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" features. These features rarely work as advertised, and usually do not function at all. The only purpose of this unwanted content is to generate revenue for the developers - to regular users, they are worthless. They are designed to cause redirects to untrustworthy and malicious websites, deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns (pop-ups, surveys, banners, etc.), and some can track data. For example, PUAs record users' browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other 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 infiltration/infection and lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions 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 MacOS is infected and encourages users to download 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.
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-mac-optimizer[.]live is identical to apple.com-optimizing-mac.live, apple.com-shield.live, apple.com-scan-mac.xyz, and many other sites. Most scam websites warn of threats/issues they have supposedly detected and encourage users to install the apps they promote. No website can find these problems on systems - they are all fake. The promoted software is also bogus and unable to operate as promised. These deceptive sites are mostly accessed via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or PUAs.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download websites, on which they are typically advertised as "free" software, however, these applications can also be inadvertently installed together other products. "Bundling" is the term used to describe this deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing normal 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 PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Research content to verify its legitimacy, before downloading/installing. All downloads should be carried out 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 classed as untrustworthy and should not be used. Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and decline offers to download/install additional apps, tools, features, etc. When browsing, avoid suspicious web pages and ads. Intrusive ads usually seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to various dubious websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and others). If you experience ads/redirects of this type, 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 web 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 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-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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

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-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 Mac malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.