Avoid downloading software from Vnbue scam websites

Also Known As: vnbue pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to stop redirects to Vnbue websites on Mac computers

What is Vnbue?

Vnbue is a family of deceptive (scam) web pages used to trick people into downloading and installing a dubious application that supposedly removes 'detected' viruses. In this example, visitors are encouraged to remove them with the Smart Mac Booster app. We advise against downloading or installing apps advertised on any scam pages. Apps of this type are categorized as potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Browsers commonly open untrustworthy websites due to PUAs already installed on them (or operating systems). Typically, people download and install PUAs unintentionally.

Vnbue scam

Websites that belong to the Vnbue family first display a pop-up window stating that another website visited earlier that day has infected the Mac with a virus. To remove it, visitors are encouraged to close the window and follow further instructions. These websites encourage people to run a full system scan, which supposedly finds and removes harmful files and applications. When the "Scan Now" button is clicked, the deceptive web page launches a fake scanner, which finds a virus called "Bankworm". To remove it, visitors are encouraged to click the "REMOVE VIRUS NOW" button. This leads to download of the "maccleaner.pkg" file, which is an installation file of a rogue application (in this case, Smart Mac Booster). Note that "maccleaner.pkg" is used to proliferate other unwanted apps including, for example, Advanced Mac Booster, MacCleansePro, and K9-MacOptimizer. None of these apps should be trusted, and the same applies to deceptive web pages that are used to advertise them.

Apps that force users to visit deceptive websites usually gather information and display ads. In most cases, they record users' IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, and other browsing-related data. Some PUAs record sensitive details. In any case, developers share the data with third parties (potentially cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, users might start experiencing problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, or even become victims of identity theft. Furthermore, many PUAs feed users with intrusive advertisements. Typically, these conceal underlying content of visited websites. When clicked, they open dubious websites (some might be malicious) or execute scripts designed to download and install unwanted, potentially malicious apps. These apps display coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

Threat Summary:
Name vnbue pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Vnbue websites claim that the computer is infected with a virus and encourage the visitor to download cleaning software.
Detection Names (sweeps9489.vnbue56[.]live) Fortinet (Spam), Kaspersky (Malware), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal).
Serving IP Address (sweeps9489.vnbue56[.]live) 176.119.1.201
Related Domains Full list below.
Promoted Unwanted Application Smart Mac Booster (these web pages might also be designed to advertise other unwanted apps).
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.

Vnbue is virtually identical to other families of scam websites including, for example, Stydbui, Badmonday, and Sundayfunny. All of these sites are used to trick people into believing that their computers are infected and encourage them to install dubious software. If your browser opens these websites often, it is likely that a PUA is installed on it. Apps of this type should be removed immediately. The same applies to programs that were downloaded from rogue web pages.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, people download and install unwanted apps through clicked intrusive (deceptive) ads, or when software developers distribute them using "bundling", a method employed to trick people into downloading and installing PUAs with other software by including them into the set-ups. To achieve this, developers hide information about the inclusion of additionally-included apps in settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on. When people leave these unchanged, they accept offers to download or install other, unwanted apps by default.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download software from official websites. Do not use other sources or tools such as third party downloaders/installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, etc. If a setup of a program includes offers to download/install unwanted applications, dismiss them before completing the download/installation process. Do not click intrusive ads that are displayed on dubious web pages (for example, relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.). Typically, these open potentially malicious websites or run scripts that download or install unwanted software. In most cases, browsers open dubious web pages or display ads when PUAs are installed. Therefore, uninstall all unwanted apps (extensions, plug-ins, add-ons) installed on the browser and 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:

VIRUS FOUND

A website you visited today has infected your Mac with a virus.

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of a web page that is opened after closing the pop-up window:

vnbue second page

Text in this page:

VIRUS FOUND
A website you have visited today has infected your Mac with a virus. A full system scan is now required to find and remove harmful files or applications from your Mac OS X 10_13_6 device.
DEVICE INFORMATION
Brand: Apple
Device: Mac OS X 10_13_6
Browser: Safari 12.0.1
IP: 85.206.10.62
Provider: Telia Lietuva, AB
Location: - LT
Scan Now

Screenshot of a page that encourages visitors to download dubious software:

vnbue third page

Text in this page:

DOWNLOAD REQUIRED
Please download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application to remove Bankworm from your Mac.
VIRUS INFORMATION
Virus Name: Bankworm
Risk: HIGH
Infected File: /os/apps/worm.icv
VIRUS REMOVAL
Application: Advanced Mac Cleaner
Rating: 9.9/10
Price: Free
REMOVE VIRUS NOW

Appearance of Vnbue scam website (GIF):

vnbue scam website appearance in gif

Domains related to the Vnbue pop-up scam family:

vnbue108.live vnbue39.live vnbue78.live
vnbue11.live vnbue45.live vnbue79.live
vnbue112.live vnbue5.live vnbue82.live
vnbue113.live vnbue52.live vnbue84.live
vnbue114.live vnbue54.live vnbue89.live
vnbue116.live vnbue55.live vnbue90.live
vnbue13.live vnbue56.live vnbue94.live
vnbue17.live vnbue58.live vnbue95.live
vnbue18.live vnbue6.live vnbue96.live
vnbue20.live vnbue68.live vnbue97.live
vnbue30.live vnbue74.live vnbue98.live

Screenshot of the Smart Mac Booster application installer:

smart mac booster installer

Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster app:

Smart Mac Booster 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:
▼ 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 Vnbue pop-up scams 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 vnbue 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.

vnbue pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove vnbue 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 vnbue 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 vnbue 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
vnbue 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 vnbue pop-up on your mobile device.
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