What is apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live?
apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live is the address of a deceptive website, which scammers use to trick visitors into downloading and installing a rogue app called Cleanup My Mac. This web page informs visitors that their computers are infected with a virus and they should remove it with the aforementioned application immediately.
Websites such as apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live should never be trusted, and the same applies to apps advertised on them. These sites are usually opened by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) already installed on computers and/or browsers.
Once opened, apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live displays a pop-up window with a fake virus notification stating that the visitor's Mac is infected with a trojan virus called e.tre456_worm_osx. The background page states that the visitor's system is infected with three viruses: two programs classified as malware and one as phishing/spyware.
Visitors are urged to remove these viruses immediately, otherwise they might cause further damage such as loss of photos, apps and other files. According to apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live, the visitor's personal and banking information is at risk. Possible damage can supposedly be avoided by scanning a system.
The "Scan Now" button starts a fake system scanner. Once finished 'scanning' the system, it informs users that their computers are infected with Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses.
Note that apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live offers to remove them with Advanced Mac Cleaner, however, the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button is actually designed to download the "maccleaner.pkg" file. At the time of the research, this file installed the Cleanup My Mac app.
Furthermore, this installation file is used to distribute more than one PUA. In any case, none of the applications advertised on websites such as apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live can be trusted. We recommend that you ignore fake virus notifications from these pages and never download anything from them.
People often visit deceptive, untrustworthy websites inadvertently due to PUAs installed on browsers and/or computers. These apps force users to visit dubious web pages by opening them in new browser windows or tabs, however, this is not the only problem with PUAs.
These apps feed users with ads and gather information. PUAs display coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and other intrusive ads. If clicked, these open potentially malicious websites or execute scripts that download and install other unwanted apps.
Furthermore, many apps of this type record details such as IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, entered search queries, geolocations and other similar information. Developers share the data with other parties who misuse it to generate revenue. Some of these third parties might be cyber criminals.
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.|
|Fake Claim||apple.com-mac-optimizing.live claims that the visitor's Mac is infected with a trojan virus.|
|Detection Names||Avira (Phishing), BitDefender (Malware), Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Phishing), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address||18.104.22.168|
|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-mac-optimizing[.]live is similar (or even identical) to apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live, apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live, apple.com-guard-device[.]live and many other pages of this kind. These sites often trick visitors into downloading and installing unwanted applications that supposedly remove viruses that were 'detected'. PUAs that open these websites are all very similar.
They are advertised as legitimate and useful apps, however, most simply cause problems. People generally download and install PUAs unintentionally.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
PUAs are usually downloaded and installed through deceptive ads, which people click, or when software developers include them within the set-ups of other (typically, free) software. In most cases, information about additionally-included apps (offers to download and/or install them) is not properly disclosed.
Developers hide the details in "Custom", "Advanced" options of software download or/and installation set-ups. When people download and install software without checking and changing these settings, they often download and install regular software together with PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Download software from official and trustworthy websites. Sources (or tools) such as third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial pages and other similar channels should not be trusted. Additionally, check all available settings when downloading and/or installing software, especially if it is free.
Additionally included (unwanted) apps should be deselected before finishing any download or installation process. Many advertisements that should not be trusted or clicked. Typically, rogue ads are displayed on sites relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on.
If clicked, they can open potentially malicious web pages or cause unwanted downloads/installations. If unwanted ads or redirects occur often, uninstall all unwanted, unknown extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins from the web browser and unwanted programs from the operating system.
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 displayed on apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live:
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 background web page:
Text in this page:
Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Monday, November 4, 2019 12:37 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 10.14 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 apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live encouraging to download Cleanup My Mac:
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-mac-optimizing[.]live scam (GIF):
Screenshot of the Cleanup My Mac installer:
Screenshot of the 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:
- What is apple.com-mac-optimizing.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.