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Avoid being scammed by Zxcvc websites

Also Known As: zxcvc pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Zxcvc"?

Zxcvc is a family of scam sites, designed to endorse untrustworthy applications. This variant promotes the Smart Mac Booster app and operates by warning users of a virus, which it has allegedly detected. It offers specific software for its removal. Note that no website can find threats or issues present on their devices.

These claims are false and should not be trusted. Deceptive web pages that advertise these apps are bogus and the software is nonfunctional.

Therefore, you are strongly advised against installation of these apps. Most visitors to Zxcvc sites access them unintentionally, since they are redirected by Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already present on their Mac Operating Systems.

Zxcvc scam

Visitors to Zxcvc first see a pop-up window. The message within it claims that a website visited earlier has infected the MacOS with a virus. Users are encouraged to click "OK" to initiate the repair process. After this window is closed, Zxcvc shows a different page.

It repeats the initial claim and urges visitors to perform a full system scan to locate and eliminate harmful files/applications. To further give the impression of legitimacy, this site also lists device details (brand, OS version, browser, IP address, Internet provider and location).

Following the instructions issued by Zxcvc will start a fake scan, which detects a virus called "Bankworm". Zxcvc then recommends the Advanced Mac Cleaner application for removal of this threat. Once the "REMOVE VIRUS NOW" button is clicked, users are redirected to the promotional web page of Smart Mac Booster.

This leads to download of the maccleaner.pkg file, which is typically used to proliferate PUAs. There are many untrustworthy and rogue apps similar to Smart Mac Booster, and they are spread in the same way. Examples include MacCleanseProK9-MacOptimizerQbit Mac Optimizer, and many others.

This software usually requires activation to become operational, however, even after purchase, it remains nonoperational. You are strongly advised against installing maccleaner.pkg or Smart Mac Booster.

PUAs share many similarities. They often seem legitimate and tempt users into downloading/installing them with offers of various "useful" features. Regardless of how good these promises may sound, the advertised functions are rarely operational (even after activation).

The only purpose of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive no value. PUAs force-open sale-based, untrustworthy, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious web pages. They can also run intrusive advertisement campaigns, which deliver ads that diminish the browsing experience and carry certain risks.

Other types make unauthorized changes to browsers (hijack them) and promote fake search engines. Frequently, PUAs also possess data tracking capabilities. By monitoring users' browsing habits (search engine and browsing histories), they collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details).

This sensitive data is then shared with third parties and can end up being used for criminal purposes. To summarize, PUAs can cause browser and system infiltration and infections, and lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name zxcvc pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Zxcvc websites claim that the visitor's device is infected with a virus and encourage them to download cleaning software.
Detection Names Kaspersky (Malware), Sophos AV (Malicious), G-Data (Phishing), Fortinet (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal).
Serving IP Address 176.119.1.201
Related Domains Full list below.
Promoted Unwanted Application Smart Mac Booster
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

VnbueBadmonday, and Sundayfunny are a few examples of scam website families identical to Zxcvc. Deceptive sites usually employ scare tactics to tempt visitors into downloading/installing and purchasing dubious software.

Therefore, these web pages display warnings/alerts/alarms of "detected" threats and issues, and then offer applications for the removal of these bogus problems. Most of the promoted apps are fake and nonfunctional. Visitors generally arrive at Zxcvc and similar sites through redirects generated by PUAs or intrusive advertisements.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs (including Smart Mac Booster) have official download websites, however, they can also be downloaded/installed together with other software. This deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular content with unwanted apps is called "bundling".

By rushing though download/installation set-ups (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.), many users risk inadvertently allowing bundled software onto their devices. Once clicked, intrusive advertisements can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Research content carefully before downloading/installing. Use only official and verified download channels. Avoid P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar sources, as they are untrusted. Approach download/Installation processes with caution.

Read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive ads often seem legitimate and harmless, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others).

If you encounter advertisements/redirects of this type, inspect the system and remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. 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 Zxcvc pop-up window:

VIRUS FOUND

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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of the second web page displayed by Zxcvc:

zxcvc second page

Text presented in this web 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 the fake scan results:

zxcvc fake scan

Text presented 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 Zxcvc scam (GIF):

Appearance of Zxcvc scam (GIF)

List of domains related to the Zxcvc family:

zxcvc104[.]live zxcvc20[.]live zxcvc60[.]live
zxcvc108[.]live zxcvc21[.]live zxcvc61[.]live
zxcvc109[.]live zxcvc30[.]live zxcvc66[.]live
zxcvc111[.]live zxcvc33[.]live zxcvc72[.]live
zxcvc112[.]live zxcvc40[.]live zxcvc76[.]live
zxcvc113[.]live zxcvc41[.]live zxcvc77[.]live
zxcvc115[.]live zxcvc46[.]live zxcvc8[.]live
zxcvc116[.]live zxcvc47[.]live zxcvc87[.]live
zxcvc117[.]live zxcvc52[.]live zxcvc88[.]live
zxcvc120[.]live zxcvc55[.]live zxcvc92[.]live
zxcvc2[.]live zxcvc59[.]live zxcvc96[.]live

Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster installation setup:

Smart Mac Booster installer

Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster application:

Smart Mac Booster 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

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:

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.

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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.

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