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Avoid being scammed by hj8gjh websites

Also Known As: hj8gjh pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "Hj8gjh"?

Hj8gjh is a family of scam websites, which are designed to endorse dubious applications. This variation promotes Smart Mac Booster. These deceptive sites use scare tactics to encourage visitors to install rogue apps. They warn users of a supposed virus detected on their MacOS (Mac Operating Systems) and offer Smart Mac Booster for its removal.

Note that no web page can detect issues/threats on devices, and any claims to this effect are bogus and cannot be trusted. Additionally, software advertised on these websites is often rogue and nonfunctional. Typically, people access these dubious websites unintentionally.

Most visitors to Hj8gjh enter it through redirects caused by Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already present on their systems.

Hj8gjh scam

Hj8gjh displays a pop-up window, alerting visitors that it has found a virus. The fake threat has supposedly originated from a website visited earlier. Pressing "OK" beings the removal process of the supposed threat. After the pop-up is closed, a different page is shown, which repeats the initial alert.

It also recommends a full system scan to locate and eliminate dangerous applications/files. This web page lists the visitor's device details (brand, OS version, browser, IP address, Internet provider and location) in an attempt to give the impression of authenticity. When the "Scan Now" button is clicked, Hj8gjh claims to perform a scan.

This results in the 'identification' of a high-risk virus called "Bankworm" and the location of an infected file. Advanced Mac Cleaner is offered for dealing with this problem. In fact, the "REMOVE VIRUS NOW" button redirects to the download site of Smart Mac Booster.

Downloading this application results in download of the maccleaner.pkg file, which is used to proliferate PUAs. You are strongly advised against installing this file. Note that Smart Mac Booster is a PUA and these apps commonly require activation via a purchase to become operational.

Despite being purchased, however, the software often remains nonoperational and useless. There are dozens of PUAs similar to Smart Mac Booster including, for example, MacCleanseProK9-MacOptimizer, and Qbit Mac Optimizer.

In general, all PUAs tend to be similar. They have a seemingly legitimate design and tempt users into downloading/installing them with offers of various "useful" features. Despite how good these offers may sound, the advertised functions are rarely operational.

The only purpose of all unwanted content is to generate revenue for the developers, whilst regular users receive nothing. PUAs have many dangerous capabilities. They can force-open sale-oriented, untrustworthy, compromised, deceptive/scam and even malicious web pages.

Some run intrusive advertisement campaigns, delivering pop-ups, banners, coupons, etc., which diminish the browsing experience and are a safety threat. Other unwanted applications hijack browsers by making unauthorized changes to promote fake search engines.

Frequently, PUAs also possess data tracking capabilities. They record browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect users' personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This data can then be shared with third parties and used for criminal purposes.

In summary, PUAs can cause browser and system infiltration/infections and lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name hj8gjh pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Hj8gjh websites claim that the visitor's device is infected with a virus and encourages them to download cleaning software.
Detection Names Kaspersky (Malware), G-Data (Phishing), Sophos AV (Malicious), 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.

ZxcvcVnbue, and Badmonday are just some examples of scam website families that are virtually identical to Hj8gjh. They usually employ scare tactics to trick visitors into downloading/installing their advertised software. These tactics include warnings, alerts and alarms about detected threats and/or issues.

In fact, these claims are false and the threats are not present on users' devices. Furthermore, the promoted applications are usually fake and nonfunctional. In most cases, websites such as Hj8gjh are accessed via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or PUAs.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

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

Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled software onto systems. 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, prior to downloading/installing. Use only trustworthy and verified download channels should. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar sources are untrusted and should be avoided.

Download and installation processes should be approached with caution. Read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" options and decline offers to download/install additional apps, tools, functions, etc.

Intrusive advertisements commonly seem normal and innocuous, however, when clicked, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). If you experience ads/redirects of this kind, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins.

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:

VIRUS FOUND

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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of second web page displayed by Hj8gjh:

hj8gjh 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 fake scan results provided by Hj8gjh:

hj8gjh fake scan 

Text presented within 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 Hj8gjh scam (GIF):

Appearance of Hj8gjh scam (GIF)

List of domains relating to the Hj8gjh family of websites:

hj8gjh103[.]live hj8gjh104[.]live hj8gjh105[.]live
hj8gjh106[.]live hj8gjh107[.]live hj8gjh108[.]live
hj8gjh110[.]live hj8gjh112[.]live hj8gjh12[.]live
hj8gjh13[.]live hj8gjh27[.]live hj8gjh3[.]live
hj8gjh36[.]live hj8gjh4[.]live hj8gjh42[.]live
hj8gjh44[.]live hj8gjh46[.]live hj8gjh47[.]live
hj8gjh52[.]live hj8gjh54[.]live hj8gjh55[.]live
hj8gjh59[.]live hj8gjh65[.]live hj8gjh66[.]live
hj8gjh67[.]live hj8gjh68[.]live hj8gjh72[.]live
hj8gjh73[.]live hj8gjh79[.]live hj8gjh84[.]live
hj8gjh9[.]live hj8gjh92[.]live hj8gjh97[.]live

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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