Do not trust Hndry web pages or apps advertised on them

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

What is Hndry?

Hndry is a family of deceptive websites that encourage visitors to remove a virus that was supposedly detected by them. These sites invite users to download and install a dubious application that supposedly finds and eliminate the virus. In this case, a Hndry web page promotes an app called Smart Mac Booster.

These websites should never be trusted, and the same applies to software advertised on them. Typically, browsers open dubious, deceptive pages due to potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on them. Therefore, people do not generally visit these websites intentionally.

Hndry scam

Once opened, Hndry websites inform users that their Mac computers are infected with a virus that should be removed immediately. To begin the removal process, users are required to close the displayed pop-up window and follow further instructions.

Hndry web pages encourage visitors to run a full system scan by clicking the "Scan Now" button. If clicked, this begins a fake scanning process, which detects a virus called "Bankworm". According to Hndry web pages, this virus can be removed by clicking the "REMOVE VIRUSES NOW" button.

This downloads a setup file named "maccleaner.pkg". Note that this file is actually used to distribute various unwanted applications (i.e., Advanced Mac Booster, MacCleansePro, K9-MacOptimizer). At time of research, it installed Smart Mac Booster. We strongly advise against installing or using applications that were downloaded from deceptive, unofficial websites.

As mentioned above, browsers can open dubious web pages (including deceptive sites that are part of the Hndry family) due to PUAs installed on them. In addition to unwanted redirects, PUAs feed users with intrusive advertisements such as coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

If clicked, the ads open various dubious websites or run scripts that download and/or install unwanted apps. The opened websites and downloaded apps might be malicious. These apps can collect browsing-related, and possibly other, data.

For example, IP addresses, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, geolocations, etc. Some PUAs might also be designed to record personal details. In any case, developers usually share the information with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

Threat Summary:
Name hndry pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Hndry web pages claim that the visitor's computer is infected with a virus.
Detection Names (app8024.hndry43[.]live) BitDefender (Malware), G-Data (Malicious), Kaspersky (Malware), Sophos AV (Phishing), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (app8024.hndry43[.]live)
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.
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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.

Hndry is very similar to Vnbue, Stydbui, Badmonday, and other families of deceptive websites. All of their pages are designed to trick people into downloading and installing a dubious application, which supposedly removes a virus that was 'detected' by them. No apps offered by these web pages can be trusted.

Furthermore, PUAs that open untrustworthy web pages should not be trusted. In fact, having them installed might lead to problems such as identity theft, issues with browsing safety, privacy, etc. We advise that you uninstall all dubious apps from the browser and/or operating system immediately.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, people download and/or install unwanted apps together with other regular programs that were downloaded and/or installed intentionally. This happens when PUAs are included into the set-ups and people fail to dismiss offers to download or install them.

Generally, these offers can be found in set-up settings such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on, however, many people leave them unchanged and do not even check them, thereby allowing PUAs to be downloaded/installed with other, regular programs. This deceptive distribution method is called "bundling".

PUAs are also downloaded/installed unintentionally when people click deceptive ads that run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All software should be downloaded from official websites. Other sources (or tools) such as third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), unofficial pages, and other similar sources are often used to distribute unwanted software.

Therefore, people who use them to download or install programs are often tricked into additional downloads/installations. Note that download/installation set-ups often contain various settings (such as "Custom", "Advanced", etc.). These settings should not be left unchecked, since they often contain offers to download or install other, potentially unwanted software.

Do not click intrusive ads, especially if they are shown on dubious web pages. These can redirect users to dubious, potentially malicious websites or cause unwanted downloads/installations. One of the easiest ways to stop browsers from displaying ads and/or opening dubious web pages is to uninstall unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins.

Also remove unwanted programs that are installed on 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 window that is displayed on Hndry web pages:


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

Press OK to begin the repair process.

Screenshot of a Hndry web page which encourages visitors to scan their systems:

hndry second page

Text in this page:

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.
Brand: Apple
Device: Mac OS X 10_13_6
Browser: Safari 12.0.1
Provider: Telia Lietuva, AB
Location: - LT
Scan Now

Screenshot of a Hndry web page which encourages visitors to download a dubious application:

hndry third page

Text in this page:

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

Appearance of Hndry scam (GIF):

Appearance of Hndry scam (GIF)

List of domains related to the Hndry website family:

hndry101[.]live hndry106[.]live
hndry107[.]live hndry115[.]live
hndry18[.]live hndry20[.]live
hndry22[.]live hndry3[.]live
hndry33[.]live hndry35[.]live
hndry37[.]live hndry39[.]live
hndry43[.]live hndry49[.]live
hndry61[.]live hndry68[.]live
hndry71[.]live hndry78[.]live
hndry8[.]live hndry81[.]live
hndry88[.]live hndry95[.]live

Screenshot of the Smart Mac Booster installer:

Smart Mac Booster installer

Screenshot of the 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 IT 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:
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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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