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Avoid downloads from the apple.com-mac-optimization.live deceptive web page

Also Known As: apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live?

apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live is designed to trick visitors into downloading and installing a dubious application called Cleanup My Mac. This app supposedly removes a virus that this web page has detected on the visitor's Mac.

Websites such as apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live should never be trusted - they notify visitors that their systems are infected when, in fact, they are not. Do not install or use anything that was downloaded from these web pages. People do not visit these deceptive sites intentionally - they are often redirected to them by installed potentially unwanted applications (PUAs).

apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live scam

Once opened, apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live displays a pop-up window stating that this web page has detected a trojan virus (e.tre456_worm_osx) on the visitor's Mac. It encourages visitors to take immediate action. According to the fake virus notification in the background page, the Mac is infected with three viruses: two malware infections and one phishing/spyware virus.

It is stated that these viruses will cause further damage such as loss of apps, data, photos unless they are removed immediately. Visitors are also notified that their personal and banking information is at risk. To remove detected threats, they are urged to click the "Scan Now" button designed to run a deep system scan.

Note that apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live runs a fake scan, which 'detects' the Tapsnake, CronDNS, and Dubfishicv viruses. It offers download of Advanced Mac Cleaner, however, at the time of the research, this web page actually downloaded the "maccleaner.pkg" file.

This installs the aforementioned Cleanup My Mac app. In any case, no software advertised through deceptive websites like apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live can be trusted. We advise against downloading or installing dubious applications distributed through these deceptive websites.

Typically, websites such as apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live are opened by browsers when there is a PUA installed on them. Apps of this type force users to visit untrustworthy web pages, however, this is not the only problem with PUAs. They often feed users with intrusive advertisements and collect information relating to browsing habits.

They display coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and other annoying ads. If clicked, they usually open untrustworthy websites or download and install unwanted apps. The opened web pages are often deceptive, untrustworthy and used to advertise dubious, potentially malicious software.

Furthermore, PUAs collect data such as IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, etc. Developers share the data with other people who might be cyber criminals and misuse it to generate revenue.

Threat Summary:
Name apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim This website claims that the visitor's Mac is infected with viruses.
Detection Names Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Phishing), Full List (VirusTotal).
Serving IP Address 94.237.52.164
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.
▼ 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.

apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live is very similar to apple.com-mac-optimizing[.]live, apple.com-mac-optimizer[.]live, apple.com-optimizing-mac[.]live, and many other websites of this type. Generally, they attempt to trick visitors into believing that their computers are infected and into downloading and installing various dubious applications.

These web pages are opened by unwanted apps already installed on the system. Most PUAs operate in a similar manner - they force browsers to open dubious web pages, display ads, and gather various data.

People who have PUAs installed on their systems and/or browsers might become victims of identity theft, could be tricked into download/installation of dubious apps, experience problems relating to privacy, browsing safety, and so on.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases, PUAs infiltrate browsers and/or operating systems through intrusive (deceptive) advertisements or other set-ups of various software. PUAs are often distributed by including them into regular software download and installation set-ups. This distribution method is called "bundling".

Typically, offers to download and/or install PUAs are hidden in settings of the set-ups such as "Custom", "Advanced", and so on. Unfortunately, many people leave them unchanged, thereby allowing unwanted apps to be downloaded and/or installed with regular software.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Avoid downloading software or files using third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients eMule), unofficial pages, and other similar sources or tools. Do not use third party installers to install software. Software should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites only.

Additionally, do not finish any download or installation process without checking "Custom", "Advanced" and other settings that are available in the setup. Deselect offers to download or install unwanted apps. Do not click intrusive ads, especially if they are displayed on dubious websites.

They usually open potentially malicious pages or cause unwanted downloads/installations. Remove any unwanted, suspicious apps (extensions, add-ons, plug-ins) installed from the browser, and programs from 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 displayed on apple.com-mac-optimization[.]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 first apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live page:

apple.com-mac-optimization.live background page

Text in this page:

Your system is infected with 3 viruses! Wednesday, November 6, 2019 8:18 AM

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 10.15 Catalina.

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.

Scan Now

Screenshot of the second apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live page:

apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live encourages to download Cleanup My Mac

Text in this page:

DOWNLOAD REQUIRED
Your Mac is heavily damaged! (33.2%)
Please download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application to remove 3 Viruses from your Mac.
VIRUS INFORMATION

Virus Name: Tapsnake; CronDNS; Dubfishicv
Risk: HIGH
Infected Files: /os/apps/hidden/os-component/X/snake.icv; /os/local/conf/keyboard/retype.icv...
REMOVE VIRUSES NOW
VIRUS REMOVAL

Application: Advanced Mac Cleaner
Rating: 9.9/10
Price: Free

Appearance of apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live scam (GIF):

Appearance of apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live scam (GIF)

Cleanup My Mac installer:

Cleanup My Mac installation setup

Cleanup My Mac unwanted app:

Cleanup My Mac potentially 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 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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