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
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to stop redirects to apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live on Mac computers

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 three days free trial available.

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 three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove unwanted applications promoted via apple.com-mac-optimization[.]live website using Combo Cleaner:

Potentially unwanted applications removal:

Remove potentially unwanted applications from your "Applications" folder:

mac browser hijacker removal from applications folder

Click the Finder icon. In the Finder window, select "Applications". In the applications folder, look for "MPlayerX", "NicePlayer", or other suspicious applications and drag them to the Trash. After removing the potentially unwanted application(s) that cause online ads, scan your Mac for any remaining unwanted components.

Remove apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up related files and folders:

Finder go to folder command

Click the Finder icon, from the menu bar. Choose Go, and click Go to Folder...

step1Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from launch agents folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from launch agents folder step 2
In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step2Check for adware generated files in the /Library/Application Support folder:

removing adware from application support folder step 1

In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/Application Support

removing adware from application support folder step 2
In the “Application Support” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious folders. For example, “MplayerX” or “NicePlayer”, and move these folders to the Trash.

step3Check for adware-generated files in the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder:

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 1


In the Go to Folder bar, type: ~/Library/LaunchAgents

removing adware from ~launch agents folder step 2

In the “LaunchAgents” folder, look for any recently-added suspicious files and move them to the Trash. Examples of files generated by adware - “installmac.AppRemoval.plist”, “myppes.download.plist”, “mykotlerino.ltvbit.plist”, “kuklorest.update.plist”, etc. Adware commonly installs several files with the same string.

step4Check for adware-generated files in the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder:

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 1
In the Go to Folder... bar, type: /Library/LaunchDaemons

removing adware from launch daemons folder step 2
In the “LaunchDaemons” folder, look for recently-added suspicious files. For example “com.aoudad.net-preferences.plist”, “com.myppes.net-preferences.plist”, "com.kuklorest.net-preferences.plist”, “com.avickUpd.plist”, etc., and move them to the Trash.

step 5 Scan your Mac with Combo Cleaner:

If you have followed all the steps in the correct order you Mac should be clean of infections. To be sure your system is not infected run a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus. Download it HERE. After downloading the file double click combocleaner.dmg installer, in the opened window drag and drop Combo Cleaner icon on top of the Applications icon. Now open your launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon. Wait until Combo Cleaner updates it's virus definition database and click "Start Combo Scan" button.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-1

Combo Cleaner will scan your Mac for malware infections. If the antivirus scan displays "no threats found" - this means that you can continue with the removal guide, otherwise it's recommended to remove any found infections before continuing.

scan-with-combo-cleaner-2

After removing files and folders generated by the adware, continue to remove rogue extensions from your Internet browsers.

apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up related Safari extensions:

safari browser preferences

Open Safari browser, from the menu bar, select "Safari" and click "Preferences...".

safari extensions window

In the preferences window, select "Extensions" and look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions. When located, click the "Uninstall" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Safari browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Safari.

firefox browser iconRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Remove apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up related Mozilla Firefox add-ons:

accessing mozilla firefox add-ons

Open your Mozilla Firefox browser. At the top right corner of the screen, click the "Open Menu" (three horizontal lines) button. From the opened menu, choose "Add-ons".

removing malicious add-ons from mozilla firefox

Choose the "Extensions" tab and look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Remove" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Mozilla Firefox browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Mozilla Firefox.

chrome-browser-iconRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Remove apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up related Google Chrome add-ons:

removing malicious google chrome extensions step 1

Open Google Chrome and click the "Chrome menu" (three horizontal lines) button located in the top-right corner of the browser window. From the drop-down menu, choose "More Tools" and select "Extensions".

removing malicious Google Chrome extensions step 2

In the "Extensions" window, look for any recently-installed suspicious add-ons. When located, click the "Trash" button next to it/them. Note that you can safely uninstall all extensions from your Google Chrome browser - none are crucial for normal browser operation.

  • If you continue to have problems with browser redirects and unwanted advertisements - Reset Google Chrome.

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.

QR Code
apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of apple.com-mac-optimization.live pop-up on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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