What is Trksmm?
Trksmm is a group of deceptive websites designed by scammers who seek to trick people into downloading and installing dubious apps. At the time of the research, one Trksmm web page was used to advertise the Smart Mac Booster application by encouraging visitors to remove a detected virus with it.
None of these deceptive websites or software advertised on them can be trusted. The notifications about so-called 'detected viruses' displayed on these sites are fake. Typically, people do not visit websites of this type intentionally - they are redirected to them by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) already installed on their browsers and/or computers.
Once opened, Trksmm web pages inform Mac users that their computers are infected with a virus. When the pop-up windows with this notification are closed, they display a window that contains device information and encourages users to scan their systems by clicking the "Scan Now" button.
If the button is clicked, the Trksmm web page starts a fake scanning process. When complete, this informs visitors that it has detected a virus called "Bankworm" (a virus that steals banking information). This virus must supposedly be removed by downloading and installing Advanced Mac Cleaner through the "REMOVE VIRUS NOW" button.
At the time of the research, however, the Trksmm website actually downloaded the "maccleaner.pkg" file, which installed Smart Mac Booster. The "maccleaner.pkg" file (and Trksmm web page) is used to proliferate more than one dubious app. For example, Advanced Mac Booster and MacCleansePro.
In any case, do not download apps from deceptive web pages. Note that they might also be used to proliferate malicious programs.
As mentioned, deceptive web pages are often opened by installed PUAs. Additionally, these apps usually deliver intrusive ads and gather information. PUAs feed users with coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and other intrusive ads. If clicked, these open dubious (potentially, malicious) websites or run scripts designed to download and/or install potentially malicious apps.
Furthermore, PUAs often collect browsing-related information such as entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, IP addresses, geolocations, and other similar data. Some might be designed to record personal details. Developers share the data with third parties (possibly, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.|
|Fake Claim||These web pages claim that the visitor's Mac is infected with a virus.|
|Detection Names (app2869.trksmm73[.]live)||Fortinet (Spam), Kaspersky (Malware), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (app2869.trksmm73[.]live)||126.96.36.199|
|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.
Other examples of families of deceptive web pages include Hndry, Vnbue, and Stydbui. Typically, they advertise dubious software. None of the web pages or apps promoted through them can be trusted. If a browser opens these pages automatically, it is likely due to an installed PUA.
Apps of this type can cause problems with browsing safety, privacy, and identity theft. Therefore, remove all PUAs immediately.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Most people download and install unwanted apps unintentionally. Typically, this happens when they click intrusive, dubious advertisements or software developers include PUAs into the set-ups of regular programs (using the "bundling" method). In the first case, unwanted downloads/installations occur when deceptive ad runs scripts that download or install the unwanted apps.
In the second case, PUAs are downloaded and installed when people download/install regular software without checking and changing settings that are available in the setup. In most cases, offers to download or install unwanted apps are hidden in "Custom", "Advanced", and other parts of the set-ups. Unfortunately, many people do not even check them.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Download software using only official websites and direct links (or other trustworthy sources). Avoid unofficial websites, third party downloaders/installers, and Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and so on). Note that third party downloaders/installers are monetized by promoting/distributing unwanted applications.
Study each software download/installation setup and check available settings ("Custom", "Advanced", etc.). Dismiss all offers to install or download additional (unwanted) software before finishing any installation/download process. Do not click intrusive advertisements, especially those that appear on dubious websites.
These often lead to potentially malicious websites such as gambling, pornography, adult dating, and so on. If unwanted redirects occur often, or various ads appear randomly, check apps installed on the browser (extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons) and programs installed on the operating system.
Remove any unwanted entries immediately. 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 of Trksmm web page:
A website you visited today has infected your Mac with a virus.
Press OK to begin the repair process.
Screenshot of the 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.
Device: Mac OS X 10_13_6
Browser: Safari 12.0.1
Provider: Telia Lietuva, AB
Location: - LT
Screenshot of the third page:
Text in this page:
Please download the Advanced Mac Cleaner application to remove Bankworm from your Mac.
Virus Name: Bankworm
Infected File: /os/apps/worm.icv
Application: Advanced Mac Cleaner
REMOVE VIRUS NOW
Appearance of Trksmm scam (GIF):
List of domains related to the Trksmm website family:
Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster installer:
Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster 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:
- What is "trksmm pop-up"?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
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:
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.