Avoid downloading dubious applications from Smmhck websites

Also Known As: Smmhck pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove "Smmhck" from Mac?

What is "Smmhck"?

Smmhck is a group of scam websites, which operate by using scare-tactics to trick visitors into downloading/installing dubious software. The researched variant endorsed the Smart Mac Booster PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application), in this manner. To elaborate, when Smmhck is accessed - it warns users of viruses detected on their MacOS (Mac Operating System) and recommends an application for their elimination. Users should note that no webpage can find threats/issues on their devices; these claims are deceitful and must not be trusted. Furthermore, apps promoted on such pages are highly likely to be fraudulent and nonfunctional. Few visitors enter Smmhck intentionally, most get redirected by PUAs or by intrusive advertisements.

Smmhck scam

The first thing visitors see when they enter Smmhck is a pop-up window. It alerts them that a site they have visited on this day has infected their MacOS with a virus. The repair process can allegedly begin when users press "OK". After the pop-up is closed, Smmhck displays a different page. It repeats the initial claim and adds that a full system scan is required to locate and delete hazardous files/applications from the device. In an attempt to appear legitimate, the webpage also lists device details, such as brand, OS version, browser, IP address, Internet provider and location. After consent is given to the scan ("Scan Now" button is clicked), Smmhck shows an imitation of it. This fake system scan "finds" a high-risk virus - called "Bankworm". The website offers Advanced Mac Cleaner for the removal of said threat. However, clicking "REMOVE VIRUS NOW" redirects visitors to the promotional page of Smart Mac Booster. Following the directions therein results in the download of the maccleaner.pkg file. This exact file is used to spread PUAs. It proliferates other applications aside from Smart Mac Booster, e.g. Mac Cleanup ProMacKeeperMac Auto Fixer to name a few. Software of this type is untrustworthy and potentially harmful. Additionally, it usually requires activation (i.e. to be purchased) in oder to become operational. However, often despite being activated - the apps remain nonoperational.

In general, all PUAs share common qualities, this does not extend only to fake Mac cleaners and optimizers. Unwanted applications offer a wide variety of functions, ranging from system enhancers to content providers. Despite how good these offers sound and how legitimate the apps appear - they rarely work as advertised. In most cases, the promised features do not work at all. The only goal of all PUAs is to generate revenue for their developers; such software has many heinous abilities for this purpose. These applications cause redirects to sale-oriented, untrustworthy, deceptive/scam and malicious webpages. They run intrusive advertisement campaigns - deliver undesirable and harmful ads, which diminish browsing quality. Other types make unauthorized changes to browsers and promote fake search engines. PUAs tend to track private data as well. By monitoring browsing habits (URLs visited, search queries typed, etc.) they collect users' personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and real-life personal details). This sensitive data is then shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals), intent on misusing it for financial gain. Therefore, PUAs can not only cause various browser/system infiltrations and infections, but also lead to severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. Due to these risks, it is recommended to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plugins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Smmhck pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim Smmhck websites claim that visitor's device is infected with a virus and encourage them to download a cleaning software.
Detection Names Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 193.35.51.6
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.
Removal

To eliminate Smmhck pop-up our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

There are countless deceptive sites out there, e.g. apple.com-mac-optimization.live, apple.com-optimizing-mac.live, etc. Some of these websites can even be identical, ChksummTrksmmHj8gjh are relevant examples of ones practically indistinguishable from Smmhck. Scam webpages usually employ similar tactics to push users into downloading/installing and/or purchasing questionable content. However, these pages can also operate by generating redirects or have other malicious purposes. Typically, access to them is gained via redirects generated by PUAs or by intrusive adverts.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

The most common mode of PUA proliferation is through the download/install setups of other products. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious content is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content onto the system. Some apps under this classification (e.g. Smart Mac Booster) have "official" download websites. When clicked on, intrusive advertisements can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Desired content should always be researched, prior to being downloaded/installed. It is advised to only use official and verified download sources. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, Gnutella, eMule, etc.), unofficial and free file-hosting sites, third party downloaders and similar channels are considered to be untrustworthy; hence, advised against use. Download and installation processes should be treated with care. Therefore, users should read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, functions, etc. Intrusive ads often look ordinary and harmless, however they redirect to unreliable webpages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). Should users encounter ads/redirects of this kind, they are to 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 Smmhck 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 page displayed by Smmhck:

smmhck second page

Text presented in this 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 the fake scan results:

smmhck fake scan

Text presented in 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 Smmhck scam (GIF):

Appearance of Smmhck scam (GIF)

List of domains related to Smmhck website family:

smmhck37.live
smmhck39.live
smmhck40.live
smmhck65.live
smmhck67.live
smmhck70.live
smmhck85.live

Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster installation set-up:

Smart Mac Booster installer

Screenshot of Smart Mac Booster application:

Smart Mac Booster app

Instant automatic removal of Smmhck pop-up: 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 Smmhck pop-up. 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. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove unwanted applications promoted via Smmhck websites 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 smmhck 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.

Smmhck pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove smmhck 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 smmhck 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 smmhck 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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Smmhck 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 Smmhck pop-up on your mobile device.
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Get rid of Smmhck pop-up today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW with Combo Cleaner for Mac

Platform: macOS

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Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Combo Cleaner.