How to uninstall apps that open grownsnd web pages

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

What is grownsnd?

Grownsnd is a group of untrusted, deceptive websites including lottery scams, web pages that trick visitors into installing potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) through fake Adobe Flash Player installers, and so on.

Typically, people do not often visit grownsnd websites intentionally - they are redirected to them through other untrusted web pages, clicked deceptive advertisements or PUAs installed on browsers and/or operating systems. We strongly recommend against trusting any grownsnd web pages.

grownsnd scam

"Dear Chrome User, Congratulations!" is one of a number of pages that comprise grownsnd websites. This is a lottery scam claiming that the visitor has won a prize - at the time of research, a Samsung Galaxy S9 mobile phone. Visitors are encouraged to claim the prize by completing a survey.

Typically, scammers behind websites of this type seek to deceive unsuspecting visitors into providing various information that could be misused to generate revenue. Some of these pages ask people to provide sensitive information such as credit card details.

These lottery scams should never be trusted. Furthermore, grownsnd loads "Latest Version Of Adobe Flash Player" scam websites that are designed to trick visitors into downloading and using a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. The installer is designed to install potentially unwanted apps such as browser hijackers, adware, or multiple PUAs.

In some cases, websites of this type download installers that infect systems with malicious software such as a Trojan, ransomware, or some other high-risk malware. None of these web pages have anything to do with the genuine Adobe Flash Player.

Note that grownsnd can also load other untrustworthy websites - deceptive sites claiming that the visitors' computers are infected with viruses and encouraging them to remove the issue with a PUA. Some examples of apps that these pages encourage people to download and install include Mac Cleanup Pro, MacKeeper and Advanced Mac Booster.

No software should be downloaded through scam pages or other unofficial, rogue sites. Browsers generally open grownsnd and other untrustworthy web pages when they are forced by installed PUAs.

Typically, PUAs open untrusted websites, gather browsing data and serve intrusive advertisements. They gather details such as users' IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries, and so on. In some cases, they also target personal information.

Developers misuse the data to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). PUAs can also display intrusive ads in the form of coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.

These conceal underlying content of visited pages and redirect users who click them to potentially malicious pages, or they cause download/installation of potentially malicious apps.

Threat Summary:
Name grownsnd pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Related Domains grownsnd7[.]live, grownsnd10[.]live, grownsnd23[.]live, grownsnd24[.]live, grownsnd28[.]live, grownsnd30[.]live, grownsnd39[.]live, grownsnd49[.]live, grownsnd50[.]live
Detection Names (grownsnd30[.]live) G-Data (Phishing), Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal)
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.

Other examples of groups of deceptive web pages similar to grownsnd include sweetcntry, smmhck, chksumm, and trksmm. They usually load pages that attempt to trick visitors into providing various information, and downloading/installing PUAs or malware.

None of these web pages can be trusted. If your browser opens rogue pages automatically, a PUA already installed on the browser and/or operating system is likely to be the cause.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Typically, people download and install PUAs through deceptive advertisements or together with other, regular software. People are often tricked into download/installation of PUAs when developers distribute them using a marketing technique called "bundling" (the apps are included into software installation set-ups and presented as additional offers).

Typically, these offers are hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar parts of the set-ups. Furthermore, many people download and install programs without checking or changing these settings, thereby allowing PUAs to be downloaded and installed.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Do not download or install software through third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, dubious, unofficial websites, etc. Use official, trustworthy websites and direct links. Check download/installation settings such as "Advanced" and "Custom" and decline any offers to download or install unwanted software.

Note that advertisements displayed on untrusted pages often redirect to other rogue websites, and sometimes cause download/installation of unwanted apps. Never trust or click these ads. Remove any suspicious, unwanted, unknown extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on the browser immediately.

The same applies to software of this kind 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.

grownsnd loads "Dear Chrome User, Congratulations!" lottery scam (GIF):

grownsnd redirects to a lottery scam website

grownsnd loads another lottery scam website (GIF):

grownsnd redirects to a lottery scam page

grownsnd loads "Latest Version Of Adobe Flash Player" scam website (GIF):

grownsnd redirects to a download page of a fake adobe flash player installer

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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