How to remove redirects to Mostheatdr scam websites

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

What are "Mostheatdr websites?

Mostheatdr is a group of deceptive sites promoting various scams.

Web pages belonging to this group have been observed promoting the "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scheme, however, they might also run other scams. Typically, people access these deceptive sites via redirects caused by intrusive ads, or via Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already installed on the system

Mostheatdr scam

The "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scheme uses the 'fake prize giveaway' scam model. These schemes claim that users can win (or have won) a reward, and yet to receive it, they are asked to perform certain actions, which then abuse their trust.

For example, they may be asked to reveal personal information (e.g. names, addresses, emails, credit card details, etc.), make monetary transactions (e.g. pay fake shipping, registration, subscription fees) and so on. Therefore, trusting these scams can lead to financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft.

PUAs generate redirects to deceptive/scam sites, and also sale-oriented, untrusted, rogue, compromised and malicious web pages. These applications can also have additional capabilities. They can deliver intrusive ads (e.g. pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc.), which reduce browsing speed and limit website visibility.

Furthermore, when these ads are clicked, they often redirect to various harmful sites and can execute scripts to stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Other unwanted apps can hijack browsers to promote fake search engines.

Most PUAs have data tracking capabilities - they can monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). Furthermore, this sensitive data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to misuse it for profit. PUAs can endanger device and user safety.

Therefore, remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Mostheatdr pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Some variants claim users can win a prize.
Related Domains Full List Below.
Detection Names (mostheatdr19[.]live)
Fortinet (Spam), Spamhaus (Spam), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (mostheatdr19[.]live)
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)

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IncreaseofprofitDeranvizesChooseyour and Trksmm are some examples of deceptive website groups similar to Mostheatdr. Scams promoted on these pages can employ various models such as prize giveaways, "incredible" deals and offers, claims that an essential piece of software is outdated, warnings that the system is infected, and many others.

Regardless of how they operate, these schemes have just one purpose: to generate revenue at users' expense. Sites promoting these scams are common on the web, and therefore you are advised to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Certain PUAs have "official" download web pages, which are often furthered by deceptive/scam sites, however these apps also spread via download/installation set-ups of other programs. This deceptive marketing technique of packing normal software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".

Rushing download and installation processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content onto the system. When clicked, intrusive advertisements can execute scripts to download/install PUAs, without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

All products should be researched to verify their legitimacy, prior to download/installation or purchase. Use only official and trustworthy download channels. Avoide free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders, since they can offer deceptive and bundled content.

Treat download and installation processes with caution. Read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive ads usually seem legitimate and innocuous, however, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

If you encounter these ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and 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.

List of domains related to the Mostheatdr group:

  • mostheatdr1[.]live
  • mostheatdr5[.]live
  • mostheatdr6[.]live
  • mostheatdr8[.]live
  • mostheatdr9[.]live
  • mostheatdr11[.]live
  • mostheatdr12[.]live
  • mostheatdr17[.]live
  • mostheatdr19[.]live
  • mostheatdr20[.]live
  • mostheatdr25[.]live
  • mostheatdr26[.]live
  • mostheatdr27[.]live
  • mostheatdr28[.]live

Appearance of a Mostheatdr website promoting the "Dear Safari User, You Are Today's Lucky Visitor" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Mostheatdr scam (GIF)

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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.

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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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