Avoid installing dubious content via fake updates from cooing.top

Also Known As: cooing.top pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is the cooing[.]top site?

cooing[.]top is a deceptive website promoting a version of the "Latest version of Adobe Flash Player" scam. The scheme claims that the Adobe Flash Player installed on the system is outdated and requires updates. If fact, the updaters offered by cooing[.]top are fake.

At the time of research, this rogue updater installed a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) called Easy Mac Care. Yet the updater might install other PUAs such as adware and browser hijackers. Note that bogus update installers are used to distribute not only PUAs but also Trojans, ransomware and other malware.

Typically, sites like cooing[.]top are accessed via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or PUAs.

cooing[.]top scam

When accessed, cooing[.]top displays a pop-up window, which states that Adobe Flash Player is out of date. It informs users that the plug-in is missing the latest updates and has therefore been blocked. To continue using Flash Player, the pop-up urges people to download/install the newest version.

If visitors attempt to update Adobe Flash Player with these fake updates, they will unintentionally allow Easy Mac Care or other untrusted/malicious software onto their systems. This unwanted content can lead to serious system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft.

Therefore, you are strongly advised against trusting cooing[.]top or other dubious websites. Update your software with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers.

As well as force-opening deceptive/scam sites, PUAs can cause redirects to sale-oriented, untrusted/rogue, compromised, deceptive/scam and malicious web pages, however, these unwanted applications also have other capabilities. Adware programs can enable the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and other intrusive ads on any visited website.

These ads diminish the browsing experience and, when clicked, redirect to harmful pages. They can even stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Other unwanted apps called browser hijackers can modify browser settings and restrict/deny access to them - this is to promote fake search engines.

Usually, these bogus search engines are unable to provide unique results, and so they redirect to Yahoo, Google, Bing and other legitimate search engines. Most PUAs have data tracking capabilities.

They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data is typically shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for profit.

To ensure device and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name cooing.top pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Scam claims that Adobe Flash Player is outdated.
Detection Names (cooing[.]top)
Fortinet (Malware), Full List (VirusTotal).
Detection Names (fake updater)
Avast (MacOS:Bundlore-EG [Adw]), BitDefender (Adware.MAC.GenieoTR.17), DrWeb (Mac.Trojan.Genieo.602), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.OSX.Ketin.h), Full List (VirusTotal).
Promoted Unwanted Application Easy Mac Care and other dubious software.
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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bestevervideoplayers.infod0wnload3d.complaylatestheavilyfreeware.icu and worldofcontenting.info are just some examples of web pages offering fake Flash Player updates. There are many methods used by deceptive sites to further their goals.

Popular scam models include (but are not limited to) claims that an essential piece of software is outdated, alerts that the system is infected or at risk, prize giveaways, "unbelievable deals", and so on. Regardless of what these websites claim, request or demand, the end goal is identical: to generate revenue to the scammers/cyber criminals behind them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs proliferate through the download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of pre-packing regular (or seemingly regular) software with unwanted or malicious additions is termed "bundling". Rushing download/installation (e.g. skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content.

Some PUAs have "official" download pages, which are often promoted by scam sites. Intrusive advertisements can infiltrate these applications into systems as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are advised to research all products before download/installation or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Unofficial and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (e.g. BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders commonly offer deceptive or bundled content, and are therefore untrusted download sources.

When downloading/installing, it is important to 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 may seem normal and harmless, however, they can redirect to various dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).

If you experience these ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect 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.

Screenshot of the first installation step of the fake Flash Player updater promoted by cooing[.]top scam website:

Fake Flash Player update installation first step

Screenshot of the second installation step:

Fake Flash Player update installation second step

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:
▼ 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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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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