How to uninstall apps that promote VPN Update deceptive page?

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

How to remove unwanted apps that open "VPN Update" scam page from Mac?

What is "VPN Update"?

There are many deceptive websites on the Internet that are designed to trick visitors into downloading and installing one or another potentially unwanted application (PUA). This particular website suggests that in order to be able to continue watching some video visitors have to download and install an app called Secured VPN Pro. Typically, such pages get open when users click deceptive ads, visit shady websites or have some PUA installed on a browser and/or operating system. Simply said, users to not visit such pages intentionally. Therefore, neither these pages or apps promoted through them can be trusted.

VPN Update scam

When visited, this deceptive website displays a pop-up window saying that in order to continue watching some video visitors have to download some free VPN application. After clicking the "Install & Register Now" button visitors get redirected to a download page of the Secured VPN Pro application. It is worthwhile to mention that deceptive pages should not be trusted even if they advertise legitimate applications. All software should be downloaded directly from official websites or distribution platforms (e.g., Apple App Store). The main reason why deceptive pages like this one should never be trusted is because they often get opened through shady pages, deceptive ads or by installed PUAs and are designed to promote various PUAs, for example, browser hijackers, adware-type apps. Browser hijackers are designed to promote fake search engines by changing browser's settings such as address of a default search engine, homepage and new tab. They set these settings to an address of some fake search engine so that users would visit it when they open a browser, new tab and enter search queries into URL bar. Typically, these changes cannot be undone unless users uninstall the app that made them. Adware-type apps are designed to serve various advertisements (e.g., coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups) that lead users who click them to shady pages. In some cases such ads can be designed to execute scripts that would download or even install some other PUA. Also, both adware-type apps and browser hijackers often are designed to collect various data, usually related to user's browsing habits. For example, IP addresses, addresses of visited pages, entered search queries, geolocations. Although, such apps could be targeting sensitive data too. What is worse, their developers may misuse collected data to generate revenue by selling it to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or in some other ways. If a browser opens shady pages by itself often, then it is very likely that it does that because of some PUA that is already installed on it (or the operating system).

Threat Summary:
Name VPN update pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim This page suggests that visitors can continue watching some video by installing a VPN client
Related Domain wenypoll[.]com
Serving IP Address (wenypoll[.]com) 64.227.11.5
Promoted Unwanted Application Secured VPN Pro (this deceptive page may be used to promote other apps too)
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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Some more examples of deceptive pages that are designed to trick users into installing PUAs are application-update[.]com, hastopnet[.]com and pushsix[.]xyz. It is worthwhile to mention that such pages often suggest that visitor's device is infected with viruses. In one way or another, they should never be trusted. If there are any apps that may be responsible for opening such pages installed on a browser and/or device, then they should be uninstalled from it as soon as possible.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In most cases users download and/or install PUAs unknowingly: by clicking deceptive ads that are designed to execute certain scripts or downloading and/or installing software that has them included in its setups as additional offers. Unwanted downloads and/or installations through setups of other software happen when users download and/or install it without changing its setup's settings. It is common that offers to download and/or install additionally included apps can be declined through setup's "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings. When users complete downloads and/or installations without changing them, they often agree with offers to download and/or install included PUAs as well. This distribution method is called "bundling".

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to download programs, files from official websites and not to use third party downloaders (and installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., eMule, torrent clients), unofficial, shady websites and other channels. Such channels are often monetized by using them as tools to distribute unwanted, sometimes even malicious software. If a download and/or installation setup contains settings like "Custom", "Advanced", then they should not be left unchecked. Those settings often include offers to download and/or install unwanted software, users always can decline those offers before finishing downloads and installations. Furthermore, intrusive ads that appear on unreliable, questionable pages often are designed to open other pages of this kind, or cause unwanted downloads, installations. Therefore, such ads should not be clicked. Typically, such ads appear on pages related to gambling, adult dating, pornography and other sites of this kind. Although, in some cases they may appear on legitimate pages as well. One more important thing is not to have any unwanted, unknown, suspicious add-ons, plug-ins or extensions installed on a browser, and/or programs 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.

Text in a pop-up which appears when this scam page is visited:

VPN Update


Please download the free VPN app from the Apple Store to continue watching

 

Install & Register Now

Secured VPN Pro download page:

vpn upate scam secured vpn pro downloa page

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:
▼ 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 three days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Video showing how to remove adware and browser hijackers from a Mac computer:

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 vpn update 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.

VPN update pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove vpn update 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 vpn update 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 vpn update 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
VPN update 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 VPN update pop-up on your mobile device.
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