Do not trust the "Warning: Your macOS has expired" tech support scam

Also Known As: "Warning: Your macOS has expired" pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove "Warning: Your macOS has expired" scam from Mac?

What is the "Warning: Your macOS has expired" scam?

"Warning: Your macOS has expired" is a technical support scam, run on deceptive websites. This scheme claims that users' macOS (Mac Operating System) has expired, due to this certain applications will no longer be operational and the device itself is at risk of infection. Additionally, suspicious activity has supposedly already been detected. Scams of this type are designed to promote fake tech support helplines and from that point on - the scammers can abuse users' trust in various ways. It must be emphasized that all of the information provided by "Warning: Your macOS has expired" is false. Typically, users access deceptive/scam sites unintentionally, they are redirected to such by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). It is noteworthy that these apps do not need explicit user consent to be installed onto devices.

Warning: Your macOS has expired scam

When a webpage promoting "Warning: Your macOS has expired" is accessed, visitors are presented with several pop-up windows. The pop-up at the center of the page and one in the bottom right corner - contain practically identical messages. They state that users' Mac OSs have expired and this has made the devices susceptible to cyber attacks. Hence, an unspecified app will not work with future updates to the operating system - due to incompatibility. To prevent this, it must be updated and for instructions on how to do so, users are urged to call the provided telephone number. The text presented in the background discusses new upgrades for the macOS, featuring both new applications and updates for pre-existing ones. Once again, it is stated that to learn how to upgrade - users are to call the fake technical support line. The pop-up at the top of the page informs that users' Mac devices have been blocked, as suspicious activity has been detected on them. To resolve the nonexistent issues, they are told to contact the fake support. Despite being presented as "free", the fraudulent helplines are often expensive. Scammers usually request to be allowed remote access and control over users' devices, under the pretense of providing technical support. Allowing such access can lead to a variety of problems. In best case scenarios, the devices remain unharmed. However, after gaining entry - scammers can exfiltrate sensitive data from the system, infect the device with malware (e.g. ransomware, trojans, etc.) or cause other serious issues. It is common for scammers to request users to provide personal information, like: names, addresses, emails, banking account and/or credit card details. The collected data can them be used to further other schemes or be sold to third parties; financial information can be misused to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. Furthermore, the fake services scammers offers are seldom free - so, users can be asked to pay various fees. In summary, trusting the "Warning: Your macOS has expired" scam can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft.

As mentioned in the introduction, deceptive sites can be force-opened by PUAs. However, causing undesirable redirects is not the only heinous ability these applications can have. Adware-types deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and other intrusive advertisements. The ads diminish the browsing experience and upon being clicked - redirect to untrustworthy/malicious webpages and can stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers are another type of unwanted apps, which modify browsers in order to promote fake search engines. The promoted web searchers are rarely capable of generating search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate search engines. What is more, most PUAs (regardless of type) can track browsing activity. Information of interest includes: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, IP addresses, geolocations and other details. This data is s likely to contain personally identifiable information and PUA developers monetize it by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties. To ensure device integrity and user privacy/safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "Warning: Your macOS has expired" pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim User's macOS has expired and suspicious activity has been detected on their device.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-800-598-1890
Related Domains server14error[.]tk
Detection Names (server14error[.]tk)
Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address (server14error[.]tk)
185.210.145.79
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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner for Mac
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

"ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!", "Your Mac is infected with 4 viruses", "Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged by 19 viruses!", "Your OSX 10.11 El Capitan Is Infected With 3 Viruses!" - are some examples of other schemes targeting Apple users. The Web is full of various scams, which make likewise varied claims. Popular models are: warnings that the device is infected or at risk, alerts that an essential piece of software is outdated, prize giveaways, unbelievably good offers/deals, etc. The purpose of the schemes can be to push users into: calling fake support/service helplines, revealing personal information, giving access to their devices, paying bogus fees, downloading/installing and/or purchasing nonoperational and dubious products (e.g. fake anti-virus software), and so on. Regardless of what these scams claim, offer or request, the end-goal is the same - to generate profit to the scammers / cyber criminals behind them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download webpages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam ones. These apps can also be downloaded/installed alongside other software. This false marketing tactic of packing ordinary products with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertently allowing unreliable and/or bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate PUAs as well. Once the ads are clicked on, they can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is highly recommended to research products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels should be used. Since untrustworthy sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is strongly advised to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate, however they redirect to questionable sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so on). In case of encounters with adverts and/or redirects of this kind, users must check their devices and immediately remove all suspicious 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 the "Warning: Your macOS has expired" scam:

Background page:

 

macOS Overview All new Features How to Upgrade Upgrade now
Apple Support: +1-800-598-1890 (Toll Free)
macOS Catalina
The power of Mac.
Taken further.
Featuring all-new, dedicated apps for music, TV and podcasts. Smart new features in the apps you use every day. And Sidecar, which lets you use iPad as a second Mac display.
Learn how to upgrade > Upgrade now >

 

---------------

 

Bottom pop-up:

 

Warning: Your macOS has expired.
Your device is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
This app will not work with future versions of macOS and needs to be updated to improve compatibility.
Please renew or call for a free checkup.

 

---------------

 

Center pop-up:

 

Warning: Your macOS has expired.

 

+1-800-598-1890

 

Your device is vulnerable to cyber attacks. This app will not work with future versions of macOS and needs to be updated to improve compatibility.

 

Please renew or call for a free checkup.



Customer Service: +1-800-598-1890  (TOLL-FREE)

---------------

 

Top pop-up:

 

WARNING!

 

Your MAC has been blocked due to suspicious activity! Please call Support Now!. Call Toll-Free: +1-800-598-1890 To find right solution.
Are you sure you want to leave this page?

Appearance of "Warning: Your macOS has expired" scam (GIF):

Appearance of Warning: Your macOS has expired scam (GIF)

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 "warning: your macos has expired" 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.

"Warning: Your macOS has expired" pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove "warning: your macos has expired" 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 "warning: your macos has expired" 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 "warning: your macos has expired" 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Warning: Your macOS has expired 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 "Warning: Your macOS has expired" pop-up on your mobile device.
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