Avoid getting scammed by the fake "IOS /MAC Defender Alert"

Also Known As: "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scam from Mac?

What is the fake "IOS /MAC Defender Alert"?

"IOS /MAC Defender Alert" is a technical support scam, promoted on deceptive websites. This scheme targets Apple product users and claims that their devices have been infected. To prevent any damage being caused to the device, users are pushed to call the "Apple technical Support". It must be emphasized that this is a scam and all of the information provided by "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" is false. Additionally, this fake alert is in no way associated with the real Apple Inc. Few users access deceptive/scam pages intentionally, most get redirected to them by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already infiltrated into the system.

IOS /MAC Defender Alert scam

Once a site running the "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scam is entered, visitors are presented with a pop-up window. The text in it states that a recently visited website has infected the user's Apple device with a virus/malware. Shutting down and/or restarting the machine can supposedly result in the system being permanent locked and/or the hard drive being erased. However, the device and Internet connection have already been blocked - to diminish these risks. The pop-up urges users to call the provided number of the fraudulent tech support. The message in the background page is practically identically. The only significant difference being that the fake infection is specified as the "Zepto" virus, although the text further continues to describe the threat as if it has not been identified. Users should note that no website is capable of detecting threats/issues present on their devices, and ones promoting the "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scheme are not an exception to this. Tech support scams are designed to abuse users' trust and said abuse can be varied. While the helplines are often presented as "free", they can be very expensive. Yet, this is hardly the only and/or primary way that these scams generate revenue. Typically, scammers attempt to gain access to users' devices under the guise of providing technical support. The initial access can then be used to infect systems with malware, such as Remote Access Trojans (RATs) that can be used to ensure indefinite and stealthy access/control of the device. Additionally, the scammers' "services" are not free and users are asked to pay for them. The "fees" are often paid via dubious payment portals, which can gather any information entered into them. Alternatively, scammers may ask for difficult/impossible to trace digital currencies (e.g. cryptocurrencies, pre-paid vouchers, gift-cards, etc.). Personal information (e.g. names, addresses, emails, banking account and/or credit card details, etc.) are of particular interest to scammers. They can obtain this data using various methods - by extracting it from the device and/or hijacked accounts, tricking users' into revealing it, and so on. To summarize, trusting "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scam can lead to system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft.

Aside from force-opening untrustworthy and malicious sites, PUAs can have other/additional heinous abilities. Unwanted app within the adware classification enable the placement of intrusive and harmful ads - typically, on any visited website. The delivered advertisements similarly push suspect webpages and some can even stealthily download/install software. Another PUA type called browser hijackers modify browser in order to promote fake search engines. The promoted web searchers are rarely able to provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other legitimate search engines. What is more, most PUAs spy on users' browsing activity. They monitor/collect: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, IP addresses, geolocations and personally identifiable details. The gathered data is usually shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To ensure device/user safety - all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim Users' Apple device is infected and blocked.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +32 78 25 11 40
Related Domains rika02[.]club
Detection Names Kaspersky (Malware), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 160.153.131.139
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.

"Warning: Your macOS has expired", "Your Mac is infected with 5 viruses!" and "ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED !!!" are some examples of other scams designed to target Apple product users. The Internet is rife with various schemes. While they claim different things and their mode of operation may differ, the end-goal is the same - to generate profit to the scammers / cyber criminals behind them. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation setups of other software. This deceptive marketing technique of packing ordinary content with unwanted or malicious supplements - is called "bundling" Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) - increase the risk of unintentionally allowing undesirable and/or dangerous additions into the system. Select PUAs have "official" download webpages. Once clicked on, intrusive adverts can execute scripts to download/install PUAs s user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Software should be researched before download/installation and/or purchase. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - must not be used, as they commonly offer deceptive and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is important to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, and so on. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate, however they redirect to dubious sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). Should users experience ads and/or redirects of this kind, they must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins from them. 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 "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scam's pop-up window:

**IOS /MAC  Defender Alert **

 

Dear IOS User, The Website you have recently visited may have downloaded the Malware and Virus on your Apple Mac Device. IOS  Defender is Suspicious about your MAC System Security.Please do not try to shut down or restart your computer. Call Apple technical Support Immediately at +32 78 25 11 40 .

 

It may lock your computer permanantly or erase your hard disk .


Call Apple  technical Support Immediately at +32 78 25 11 40 .

 

Your TCP Connection Was Blocked by Your IOS  Security System. Your Mac Device and internet connection has been locked untill we may hear from you to immediately fix this issue.

 

Call Apple technical Support Immediately at +32 78 25 11 40 .

Screenshot of the "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scam's background page:

IOS /MAC Defender Alert scam background page

Text presented in this page:

MAC / IOS Defender Alert : Error Code # 0x3e7

 

Please Do Not Shut Down Or Reset Your Computer .

 

**Apple Defender Alert **

 

Zepto Virus Detected In Your System Registry .

 

Dear IOS User, The Website you have recently visited may have downloaded the Malware and Virus on your IOS system. Apple Defender is Suspicious about your IOS System Security.Please do not try to shut down or restart your computer.It may lock your computer permanantly or erase your hard disk . Your TCP Connection Was Blocked by Your IOS Security System. Your MAC Device and internet connection has been locked untill we may hear from you to immediately fix this issue.

 

Call Technical Support
Immediately at +32 78 25 11 40

 

IOS Defender Alert
System Informations
IP : 85.206.10.62
Browser : Safari
Operating System : Mac
User Authentication Required : Call Apple Technical Support Now
+32 78 25 11 40

Appearance of the "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" scam (GIF):

Appearance of IOS /MAC Defender Alert 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 "ios /mac defender alert" 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.

"IOS /MAC Defender Alert" pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove "ios /mac defender alert" 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 "ios /mac defender alert" 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 "ios /mac defender alert" 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
IOS /MAC Defender Alert 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 "IOS /MAC Defender Alert" pop-up on your mobile device.
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