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Avoid being scammed by connection-protect.com

Also Known As: connection-protect.com pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is connection-protect[.]com?

connection-protect[.]com is a deceptive website, which promotes various scams. It has been observed promoting schemes that target Apple product users, primarily mobile device users. At the time of research, the scam run on connection-protect[.]com claimed that visitors' devices may have been compromised due to recently visited, harmful web pages.

It makes these false claims to trick users into downloading/installing and/or purchasing untrusted software. Typically, sites such as connection-protect[.]com are accessed via redirects caused by intrusive ads or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already infiltrated into the system.

connection-protect[.]com scam

The two scam variants promoted via connection-protect[.]com are practically identical, the main difference being that the supposedly compromised device is identified as an iPad or iPhone. Once accessed, connection-protect[.]com displays a pop-up window, which states that "suspicious activity" has been detected on websites that users have recently visited.

They are urged to close the notification and follow the instructions to secure their devices. After the pop-up is closed, users are presented with another window, which claims that visitors' iPads/iPhones may have been hacked. This security breach has allegedly occurred due to recently visited unsecured sites, which may have been phishing web pages.

According to the pop-up, if the issue is left unaddressed, it poses a risk to users' personal data and passwords. Therefore, if no action is taken, the fake alert threatens that the device may be blocked in order to secure it. To prevent this and secure their data, users are encouraged to install a "trusted cyber security application".

No website can detect threats or issues present on visitors' devices. Therefore, any that make such claims are scams, and connection-protect[.]com is no exception to this. Schemes of this type usually promote a wide variety of dubious products such as fake anti-virus tools, adware, browser hijackers and other PUAs.

The content obtained through these websites may be, or may contain, malicious software (e.g. Trojans, ransomware and other malware). In summary, trusting connection-protect[.]com (or similar pages) can lead to system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft.

PUAs typically appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "useful" functionalities, which are seldom operational. This is notable amongst fake anti-virus products that require activation (i.e. purchase) to perform the advertised features. Following activation, however, they remain nonoperational.

These unwanted apps also have dangerous capabilities. Some PUAs can force-open dubious and malicious websites. Adware-types deliver intrusive advertisements (e.g. pop-ups, banners, coupons, etc.). As well as diminishing the browsing experience, the delivered ads redirect to dangerous pages and some can even stealthily download/install rogue software.

Browser hijackers make modifications to browser settings and restrict/deny access to them to promote fake search engines. The promoted web searchers are rarely capable of providing unique results, and so they redirect to Yahoo, Bing, Google and other legitimate search engines.

Most PUAs (regardless of type) monitor users' browsing activity and collect sensitive data. Information of interest includes: browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses, geolocations and other personally identifiable details. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals).

To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name connection-protect.com pop-up
Serving IP Address 99.84.248.114
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Scam claims users' devices may have been hacked.
Promoted Unwanted Application Various dubious applications.
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.

suprotok.xyzapps-notification.comivpnconfig.comdriveandparkgame.com and extrasafe.xyz are some examples of other deceptive sites akin to connection-protect[.]com. The internet is rife with various scams. Popular scam models include (but are not limited to) alerts that the device is at risk, notifications of outdated essential software, prize raffles, "unbelievable deals", etc.

Online schemes promote dubious/malicious software, trick users into revealing personal information, extract payment for fake services, and so on. Regardless of how these scams operate, their purpose identical: to generate revenue for the designers.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download web pages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam sites. These apps are also distributed via download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is termed "bundling".

Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. When clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

You are advised to research all software before download/installation. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrusted download channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders commonly offer deceptive and bundled content.

When downloading/installing, it is important to read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, features, etc. If you encounter ads and/or redirects of this kind, inspect your devices and immediately remove all suspicious 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.

Text presented in the pop-up window displayed by connection-protect[.]com scam website:

Attention!
There may be a suspicious activity on sites you visited. Close this notification and follow the instructions to protect your devices.

Second pop-up displayed by connection-protect[.]com:

connection-protect[.]com scam displayed second pop-up

Text presented in this pop-up:

Your iPad may be hacked!
Due to recent visiting unsecured sites, personal data and passwords on this iPad might be stolen via phishing pages. Devices may be blocked today if no action is taken.

 

Install the most trusted cyber security application and protect your connection to protect your Apple ID credentials and your iCloud data from possible loss.
0 minute 00 second
Install    Cancel
Advertisement

Mobile variant of the connection-protect[.]com scam website:

connection-protect[.]com scam mobile variant

Text presented in this variant:

Your iPhone may be hacked!
Due to recent visiting unsecured sites, personal data and passwords on this iPhone might be stolen via phishing pages. Devices may be blocked today if no action is taken.

 

Install the most trusted cyber security application and protect your connection to protect your Apple ID credentials and your iCloud data from possible loss.
0 minute 00 second
Install    Cancel
Advertisement

One of the dubious applications promoted by connection-protect[.]com scam website:

connection-protect[.]com scam promoted PUA

To enable pop-up blocking, fraudulent website warnings, and remove web browsing data in mobile Apple devices, follow these steps:

First, go to "Settings", and then scroll down to find and tap "Safari".

remove pop-ups and clear cache step 1

Check if the "Block Pop-ups" and "Fraudulent Website Warning" toggles are enabled. If not, enable them immediately. Then, scroll down and tap "Advanced".

disable pop-ups and clear cache step 2

Tap "Website Data" and then "Remove All Website Data".

disable pop-ups and clear cache step 3

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 connection-protect.com 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.

connection-protect.com pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove connection-protect.com 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 connection-protect.com 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 connection-protect.com 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.

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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.

QR Code
connection-protect.com pop-up QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of connection-protect.com pop-up on your mobile device.
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