Do not download apps promoted on security-update-required.com website

Also Known As: security-update-required.com pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove security-update-required[.]com from Mac?

What is security-update-required[.]com?

Security-update-required[.]com is a deceptive website, running various scams. At the time of research, this page promoted two different schemes. The scams promoted on this site primarily target iPhone users, yet it is not unlikely that it can be accessed via other Apple devices as well. One variant claims visitors' devices are infected, the other - that they must update their VPN software. The goals of these schemes is to promote various untrustworthy applications; however, other scam versions and/or aims are possible. This webpage has been observed being pushed through deceptive Calendar events. Typically, such websites are promoted via redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications), already installed onto the system.

security-update-required[.]com scam

One scam variant run on security-update-required[.]com presents visitors with a pop-up window. The text presented in it claims that users' devices have been infected with viruses, originating from corrupted websites. To remove the fake threats, visitors are instructed to follow the provided steps. After the window is closed, the scheme states that users' Apple iPhones have been severely damaged with 19 viruses. The origin of the threats is repeated and the viruses are identified as "browser trojans". To protect their Facebook account, WhatsApp messages, photos and private applications, visitors are told to install a "mobile security application". Another version informs users that they need to update their existing VPN and/or install one - in order to safely continue watching content. It must be emphasized that no webpage can detect threats/issues present on devices; hence, any that make such claims are scams. Therefore, it is strongly advised against trusting these schemes and/or installing/purchasing the apps promoted through them. To summarize, by trusting security-update-required[.]com and other deceptive sites - users risk experiencing system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft.

As mentioned in the introduction, scam websites are often entered through redirects caused by PUAs. Aside from force-opening various unreliable/malicious pages, unwanted applications can have different heinous functionalities. Adware-types deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and other intrusive advertisements. Upon being clicked, the delivered ads redirect to dangerous sites and some can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Browser hijackers modify browser settings and restrict/deny access to them - in order to promote fake search engines. The promoted web searchers are rarely able to generate search results, so they redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Yahoo, Bing, Google and other legitimate search engines. What is more, most PUAs track browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). This vulnerable data is then shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices poses a risk to both device and user safety. It is strongly recommended to remove all suspect apps and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name security-update-required.com pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim Scam either claims that users' devices are infected or that they require a VPN
Detection Names CyRadar (Malicious), ESET (Malware), Full List (VirusTotal)
Promoted Unwanted Application Various dubious applications
Serving IP Address 51.81.245.225
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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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. Limited three days free trial available.

Service24.reporttopdefence-formob.com and umobile-security.com are a few examples of other scam websites similar to security-update-required[.]com. The Internet is full of online schemes. Popular scam models include (but are not limited to): fake prize giveaways and raffles, ludicrous deals and offers, warnings that the device is infected or at risk, alerts that a crucial piece of software is outdated or missing, and so on. Regardless of what such pages claim or offer the end-goal is the same - to generate profit for the scammers / cyber criminals behind them. Therefore, it is strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download webpages, which are often promoted by deceptive/scam ones. These applications are also distributed via download/installation setups of other programs. This false marketing method of packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, used pre-set options, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate PUAs as well; once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

All software products must be researched prior to download/installation and/or purchase. It is recommended to only use official and verified download channels. Since dubious download sources, like: unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders. 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, etc. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, and so on). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins - immediately removed from it. 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 displayed by one of the scam variants run on security-update-required[.]com:

Warning!
Apple device is infected with viruses picked up while surfing recent corrupted sites. Tap OK and follow the instructions to protect your Apple devices.

Appearance of the second page displayed by this scam variant:

Second page displayed by one of the security-update-required[.]com scam variants

Text presented in this page:

Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged by 19 viruses!

 

We have detected that your Browser is (59%) DAMAGED by BROWSER TROJAN VIRUSES picked up while surfing recent corrupted sites.

 

Immediately install mobile security application or sensitive data like your Facebook account, WhatsApp messages, photos and private applications will be infected and stolen.
0 minute 42 seconds

 

Install    Cancel

Appearance of another scam variant run on security-update-required[.]com:

Another variant of security-update-required[.]com scam

Text presented in this scam variant:

VPN Update
Please download VPN App to continue watching in safe mode

Dubious application promoted by this scam variant:

App promoted by one of the scams run on security-update-required[.]com

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 security-update-required.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.

security-update-required.com pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove security-update-required.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 security-update-required.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 security-update-required.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.

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
security-update-required.com 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 security-update-required.com pop-up on your mobile device.
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