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How to remove apps that promote appleconnect.safellk.com

Also Known As: appleconnect.safellk.com pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is appleconnect.safellk[.]com?

appleconnect.safellk[.]com is one of many websites that attempt to deceive users into believing that theirs devices are infected with viruses and into installing an application that will supposedly remove them.

Typically, websites of this kind are promoted via deceptive ads, other untrusted pages, and potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). I.e., users do not often visit pages such as appleconnect.safellk[.]com intentionally.

appleconnect.safellk[.]com scam

When visited, appleconnect.safellk[.]com displays a notification stating that it has detected three viruses on the visitor's device, and unless the viruses are removed immediately, they will cause even more damage. When the "Download and Install" button on the appleconnect.safellk[.]com page is clicked, it opens a download page for an app called Adblocker - Ultimate Privacy.

Another variant of the appleconnect.safellk[.]com website advises users to continue watching a video in 'Safe Mode'. This variant promotes the Chamy VPN app. Note that there could be other variants of appleconnect.safellk[.]com used to promote other apps.

In any case, websites such as appleconnect.safellk[.]com should never be trusted - applications should be downloaded only via official, legitimate websites. As mentioned, appleconnect.safellk[.]com and similar sites are promoted via PUAs. If these pages are opened on a device regularly, it is very likely that a PUA is already installed.

PUAs promote dubious, deceptive web pages (including appleconnect.safellk[.]com) and collect data (for example, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, and geolocations). In some cases, they gather sensitive, personal details.

PUAs also serve advertisements such as, for example, coupons, banners, surveys, and pop-ups. If clicked, these apps can open various untrusted pages and, in some cases, they are capable of running scripts that cause download and installation of unwanted software.

Threat Summary:
Name appleconnect.safellk.com pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus.
Fake Claim Device is infected with viruses.
Detection Names Fortinet (Malware), Full List (VirusTotal).
Serving IP Address 104.18.37.169
Promoted Unwanted Application Adblocker - Ultimate Privacy, Chamy VPN
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

More examples of websites that are more or less similar to appleconnect.safellk[.]com are securitymobile[.]club, security-update-required[.]com and service24[.]report. Note that they might also be used to promote legitimate apps, however, no sites that use deceptive methods to promote software can be trusted. In some cases, they are used to distribute malicious apps.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Unwanted downloads and installations often occur when developers distribute PUAs by integrating them into the download/installation setups of other programs as "extra offers". This distribution method is known as "bundling". The offers can be declined in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the setups (or by unticking certain checkboxes).

Many users fail to check and change these settings (or untick the checkboxes), thereby allowing PUAs to infiltrate together with the desired software. PUAs are also downloaded and installed by clicking deceptive advertisements (usually on untrusted sites) that execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Download software and files from official websites and via direct links. It is not safe to use torrent clients, eMule (or other Peer-to-Peer networks), third party downloaders, unofficial websites or other sources of this kind. Avoid third party installers. Check "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings, and decline offers to download or install unwanted software.

Do not click ads that are displayed on dubious websites, since they can open other untrusted websites or even cause unwanted downloads and installations. Remove any unwanted, suspicious applications (extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins) that are installed on the browser.

The same should be applied to programs of this kind that are 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 the pop-up window of the first appleconnect.safellk[.]com variant:

(1) SYSTEM NOTIFICATION
Please Read Important Notification Regarding Your iOS Device.
OK

Screenshot of the background page of this variant:

appleconnect.safellk.com second page of the main variant

Text in this page:

Apple SecurityFriday
13 November 2020
(3) Viruses have been detected on your iPhone and battery has been infected and damaged.

If you do not remove this malware now, it may cause more damage to your device. How to fix this:

Step 1: Tap the button below & install the recommended virus protection tool for free from the AppStore.

Step 2: Run the app to remove all malware to repair your phone to 100%
1 minutes and 25 seconds
Download and Install
Detected By Apple.

App promoted by this variant:

appleconnect.safellk.com scam app promoted on the main variant

Screenshot of the second appleconnect.safellk[.]com variant:

appleconnect.safellk.com scam second variant

Text in this variant:

VPN Update
Please Download The Free VPN App To Continue Watching in safe mode

App promoted by this variant:

appleconnect.safellk.com scam app promoted on the second variant

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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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 appleconnect.safellk.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.

appleconnect.safellk.com pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove appleconnect.safellk.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 appleconnect.safellk.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 appleconnect.safellk.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.

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