How to remove apps that promote appleconnect.safellk.com?

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

How to remove apps that open pages like appleconnect.safellk[.]com?

What is appleconnect.safellk[.]com?

Appleconnect.safellk[.]com is one of the many websites that are designed to deceive users into believing that their device is infected with viruses and installing some application that supposed to remove those viruses. Typically, websites of this kind are promoted via deceptive ads, other untrustworthy pages or potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). In other words, users do not visit pages like appleconnect.safellk[.]com intentionally.

appleconnect.safellk[.]com scam

When visited, appleconnect.safellk[.]com displays a notification saying that it has detected three viruses on visitor's device, and that if those viruses will not be removed as soon as possible, then they will cause even more damage than they already have. When the "Download and Install" button on the appleconnect.safellk[.]com page is clicked, it opens a download page for the app called Adblocker - Ultimate Privacy. There is another variant of the appleconnect.safellk[.]com website that suggests to continue watching some video in safe mode. This variant is designed to promote the app called Chamy VPN. It is worthwhile to mention that there may be other variants of the appleconnect.safellk[.]com used to promote other apps. Either way, websites like appleconnect.safellk[.]com should never be trusted, applications should be downloaded only via official, legitimate websites. As mentioned in the introduction, it is common that pages like appleconnect.safellk[.]com are promoted via PUAs, and if such pages get opened on a device regularly, then it is very likely that some PUA is already installed on it.

PUAs can be designed not only to promote questionable, deceptive pages (including pages like appleconnect.safellk[.]com) but also to collect various data. For instance, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations. In some cases they can be designed to gather sensitive, personal details. Also, PUAs can be designed to serve advertisements. For example, coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups. It is common that those apps, if clicked, open various untrustworthy pages. In some cases they are capable of running scripts that are designed to cause download and/or installation of some 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 three days free trial available.

More examples of websites that are more or less similar to appleconnect.safellk[.]com are securitymobile[.]club, security-update-required[.]com and service24[.]report. It is worthwhile to mention that they may be used to promote legitimate apps. Although, none of the pages that use deceptive methods to promote software are trustworthy. Besides, in some cases they may be used to distribute malicious apps.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

It is common that users download and/or install various potentially unwanted applications when developers distribute those apps by using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". To be more precise, when PUAs are integrated in download and/or installation setups of other programs as extra offers. Typically, those offers can be declined by unticking certain checkboxes or via "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings of setups. When users download and install programs without checking and changing the aforementioned settings, they download and/or install included PUAs as well. In some cases users cause it via deceptive ads that are designed to execute certain scripts. However, only when they click those ads.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (like torrent clients, eMule), unofficial websites, etc., can be used to distribute various PUAs. Therefore, files and programs should be downloaded only from official websites and through direct links. Download and installation setups that have "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings can be used to distribute PUAs too. Therefore, those settings should be always checked before completing downloads and installations. Additionally, it is advised not to click advertisements that appear on various questionable websites - they tend to be designed to open untrustworthy websites. However, in some cases they can be designed to cause unwanted downloads, installations. If there are any unwanted, suspicious extensions, add-ons, plug-ins installed on a browser, then they should be removed. Software of this kind that is installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. 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 via 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 via 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 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 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.

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
appleconnect.safellk.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 appleconnect.safellk.com pop-up on your mobile device.
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