Do not download dubious software promoted via brkdown.com scam site

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

How to remove brkdown[.]com from Mac?

What is brkdown[.]com?

Brkdown[.]com is a deceptive site, running various scams. At the time of research, this webpage has been observed promoting a variant of the "Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged" scheme. This scam states that multiple viruses have been detected on the user's device and pose a significant threat to its content. It must be emphasized that no website can actually detect threats/issues present on systems; hence, any that make such claims are scams. Schemes of this kind are designed to endorse a variety of dubious software; most commonly, potentially unwanted applications (e.g. fake anti-virus tools, adware, browser hijackers, etc.) some may even proliferate malware (e.g. trojans, ransomware, etc.). Typically, deceptive pages are accessed via mistyped URLs, redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

brkdown[.]com scam

The version of "Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged" run on brkdown[.]com informs visitors' that their mobile phones have been affected by 19 viruses. The fake malware infections are stated to be "browser trojans", which have already caused 59% damage to the browser. According to the scam, these nonexistent viruses originated from recently visited corrupted websites. Users are urged to download/install a "mobile security application", else they risk exposing/losing their Facebook account, WhatsApp messages, stored photos and installed private apps. All of the information provided by brkdown[.]com is false and merely meant to trick visitors into downloading/installing and/or purchasing untrustworthy software. To summarize, trusting this scam may lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft.

PUAs appear legitimate and offer a wide variety of "handy" functionalities, ranging from system cleaning/optimizing to easy access tools for specific online content. However, despite how good the promised functions may sound - they are rarely operational. Fake anti-virus products are a prime example of this; they require activation (i.e. purchase) to perform the advertised features, yet even after activation - this software remains nonoperational. Furthermore, unwanted apps can have unmentioned, heinous abilities. PUAs can force-open unreliable, deceptive and malicious webpages (e.g. brkdown[.]com). Adware-types deliver intrusive advertisements, which diminish the browsing experience and pose a threat to device/user safety. Since upon being clicked, the adverts redirect to harmful sites and some can even stealthily download/install software. Browser hijacker type PUAs modify browser settings and limit/deny access to them - in order to promote fake search engines. What is more, most PUAs have data tracking abilities. Information of interest includes: browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses, geolocations, and other personally identifiable details. The collected data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). Therefore, it is strongly recommended to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name brkdown.com pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim Scam claims users' devices have been infected and they must download/install certain software to remove the viruses.
Promoted Unwanted Application Various untrustworthy applications
Serving IP Address 138.201.18.153
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.

24-support-global.expertsecurity-update-required.comconnection-protect.com - are a few examples of other scams targeting iPhone users. There are thousands of deceptive sites on the Web and they employ varied techniques to gain and then abuse users' trust. Common scam models include (but are not limited to): warnings that the device is infected, alerts that an essential piece of software is outdated, fake prize giveaways and other rewards programs, ludicrous deals, and so on. Regardless of what scams offer/request, their end-goal is the same - to generate revenue for the scammers / cyber criminals behind them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Select PUAs have "official" download webpages, which are often pushed by deceptive/scam ones. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing technique of pre-packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system. Once clicked on, intrusive ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Since untrustworthy channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, and so forth. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate, however they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.). In case of encounters with such adverts and/or redirects, users must inspect their devices and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-is. 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 variant of the "Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged" scam run on brkdown[.]com:

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.

 

[Install] [Cancel]

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 brkdown.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.

brkdown.com pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove brkdown.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 brkdown.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 brkdown.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
brkdown.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 brkdown.com pop-up on your mobile device.
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