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How to uninstall apps that promote scams like Apple Platform Security?

Also Known As: Apple Platform Security pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

How to remove apps that promote scams like Apple Platform Security from Mac?

What is Apple Platform Security?

Typically, technical support scam websites display pop-up window (or multiple windows) stating that the computer is infected with malware, viruses, etc., and offer a phone number for help with removing supposedly detected threats. In most cases these pop-ups appear on pages pretending to represent well-known software companies such Microsoft, Apple. Another common this is that users do not visit such pages on purpose, they get opened via deceptive ads, other shady pages or by installed potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).

Apple Platform Security scam

This particular tech-support scam page is disguised as official Apple page, it displays a couple of pop-up windows claiming that a computer has been infected with a Trojan spyware (and adware), and data such as email and Facebook credentials, banking passwords, pictures and documents have been compromised. Both pop-ups contain the +1-888-308-5141 number that visitors supposed to call for help with the removal of detected threats. It is common that when scammers behind such pages are contacted (called), they attempt to trick users into installing applications that would allow scammers to remotely access infected computers so they could install malware that would steal some personal information for them. In other cases scammers attempt to trick users into paying money for some unnecessary software or "support" services.

In one way or another, none of these pages can be trusted. As mentioned in the first paragraph, such pages are promoted via various PUAs. Therefore, if a browser opens such pages itself/automatically, then it is very likely that it has some PUA installed on it, or an app of this type is installed on the operating system. It is worthwhile to mention that PUAs can be designed to collect IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations and/or other browsing data or even sensitive, personal details as well. Also, they can be designed to generate advertisements (coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc.) and/or ads of other types that are used to promote untrustworthy pages or even cause unwanted downloads, installations.

Threat Summary:
Name Apple Platform Security pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim A computer has been infected with Trojan spyware, adware
Disguise Official Apple page
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-888-308-5141, +1-888-523-6758
Related Domain wellupdateweather[.]online
Detection Names (wellupdateweather[.]online) Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), Netcraft (Malicious), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 104.31.81.232;
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.

Heiipiossuport[.]info, iossecure[.]com and connection-protect[.]com are a couple of examples of other more or less similar pages. As mentioned in the introduction, it is common for such pages to be designed to look like official, legitimate Apple (or some other well-known company) pages. Although, the actual (official) pages have nothing to do with tech-support scams or other untrustworthy, potentially malicious sites.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

It is common for PUAs to be distributed by using a "bundling" method - by including them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as extra offers. In such cases users download and/or install unwanted apps together with other programs when they do not change "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings, or untick checkboxes that are available in download and/or installation setups of those programs. Sometimes users download and/or install PUAs by clicking deceptive ads that are designed to run certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is advised not to download and/or install software via untrustworthy sources, tools like third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, from unofficial pages. It should be downloaded from official pages and via direct download links. Download and installation setups that have settings like "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual", or include some checkboxes should be checked for unwanted offers before completing downloads and/or installations. Advertisements on shady pages should not be clicked as well. It is common that those ads open potentially malicious pages or even cause unwanted downloads, installations. Additionally, there should not be any unwanted extensions, add-ons or plug-ins installed on a web browser, or programs of this kind 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.

Appearance of Apple Platform Security scam page (GIF):

Appearance of Apple Platform Security scam (GIF)

Text in the main pop-up window:

Apple Platform Security

** ACCESS TO THIS PC HAS BEEN BLOCKED FOR SECURITY REASONS **

Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Trojan Spyware. The following data has been compromised.

> Email Credential
> Banking Passwords
> Facebook Login
> Pictures & Documents

Apple Platform Security has found potentially unwanted Adware on this device that can steal your passwords, online identity, financial information, personal files, pictures or documents.

You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone.

Call Apple Support immediately to report this threat, prevent identity theft and unlock access to this device.

Closing this window will put your personal information at risk and lead to a suspension of your Mac Registration.

Call Apple Support: +1-888-308-5141 (Toll Free)

[Don't Allow] [Allow]

Text in the pop-up window that appears on top of the main pop-up:

macOS Security

Apple Secrity Alert - Error Code: #0x83d47d
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.
Contact Mac Support: +1-888-308-5141

Threat Detected - Trojan Spyware
Apps: Ads.financetrack(1).exe

[Run Anyway] [Back to Safety]

Another variant of "Apple Platform Security" pop-up scam:

Apple Platform Security pop-up scam (2021-01-19)

Text presented within:

Trojan Spyware Alert - Error Code: #0x898778
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.
Contact Mac Support - +1-888-523-6758
Threat Detected - Trojan Spyware
App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe

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 unwanted apps designed to redirect users to sites, displaying "Apple Platform Security" pop-up scam, using Combo Cleaner:

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 apple platform security 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.

Apple Platform Security pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove apple platform security 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 apple platform security 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 apple platform security 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.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Apple Platform Security 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 Apple Platform Security pop-up on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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