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How to uninstall apps that promote Apple Platform Security and similar scams

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

What is Apple Platform Security?

Technical support scam websites typically display pop-up windows windows stating that the computer is infected with malware, viruses, etc., and offer a telephone number for help with removing supposedly "detected threats". In most cases, these pop-ups appear on pages claiming to represent well-known software companies such as Microsoft and Apple.

Users do not often visit these web pages intentionally - they are opened via deceptive ads, other dubious pages, or by installed potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).

Apple Platform Security scam

This particular tech-support scam page is disguised as an official Apple web page. It displays various pop-up windows claiming that the computer has been infected with 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 must supposedly call for help with removal of the detected threats.

Commonly, when scammers behind such pages are contacted (called), they attempt to trick users into installing applications that allow the criminals to remotely access infected computers and install malware. They can then steal personal information from them. In other cases, scammers attempt to trick users into paying for unnecessary software or "support" services.

None of these pages can be trusted and are often promoted by PUAs. Therefore, if a browser opens these pages automatically, it is likely that a PUA is installed on the browser and operating system.

Note that PUAs can be designed to collect IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited pages, geolocations, other browsing data, and even sensitive, personal details. They can also generate advertisements (coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc.) and others that are used to promote untrusted pages or even cause unwanted downloads and 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.
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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.

heiipiossuport[.]info, iossecure[.]com and connection-protect[.]com are some of examples of other similar web pages. They may appear similar to official, legitimate websites from Apple or other well-known companies. In fact, the official sites have nothing to do with tech-support scams or other untrustworthy, potentially malicious sites.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs are distributed via download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".

Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and settings, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system.

Some PUAs have "official" download sites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.

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.

Regularly scan your computer with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software and keep this software up to date.

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 above 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 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 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.

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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
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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