How to uninstall apps downloaded via phone-security.me?

Also Known As: phone-security.me pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

How to remove apps promoting phone-security[.]me?

What is phone-security[.]me?

Phone-security[.]me is one of the deceptive websites that scammers use to scare visitors into downloading and installing a potentially unwanted application (PUA). In most cases, pages like phone-security[.]me display fake virus alerts claiming that a device is infected with viruses. Websites like phone-security[.]me can and should be ignored. Although, if they get opened often, then it is possible that a device or a browser is already infected with some PUA. It is also common for websites like phone-security[.]me to be promoted via deceptive ads and other untrustworthy websites.

phone-security[.]me scam

Phone-security[.]me suggests that a device is possibly infected with seventeen viruses that may damage the battery. It also indicates that if users do not remove those possibly detected viruses immediately, then they may cause even more damage. The main purpose of the phone-security[.]me is to get visitors to download and install the application called ADBlocker - Blocking ads. Judging by the name of this app, it stops/blocks unwanted advertisements. Ironically, legitimate ad blockers can block not only ads but also pages like phone-security[.]me. It is important not to open downloads from pages like phone-security[.]me, apps should be downloaded from official pages or digital distribution platforms like Apple's App Store. As mentioned in the first paragraph, users do not visit websites like phone-security[.]me intentionally, it is likely that users end up on such pages when some installed PUA opens them.

It is common that PUAs generate advertisements and collect various data (usually, data relating to Internet browsing activities). Apps of this type can be designed to generate coupons, banners, surveys, pop-up ads, etc. Quite often, those ads are used to promote other dubious websites or cause unwanted downloads or installations. Examples of details that PUAs can collect are IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of visited websites, geolocations or sensitive, personal data such as passwords, credit card details, or other sensitive information. In one way or another, it is not safe to have apps of this type installed on browsers or devices. Users who have already installed such apps should eliminate them as soon as possible.

Threat Summary:
Name phone-security.me pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim There could be 17 viruses on the iPhone
Detection Names Fortinet (Phishing), Full List (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 162.0.229.49
Promoted Unwanted Application ADBlocker - Blocking ads
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.

There are many pages that are more or less similar to phone-security[.]me, some examples are veniamad[.]com, protect-connection[.]com, and support-notify[.]space. It is worthwhile to mention that these pages can be used to advertise legitimate applications. However, it does not make their virus alerts any more real. Pages that promote applications using false advertising or other deceptive methods should never be trusted (used as sources for downloading applications). If some installed application was downloaded via unreliable channel, then it is advisable to remove it.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Very often, PUAs are distributed by including them in download and/or installation setups of other programs as additional offers - by bundling them with other programs. In most cases PUAs come bundled with free programs. Users can decline unwanted offers before finishing downloads, installations. It can be achieved using "Advanced", "Custom," or other settings, or by unticking some checkboxes that downloaders, installers have. Unwanted downloads, installations are caused when those settings are left unchanged. In some cases, PUAs are distributed via deceptive advertisements by designing those them to execute certain scripts. Users cause unwanted downloads, installations by intentionally or accidentally clicking on those advertisements.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Files, applications should be downloaded from official sites and via direct links only. Other sources for downloading files, programs such as unofficial pages, third-party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, etc., are not reliable. It is important not to use third-party installers as well. Furthermore, it is advisable not to finish downloads, installations without making sure that downloaders, installers do not have unwanted applications bundled in them. Additionally, it is recommended not to click on ads that are displayed on shady websites. Users who click them open other pages of this kind. Sometimes they cause unwanted downloads, installations. Any unknown, unwanted, or suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons that are already installed on a browser or apps of this kind installed on the operating system should be eliminated. 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 fake system pop-up:

(1) SYSTEM NOTIFICATION
Virus possibly detected. Press OK to repair.
OK

Screenshot of the background page:

phone-security.me pop-up scam background page

Text in this page:

Apple Security
Friday
19 February 2021Friday
13 November 2020
17 viruses possibly detected on your iPhone! Battery can be infected and damaged.

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

Step 1: Touch the button below to install the recommended free antivirus protection tool from the AppStore.

Step 2: Run the application, follow instructions to remove possible viruses and repair your phone.
1 minute and 58 seconds
Download and install
Detected by Aррle.

Screenshot of the second pop-up:

phone-security.me pop-up scam second pop-up

Tex in this pop-up:

AdBlocker update released!
Safari browser on your device is probably not protected with AdBlocker for Safari and might be vulnerable for stealing personal data through showing malware advertisement.

You should install it and activate premium protection or your privacy and banking information on your Apple device can be stolen by cybercriminals.
0 minute 37 seconds
Cancel    Install

Screenshot of the promoted app:

phone-security.me pop-up scam promotes adblocker blocking ads application

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 phone-security.me 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.

phone-security.me pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove phone-security.me 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 phone-security.me 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 phone-security.me 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
phone-security.me 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 phone-security.me pop-up on your mobile device.
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