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How to remove apps causing redirects to the penit.xyz scam website?

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

How to remove redirects to penit[.]xyz website from Mac?

What is the penit[.]xyz site?

Penit[.]xyz is the address of an untrustworthy website running various schemes. This page has been observed promoting versions of the "(3) Viruses have been detected on your iPhone" and "VPN Update" scams, mainly targeting iPhone users. Schemes of this type operate by presenting visitors with misleading or outright deceptive information - to trick them into downloading/installing and/or purchasing dubious products. These scams typically endorse fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). They may even promote trojans, ransomware, and other malware. Users usually access scam sites via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or installed PUAs.

One of the scams promoted on penit[.]xyz

The "(3) Viruses have been detected on your iPhone" scam claims that visitors' mobile device has been infected with malware. If the nonexistent threats are not addressed, the scheme states that the iPhone will experience further damage. The scam also provides steps on how to download/install an app supposedly capable of eliminating the fake viruses. The other scam run on penit[.]xyz, "VPN Update" - urges users to install a free VPN tool to continue watching online content safely. It must be emphasized that no website can detect threats/issues present on visitors' devices; hence, any that proclaim such - are scams. Therefore, trusting the information promoted by penit[.]xyz can lead to severe problems.

As mentioned in the introduction, potentially unwanted applications are commonly promoted by deceptive/scam sites. Despite their legitimate appearance, these apps are rarely operational. Fake anti-viruses are prime examples of this; they require activation (i.e., purchase) to perform the functionalities, yet following activation - remain nonoperational. Furthermore, PUAs can have unmentioned, heinous abilities. Some can force-open untrustworthy and malicious websites (e.g., penit[.]xyz). Adware-types deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. Once clicked on, the delivered ads redirect to dangerous pages and may be able to stealthily download/install software. Browser hijackers modify browser settings and restrict/deny access to them - in order to promote fake search engines. The promoted web searchers are rarely able to provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other legitimate search engines.

What is more, most PUAs have data tracking abilities. Targeted information includes: browsing and search engine histories, IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details. The collected data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted apps on devices can lead to system infections, financial losses, serious privacy issues, and identity theft. To ensure device and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be removed immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name penit.xyz pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim One of the promoted scams claims that visitors' devices are infected, the other urges them to install a VPN app.
Detection Names Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List (VirusTotal)
Promoted Unwanted Application Various dubious applications
Serving IP Address 104.21.8.245
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.

Phone-security[.]mecustomers-info[.]spaceapp-department[.]reportprotectad[.]onlinetionscalen[.]top - are some examples of sites similar to the penit[.]xyz webpage. The Internet is rife with deceptive content. Popular scam models include: warnings that the device is infected, alerts that a crucial piece of software is outdated or missing, fake prize giveaways, unbelievable deals, and so on. Regardless of what online schemes promise, offer, warn, request, or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate profit for the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them. Due to how widespread scams are, it is strongly advised to exercise caution when browsing.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Select PUAs have "official" promotional/download webpages. These applications can also be downloaded/installed alongside other products. This false marketing method of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed downloads/installations (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive adverts proliferate PUAs as well; once clicked on, they can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to always research software before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download 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 recommended to read terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, functions, and other additions. Intrusive ads appear legitimate and harmless; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., adult-dating, gambling, pornography, etc.). In case of encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. 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 "(3) Viruses have been detected on your iPhone" scam run on penit[.]xyz website:

Pop-up:

 

(1) SYSTEM NOTIFICATION
Please Read Important Notification Regarding Your iOS Device.


OK


-----------

 

Background page:

 

Apple SecurityMonday
1 March 2021
(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 46 seconds


Download and Install


Detected By Apple.

Appearance of the background page of this scam:

penit[.]xyz website scam variant backgroud page

Appearance of the "VPN Update" scam run on penit[.]xyz website:

penit[.]xyz website other scam

Text presented in this scam:

VPN Update


Please Download The Free VPN App To Continue Watching in safe mode

 

Install


0:11 / 1:38

Appearance of the application promoted by both of the scams run on penit[.]xyz website:

App promoted through both of the scams run on penit[.]xyz website

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 penit.xyz 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.

penit.xyz pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove penit.xyz 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 penit.xyz 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 penit.xyz 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
penit.xyz 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 penit.xyz pop-up on your mobile device.
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