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How to remove apps promoting the vpnservice.me page?

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

How to stop a browser from opening pages like vpnservice[.]me?

What is vpnservice[.]me?

Usually, the main purpose of websites like vpnservice[.]me is to trick their visitors into downloading and installing some potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Most of them use scare tactics to promote PUAs, for example, they display fake virus or error messages claiming that visitors need to remove viruses, fix errors or solve other issues as soon as possible. Otherwise, a device will be damaged even more. It is important to mention that it is very uncommon for pages like vpnservice[.]me to be visited by users on purpose. Most popular ways to promote such pages are through other shady websites, deceptive advertisements, or PUAs.

vpnservice[.]me scam

Vpnservice[.]me masquerades as the official Apple website ("Apple Security Alert"), it shows a fake virus notification saying that Apple device (supposedly an iPhone) is heavily damaged/infected with a virus. This notification states that a detected virus has to be removed as soon as possible. Otherwise, photos, videos, notes, and other may be permanently lost (deleted). In order to remove detected virus, message on the vpnservice[.]me page encourages visitors to click the "Remove Virus" and then install the downloaded application (supposedly a VPN client that blocks viruses). Websites like this one should never be trusted as sources for downloading applications. They use deception to trick users into installing software, and the apps they promote may be browser hijackers, adware-type apps, or even malicious applications. As mentioned in the first paragraph, one of the popular ways to promote websites like vpnservice[.]me is through potentially unwanted applications.

Typically, users download and install PAU unknowingly. It is common that apps of this type display advertisements (and) or gather various data as well. They serve coupons, pop-up ads, surveys, banners, and other advertisements. As a rule, those ads conceal web content and are designed to advertise shady, potentially malicious pages. In some cases, those ads are designed to execute certain scripts that cause unwanted downloads or even installations. Therefore, it is never really safe to click those advertisements. Examples of details that PUAs collect are Internet Protocol addresses, entered search queries, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, etc. Although, there are PUAs that target personal, sensitive data. The biggest issue is that gathered information could be sold to third parties (potentially cybercriminals), used for marketing purposes, or monetized using some other way.

Threat Summary:
Name vpnservice.me pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim Device is infected with a virus
Serving IP Address 185.53.178.7
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 websites like vpnservice[.]me on the Internet, here are a couple of examples: landingsecure[.]com, landoseseq[.]com, and security-protect[.]systems. Most of them are designed to look like official Apple websites. Nevertheless, none of those pages are official, legitimate or trustworthy in any other way. It is worthwhile to mention that such pages could be used advertise legitimate applications. However, even legitimate apps should not be downloaded through deceptive pages.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

It is common that potentially unwanted applications are bundled with other programs. It means that they are distributed by including them in downloaders, installers for other programs as extra offers. This distribution method is quite successful because not all users decline unwanted offers before finishing downloads, installations. Typically, bundled applications can be opted out using "Advanced", "Custom", "Manual" or other settings, or by unticking certain checkboxes that downloaders, installers for program that are bundled with PUAs have. Another deceptive way to distribute PUAs is to design ads to execute certain scripts. Those ads cause unwanted downloads or even installations after they are clicked.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to use official and trustworthy websites (and direct links) as sources for downloading applications, files. Third-party downloaders (and installers), unofficial websites, Peer-to-Peer networks (e.g., torrent clients, eMule), can be used to distribute potentially malicious applications. Also, it is advisable to check downloaders and installers for bundled applications. It is common that downloaders, installers that have "Advanced", "Custom" or other settings, or some checkboxes are used to distribute PUAs (are bundled with unwanted apps). Additionally, it is recommended not to click on ads if they appear on shady web pages. Usually, those ads promote untrustworthy websites. Although, sometimes they can cause unwanted downloads, installations as well. Any unwanted, suspicious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system should be removed. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for macOS to automatically eliminate them.

Tex in the website:

Apple Security Alert

Your Apple device system was heavily damaged with a virus.

If not resolved now, the damage could lead to erasing all the data (photos, videos, notes, data) that can be used against you by hackers. Please procees with the next steps to remove the virus completely.


Instruction how to save your device:

Step 1: tap "Remove Virus"

Step 2: install VPN app that blocks the virus

Step 3: open VPN app and connect VPN - that will disable the virus completely.

Step 4: use VPN whenever you browse Internet to be 100% safe


Install VPN now to stop the virus!

Remove Virus

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 vpnservice.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.

vpnservice.me pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove vpnservice.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 vpnservice.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 vpnservice.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
vpnservice.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 vpnservice.me pop-up on your mobile device.
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Platform: macOS

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