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How to recognize scams like Your iPhone Was Hacked pop-up scam?

Also Known As: Your iPhone Was Hacked pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What is Your iPhone Was Hacked pop-up scam?

Websites like this one use scare tactics to trick visitors into installing questionable software. They display fake virus notifications claiming that a device is infected or hacked and encourage users to remove detected threats with some potentially unwanted application (PUA). These can never be trusted.

Your iPhone Was Hacked scam

Your iPhone Was Hacked scam in detail

This particular scam website displays a fake iOS system notification claiming that an iPhone was hacked and encouraging visitors to scan the device for viruses. There is a high chance that this deceptive page wants users to install adware, a browser hijacker, or even some malicious application.

Users do not visit websites of this type on purpose. They get opened through other dubious pages, clicked untrustworthy advertisements or installed PUAs. It is worth mentioning that users rarely download and (or) install PUAs knowingly.

Threat Summary:
Name Your iPhone Was Hacked pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim iPhone was hacked
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 seven days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Scams like Your iPhone Was Hacked in general

The purpose of these websites is to promote questionable, potentially malicious applications. It is strongly recommended not to trust such pages and make sure that there are no apps designed to promote these pages installed on a device. Examples of other similar sites are landingpagesecure[.]com, promoland[.]space, and nicyaboyenan[.]com.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Users download or install PUAs through downloaders or installers that include optional downloads or installations, through fake installers, or by clicking untrustworthy advertisements. Downloaders and installers used to distribute PUAs have "Manual", "Custom", "Advanced", or other settings that can be used to decline unwanted offers.

Clicking on advertisements leads to unwanted downloads or installations when those ads are designed to run certain scripts. Usually, those ads appear on dubious sites. Fake installers are promoted on untrustworthy pages as well.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Download applications from trustworthy (official) websites and through direct links. Avoid finishing downloads or installations without checking downloaders or installers for unwanted applications. Do not trust (click) advertisements displayed on questionable sites.

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 notification displayed on this scam site:

(1) Apple™: Your iPhone was hacked

Your iPhone is infected
Scan iPhone for viruses!

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 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 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 your iphone was hacked 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.

Your iPhone Was Hacked pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove your iphone was hacked 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 your iphone was hacked 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 your iphone was hacked 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

Pop-up scam is basically a fake virus or other notification designed to trick a user into providing personal information (like credit card details), downloading files, installing potentially unwanted, or even malicious applications.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

Scammers behind pop-up scams seek to spread malicious software or obtain information that could be used for illegal activities (for example, identity theft), or sold to third parties.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

Pop-up scams are delivered by untrustworthy sites that users open unintentionally (for example, through pages that use questionable advertising networks), or they get opened by present potentially malicious application

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is designed to scan every single website a user visits, and it is capable of detecting malicious ones (including pop-up scams). Therefore, a user is notified immediately, and access to that page is restricted.

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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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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