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How to recognize scam pages like protectnconnection.icu?

Also Known As: protectnconnection.icu pop-up
Type: Mac Virus
Damage level: Medium

What kind of page is protectnconnection[.]icu?

The purpose of protectnconnection[.]icu page is to trick its visitors into downloading (and then installing) a potentially unwanted application (PUA) that is supposed to remove detected viruses. Protectnconnection[.]icu is an untrustworthy page that uses a scare tactic to promote questionable software.

protectnconnection[.]icu scam

Protectnconnection[.]icu in detail

Protectnconnection[.]icu page displays a fake system notification and virus alert suggesting that a device is infected with three viruses. It encourages visitors to remove those viruses immediately to prevent them from causing more damage. Its purpose is to trick visitors into clicking the "Download and Install" button and installing the downloaded PUA.

This page could promote a PUA designed to display advertisements (for example, banners, coupons), collect various information, promote a fake search engine/hijack web browsers. Either way, it is strongly recommended not to trust protectnconnection[.]icu (not download any files or apps from it).

Threat Summary:
Name protectnconnection.icu pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Mac malware, Mac virus
Fake Claim iPhone has been infected
Detection Names Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List (VirusTotal)
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.

Protectnconnection[.]icu in general

Protectnconnection[.]icu is a page using deception to promote a questionable application. Users do not open/visit websites of this type intentionally. These pages get opened through dubious ads, other pages of this kind, or by installed PUAs. A couple of examples of similar sites are blocker[.]digital, promoland[.]space, and svpni[.]cyou.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Users download and install PUAs alongside other programs, via untrustworthy advertisements, fake installers. They do that unintentionally. Programs bundled with PUAs have "Custom", "Advanced", or similar settings in their downloaders and installers. Users download or install PUAs when they do not deselect optional downloads or installations using those settings.

Advertisements cannot download or install PUAs unless they are designed to run certain scripts and users click on them. Fake installers are promoted using deceptive websites. They never install any legitimate software (or update, fix it).

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to avoid using third-party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks, unofficial websites, or other sources to download or install any programs or files, or click on shady ads that appear on dubious pages.

It is advisable to download software only from official websites. Downloads and installations should not be finished until unwanted apps are deselected. 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:

(1) SYSTEM NOTIFICATION

Please Read Important Notification Regarding Your Apple iPhone.

[OK]

Screenshot of the background page:

protectnconnection.icu pop-up scam background page

Text in this page:

Apple Security
Tuesday
9 November 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 Apple iPhone. 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 13 seconds

Download and Install

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 protectnconnection.icu 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.

protectnconnection.icu pop-up removal from Internet browsers:

safari browser iconRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Remove protectnconnection.icu 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 protectnconnection.icu 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 protectnconnection.icu 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?

It is a scam that uses scare tactics (for example, fake virus, error, or other notifications) to trick users into providing personal information, downloading (and installing) potentially malicious software, or performing other actions.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

The purpose of such a scam can be to extract information that could be misused for malicious purposes or to distribute certain (potentially malicious) software.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

These pop-ups are displayed by pages that users visit unintentionally. Most of these pages get opened by installed PUAs or through pages that use questionable advertising networks.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning web pages and detecting malicious ones (pages designed to deliver pop-up scams also fall under this category). It notifies about untrustworthy pages and restricts access to them.

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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.

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