YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS (Apple Scam) is a common fake tech support scam that is being distributed in an active distribution campaigns. Various criminal collectives throughout the years have been known to use it. Our article gives victims information on removing active infections from their Mac OS X computers.
|Name||YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS|
|Type||Phishing scam, Fake Tech Support message|
|Short Description||An Apple scam that combines a virus deployment with a fake tech support criminal scheme.|
|Symptoms||The victim users will be shown a fake tech support Apple scam message.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads, malicious scripts and other methods.|
See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS.|
YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS (Apple Scam) – How Did I Get It
Security reports indicate that there is an ongoing campaign delivering the YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS (Apple Scam) phishing threat. This is a common scheme that is being used by several hacker collectives at once with slight modifications. The main method of delivery is the creation of fake web sites. They use stolen elements from well-known sites and services that the targets may use on a regular basis. Through various scripts the users can be made into victims — pop-ups, banners, redirects and in-body links.
The messages can also be distributed in email messages that are sent in bulk in a SPAM-like manner. They are designed so that they look like notifications sent by legitimate companies. When they are opened by the victims YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS (Apple Scam) may be displayed directly. In other cases it can be linked by hyperlinks or other interactive elements.
The main goal of the threat is to persistently display fake warning messages. As such other techniques can also be employed. An example is the inclusion of the Apple Scam in the two most popular infected payloads:
- Documents — The hackers can produce macro-infected documents (text documents, spreadsheets, databases and presentations). When they are opened by the victims a warning message will ask them if they want to enable the built-in scripts. If the users agree then the infection will begin.
- Infected Software Setup Files — Through malicious application installers the criminal operators behind the Apple scam can distribute the threat. This is a method that is popular mainly with viruses. The hackers modify the legitimate installers of popular software with the virus code by choosing popular choices: creativity suites, productivity apps and system utilities.
Scams like this one can also be spread using browser hijackers. They are malicious web browser plugins that are made for the most popular applications: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. They are most often found on the associated extension repositories with fake user reviews and developer credentials. When they are installed by the victims the built-in commands will reconfigure the browsers to redirect the users to a hacker-controlled page. The next step is to deliver the virus infection to the hosts.
YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS (Apple Scam) – More Information
Upon installation of the malware code the victims will receive a malicious pop-up in an application frame or browser window with the title “PEGASUS SPYWARE ACTIVATED”. Its contents reads the following:
** YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS **
Apple iOS Alert!!
Error # 268d3
PEGASUS (SPYWARE) ACTIVATED
System might be Infected due to unexpected error!
Please call Apple Care immediately at:
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your Apple Device access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your Apple Device has alerted us that it has been infected with a virus and spyware. The following information is being stolen…
> Facebook Login
> Credit Card Details
> Email Account Login
> Photos stored on this Device
You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone. Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your Apple Device from being disabled.
Depending on the version of the threat the text may be accompanied by a wallpaper change, music and other rich text media which can further coerce the victim to the scam.
The tech support support scam element blackmails the users into thinking that they need professional help to remove the threat. This is not the case as the virus code is created to extort money via this social engineering trick. Victims should only trust а legitimate cleaner utility.
In some cases the infections may cause other damage to the victim hosts which is why the victims will need to use it. This is not a spyware virus, but a fake message that can be used by the operators to carry out multiple malicious actions:
- Files Access — The criminals can retrieve files found on the infected machines.
- Trojan Module — The remote instance can set up an encrypted connection to a hacker-controlled server. It can be used to spy on the users in real-time and deploy viruses.
- Applications Monitoring — The scripts can monitor the currently running applications for the startup of security software and close them. Only a proper cleaner tool will be able to bypass this protection.
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS FAQ
What is YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from YOUR APPLE DEVICE HAS A VIRUS?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our website, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.