THREAT REMOVAL

Remove “Potential threats detected” Mac Scam

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SIDENOTE: This post was originally published in August 2018. But we gave it an update in August 2019.

This article reveals details on “Potential threats detected” scam as well as detailed guide for its complete removal from affected browser and system.

“Potential threats detected” scam alert aims to mislead you that your Mac was infected by severe malware threats that endanger personal and banking information. The purpose of this message is to trick you into downloading rogue security tool that could additionally damage your system. As of the reason why this scam appears in your preferred browser and even out of it, it is likely to be a potentially unwanted program installed on the device.

Threat Summary

NamePotential threats detected
TypeScam for Mac
Short Description A pop-up named “Potential threats detected” appears on screen to warn you about security issues that endagner your personal and financial information. With this the scam aims to promote rogue security tool.
SymptomsBrowsing sessions may be interrupted by the appearane on the scam. Browser and system slowdowns may occur due to increased number of ads.
Distribution MethodFreeware Packages; Software Bundles; Corrupted Web Pages
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

Combo Cleaner

Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss Potential threats detected.

“Potential threats detected” Mac Scam – How Did I Get It

It is likely that a potentially unwanted program installed on the device causes “Potential threats detected” scam to appear in your browser and even out of it. Such type of program could have landed on your system by being distributed via freeware package or software bundle. There are many online stores for apps, forums, and hacker-controlled websites that offer free third-party apps which in turn hide the installation code of undesired apps inside their installers. Unfortunately, such apps are usually designed in a way that conceals the presence of any extras so you are more likely to get tricked into installing them along with a desired app. In order to prevent side effects of this kind, you should always select the Advanced/Custom configuration option as it could be set to inform you about any other additional apps that are set to install by default.

“Potential threats detected” Mac Scam – More Information

Once infection files and objects associated with the “Potential threats detected” Mac scam are executed on the system, they plague essential settings in order to start pushing it on the affected device.

The scam alerts Mac OS X users of severe malware that engender personal and banking information. By claiming that the system is heavily damaged it aims to trick you into downloading a security tool that could fix the issues. In fact, the offered tool is rogue and it is likely that once installed it will cause additional harm to your device instead of fixing it, as stated in the scam message.

By displaying the names of different Trojans, adware, spyware and other cyber threats, the scam aims to provoke a sense of urgency and convince you to click the “Free Scan Now” button. And here is the full message presented by “Potential threats detected” scam:

Potential threats detected!
WARNING!
Your Mac is heavily damaged (35,27%). Personal and banking information is at risk.
List of potential threats: Important!
[Name] [Type] [Threat level] To avoid more damage click on ‘San now’ immediately. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!. Update your PC and eliminate potential threats.
Free Scan Now ->

Potential-threats-detected-scam-MacOS-how-to-remove

Furthermore, as long as the PUP associated with this scam is running on your Mac it is able to interrupt browsing sessions by displaying other annoying and potentially harmful ads. These ads, in turn, are likely to slow down your system and make the affected browser sluggish.

Remove “Potential threats detected” Scam from Mac

In order to remove “Potential threats detected” scam and all associated files from your PC make sure to complete all the steps listed in the removal that follows. It presents both manual and automatic removal instructions that combined will help you to remove this undesired program in full. The automatic approach guarantees maximum efficiency as a scan with an advanced anti-malware tool reveals the exact location of all harmful files and objects created by the PUP. The results enable you to access and remove all harmful files from the infected PC. Have in mind that files associated with this hijacker may be detected with different names than “Potential threats detected”.

In case that you have further questions or need additional help, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us via email.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She has been with the STF team for five years, researching malware, reporting on the latest computer infections, and following digital marketing trends.

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OFFER
REMOVE IT NOW (MAC)
with Combo Cleaner

We recommend you to download Combo Cleaner and run free scan to remove virus files on your Mac. This saves you hours of time and effort compared to doing the removal yourself.
Combo Cleaner’s scanner is free but the paid version is needed to remove the malware threats. Read Combo Cleaner’s EULA and Privacy Policy


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of Potential threats detected from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall Potential threats detected and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Potential threats detected:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Potential threats detected. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Potential threats detected. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 Potential threats detected 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Potential threats detected. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove Potential threats detected from Google Chrome.


Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu


Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"


Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase Potential threats detected from Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window


Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.


Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"


Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall Potential threats detected from Microsoft Edge.


Step 1: Start Edge browser.


Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.


Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".


Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.


Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.



Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Delete Potential threats detected from Safari.


Step 1: Start the Safari app.


Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.


Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Potential threats detected will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate Potential threats detected from Internet Explorer.


Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.


Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'


Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.


Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.


Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.


Potential threats detected FAQ

What is Potential threats detected?

Potential threats detected is classified as a potentially unwanted app for Mac. It appears like a normal app, but it may cause unpleasant pop-ups and redirects on your Mac.

Be aware, that Potential threats detected may be able to affect the browsers Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge and Opera. It may they perform unwanted activities on your Mac.

Such can turn out to be showing advertisements of all types, slowing down your Mac's performance and even infecting your Mac with other viruses by showing you dangerous ads.

Is Potential threats detected a Virus?

No, but it is just as risky. The Potential threats detected object is not entirely a virus but it is still as dangerous as a virus for your Mac and your information. The main reason for that is because Potential threats detected can use cookies and other tracking technologies that may obtain personal information from your Mac while you are browsing.

It may also cause dangers and may lead to risky websites, such as:

  • Phishing sites.
  • Web pages that are scam.
  • Sites that may contain viruses.

These are the main reasons why threatening is considered by experts to be indirectly dangerous to your Mac.

Can my Mac get virus?

The answer to this question is "yes". Unfortunately it opened happens that Mac devices become infected with different types of malware, adware and other threats. This causes a lot of problems for both companies and users.

How did I get Potential threats detected?

Potential threats detected could be spread to Mac computers via several methods. One of those methods is via the installers of third party apps. This technique is called software bundling.

Also, Potential threats detected adware could be included in the installer steps of an app you may have downloaded for your Mac from a third party website. Search app could be a media player or some other free software you may have tried to recently install.

You may have missed Potential threats detected, because it could be hiding in one of the install steps or could be offered as a "free extra" or an "optional offer".

How to remove Potential threats detected from my Mac?

By removing its core files. To get rid of Potential threats detected from your Mac, security experts strongly advise to scan it with a professional anti-malware app for Mac.

An anti-malware security app has the capability of scanning all of the areas in your Mac were Potential threats detected could be residing.

It will also make sure that Potential threats detected is permanently gone from your Mac and that your Mac is safe in the future.

How to protect my Mac from viruses?

To protect your Mac from all sorts of virus threats, you can can minimize the risk of getting a virus in the first place. This is why we strongly recommend that you take the following steps for protection on your Mac below:

1. Register for a VPN service of your choice.
2. Clear the cookies that are on your web browsers and uninstall any browser extensions from them that you believe are suspicious.
3. Download and install reputable malware removal and protection software.
4. Always check if the website you're visiting has HTTPS instead of just HTTP in its address. This indicates that a site is secure.
5. Do not type any personal info on websites which are with low reputation or you can't trust.
6. Always check if the site you're visiting is the real web page at not a fake one by looking at the address bar. Many fishing websites that contain viruses change one or two letters in the main domain name of the site they're trying to mimic.
7. Always link your cell phone phone to your Bank Accounts, PayPal, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram and other accounts. This will allow you to see notification if somebody else logged in from your account and makes account hijacking nearly impossible.
8. Always find a way to backup all your important files regularly. You can save them on a USB stick or use Cloud backup services, like Google Drive. iDrive, Onedrive and others.

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