What is Apple Care Protection Plan
Apple Care Protection Plan is a web page, which poses as an original Apple support page. In reality, it is a malicious site, which appears as a consequence of an unwanted program being installed on your Mac, usually without your knowledge. The website is programmed to display a pop-up alert message every time you open your browser. By using such scare tactics, the creators of this PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) aim to make their victims call a shady support number, where you may be prompted to share private data, make payment, or install other junk on your computer.
How it is distributed
The most common way for this PUP to spread is via freeware, software bundles and fake update messages. When installing software from the internet, you need to be very cautious. Always opt for a custom/advanced type of installation and make sure to uncheck the boxes next to any additional programs included in the installer. That’s how malicious software is able to slip by unnoticed. If you fail to do that, they will automatically get installed on your Mac without further authorization.
How it operates
As already mentioned, Apple Care Protection Plan is a fake Apple website, which shows a fake message alert, designed to trick you into thinking that your Mac has been infected by a dangerous virus:
MAC OS is infected with Viruses and other malicious applications. Viruses must be removed and system damage repaired. It is necessary to Call Apple Support +1-800-679-2758 and follow Virus removal procedure immediately.
To prevent users from closing this pop-up and leaving the website, the message has this written at the end of it:
**If you leave this site your Mac OS will remain damaged and vulnerable**
Even the displayed fake Apple page will claim that your macOS has been infected by viruses that need to be removed immediately, in order to protect your system from further damage, as well as loss of applications, photos, and other files. Not just that, but you’ll also be made to believe that your personal and banking information is at risk. Ironically, that last part may actually be true. If you call the support number and provide your private information, you basically hand over your sensitive data to cyber criminals without realizing it. You may even be urged to pay money, in exchange for the support team to fix your issue. Simply by calling the number, you may get burned – who knows what tariff they will use to charge your call.
All this information should be enough to persuade you that this PUP is no joke. Apart from showing you the fake Apple website and alert message, it can load an enormous amount of unreliable ads and redirects. That being said, you need to remove the Apple Care Protection Plan redirect from your Mac, before it can cause serious damage.
Staying safe from Apple Care Protection Plan Redirect
Apart from having a reliable AV software installed on your Mac, there are other things you can do to ensure your device’s safety. We highly recommend you to:
- Pay close attention when you install third-party software, especially torrent files, so you don’t install shady additional applications that you don’t want. In most cases, that’s how malicious parasites are able to infect your computer;
- Read any Terms and Conditions you see, so you know exactly what you agree to. The last thing you want is to unknowingly give permission to a nasty virus to infiltrate your Mac;
- Follow links that lead to trustworthy sites only;
- It is best to visit only reliable and official websites. You never know what dangers might lurk behind an unfamiliar site;
- No matter how attractive an ad is, if you are not familiar with the website it redirects to, it might be best to steer clear of it and not click;
- Always check the sender’s email address before opening a message. If it states that it’s from an official company, compare the email with the one given in their official page. If there is no match, delete the message, since it most likely is fake and has malicious aims;
- Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders. More often than not, such files carry infections that can seriously damage your computer.
How to manually remove Apple Care Protection Plan Redirect from Mac
If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the Apple Care Protection Plan PUP, the instructions below can help you to remove it manually. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to Utilities. You can do that by using the ⇧+⌘+U key combination, or by going to Finder and choosing Utilities from the Go main menu at the top.
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it.
3. A list will be displayed. Find any processes that seem suspicious to you and use the ‘Force Quit‘ option to quit them completely.
4. Open Finder. Click on the Go button from the main menu at the top, and choose Applications. An alternative way is to use the ⇧+⌘+A key combination.
5. Look for any suspicious applications, especially ones with a name similar to Apple Care Protection Plan. If any are found, right-click on them and select the ‘Move to Trash‘ option.
6. Remove any related left-over files by going to Finder‘s search bar and typing the name of the app you want to remove. Make sure to modify the two drop down menus above to ‘System Files‘ and ‘Are Included‘, so that any hidden files are visible for you to remove. Once you find the files you want to remove, simply drag them to Trash.
7. All that’s left for you to do is remove any related extensions to Apple Care Protection Plan from your Mac browsers.
For Mozilla Firefox extensions:
- Open the Firefox browser and from the ‘burger’ menu in the top right corner of the window select ‘Add-ons’.
- Select any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and click ‘Remove’.
For Google Chrome extensions:
- Open the Chrome browser and select Tools > Extensions from the menu (the three dots in the top right corner of the browser window).
- Locate any suspicious extensions that may be related to the virus and remove them.
For Safari extensions:
- Open the Safari browser. From the Safari menu choose Preferences. Select Extensions from the options at the top.
- Find any extensions you think are related to the virus, select them and click ‘Uninstall’. A new window will show up asking for confirmation. Click Uninstall again, for the extension to get deleted permanently from your browser.