“WebSocketServerApp Will Damage Your Computer” Scam Message Removal

George Herman
George Herman
IT Security Expert

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What is “WebSocketServerApp will damage your computer”

The following message is associated with unwanted software on your Mac:

WebSocketServerApp will damage your computer. You should move it to the Trash.
The file was downloaded on an unknown date.
Report malware to Apple to protect other users.

If you see it pop-up on your screen, don’t let it scare you, and definitely do not follow its instructions. Such fake messages use scare tactics to trick users into exposing their personal information and installing malicious software on their computers.

How it is distributed

The appearance of the “WebSocketServerApp will damage your computer” message means one of two things – you’ve either visited a shady website, or have installed unwanted software without even realizing it. The latter is most likely to be the case. Potentially unwanted software (PUA) is known to get access to your Mac through freeware, fake update messages, software bundles, torrent files, etc. Here’s what happens – you install software on your device but somehow missed the fact, that the installer had additional software. You don’t need to take any action in such cases, since the unwanted software is programmed to get installed automatically, unless you specifically opt out of it. That’s why it is very important to pay close attention to the Setup Wizard, and choose the custom/advanced option when available. Look for any optional installations and uncheck the boxes next to such apps, so they don’t get access to your Mac.

How it operates

This pop-up is a typical example of the ‘Will damage your computer‘ scam ‘viruses’. The messages will not stop appearing, no matter how many times you close them. Even the ‘Move to Trash’ button it presents will not save you. In fact, it may even make matters worse, since it may activate a command in the PUA to cause damage to the system. The main goal of this scam message is to make you share personal information like name, credit card numbers, bank account credentials, GPS coordinates, etc. You’ll likely be asked to buy bogus software, which will supposedly remove the WebSocketServerApp ‘virus’. But, this dubious application may be programmed to infect your computer with a real virus, and steal more valuable data from your Mac. All this being said, your only option is to thoroughly remove the PUA responsible for the “WebSocketServerApp will damage your computer” message.

Staying safe from WebSocketServerApp

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 WebSocketServerApp from Mac

If you’ve had the misfortune of getting your Mac infected with the “WebSocketServerApp will damage your computer” scam message, 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 WebSocketServerApp. 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 WebSocketServerApp 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.

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