What is “Your MacBook Is Infected With 5 Viruses!” fake alert
“Your MacBook Is Infected With 5 Viruses!” is a fake virus alert that falsely claims your Mac computer is infected with something. The alert is either promoting questionable programs or it wants your money. Either way, you can completely ignore this alert when you get redirected to it while browsing. It’s a pretty generic fake virus alert that tries to scare you with claims like “TROJAN found in this MacBook will most likely copy and delete all data from hard drives”. While these claims may seem scary, none of them are true. Your Mac isn’t infected, nor is your data being stolen.
This fake virus alert claims that your Mac is infected with TROJAN Zeus2022, spyware, and adware. It then proceeds to try to scare you by saying the malware will delete data, collect logins, passwords, and banking information, as well as replace legitimate search results with “scammy websites”. To remove this supposed malware, the alert asks that you download, in this particular case, McAfee. It’s worth mentioning that McAfee is a legitimate anti-virus program but it has nothing to do with this scam. Scammers are merely misusing the name of a known vendor to trick users.
Let’s dissect this particular virus alert. First of all, Zeus trojan, while a legitimate malware threat, only affects Windows computers. Since you’re using a computer running macOS, Zeus is not a threat to you. Second, legitimate virus alerts do not appear in browsers. Browsers cannot detect malware so they will never display legitimate virus alerts. Only trust your OS and anti-virus program to correctly detect malware on your Mac.
The point of these alerts is usually either to trick users into calling fake tech-support numbers or to force them to download questionable programs. If you were to engage with this alert, there is no way of knowing what you would actually download. In the best-case scenario, it would be some potentially unwanted program. But it could also be malware. This is why you should never download anything from ads. If you come across a program you want to use, research it first, and if everything checks out, use its official website to download it.
These kinds of scams can also be used to phish users’ banking information. The scam may recommend that you purchase a subscription of an anti-virus program. Only instead of actually buying a subscription, you would be giving away your banking credentials to malicious actors.
In the future, you can disregard all virus alerts that appear in your browser. None of them will ever be legitimate. You can also simply close this fake alert, though you should find out why you’re being redirected to them. Most likely, the redirects are triggered by the websites you visit. If you don’t have an adblocker program installed, you’re likely constantly spammed with ads. However, it’s also possible that adware may be installed on your Mac, though that’s rarely the case.
What triggers redirects to questionable websites
Generally, users are redirected to fake virus alerts either because they browse high-risk websites without an adblocker or because their computers have adware installed on them. The former is usually the case. Some websites have questionable ads and are considered to be high-risk because of them. When visiting such a site, clicking on anything could trigger a redirect. Examples of such sites include those that have pornographic and/or pirated content. Fortunately, if this is why you’re redirected, the solution is quite simple. Install an adblocker, and the tool should take care of it. Not only will it block redirects but also all annoying pop-ups.
In rarer cases, redirects can be triggered by an adware infection. It’s not a particularly dangerous infection, though it can be very annoying to deal with. Infections like adware, browser hijackers, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) use a method known as software bundling to install unnoticed. This method allows them to be attached to free programs as extra offers. The offers are authorized to install alongside the programs automatically, and without needing your explicit permission. Furthermore, the offers are hidden. This often stops users from preventing their installations. The offers are technically optional but they need to be manually deselected to stop them from installing. And since they’re hidden, users simply cannot do that. Fortunately, if you learn to install free programs correctly, you will be able to stop these unwanted installations.
When installing free programs, use Advanced (Custom) settings instead of Default. You may notice that the installation window recommends using Default but do not follow this advice. If you use Default settings, all added offers will be concealed and permitted to install alongside the program automatically. If you use Advanced settings, the offers will be made visible and you will be able to deselect all of them. All you need to do is uncheck the boxes. Once you have done that, you can continue the installation.
Keep in mind that some offers may seem quite useful at first sight. However, allowing them to install would be a mistake. Software bundling is not a good installation method, and programs that use it should not be permitted to install. If you allow these unwanted installations, you’ll only be filling your Mac with junk.
“Your MacBook Is Infected With 5 Viruses!” fake alert removal
Your next course of action depends on what triggers these redirects. If you’re redirected while browsing certain sites (e.g. pirating sites), installing an adblocker program will be sufficient. If you don’t have an adblocker already, you will notice that your browsing experience becomes significantly better once you install it. You will not be spammed with intrusive ads and pop-ups while browsing, nor will you get redirected.
If the redirects happen regularly, your Mac may be infected with adware. If that were the case, you should also notice an increase in ads when browsing. The easiest way to check for adware would be to scan your Mac with anti-virus software. If such an infection was indeed present, the anti-virus program would get rid of it for you, thus stopping the redirects. You can also remove “Your MacBook Is Infected With 5 Viruses!” adware manually, though that may be a more time-consuming process.