0fficial.info (not “Official.info”) is a slightly renewed version of the “Your Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses” scam that’s been appearing to Mac users in the last few weeks. This warning is alarmist, unnecessarily scary, and totally fake. 0fficial.info is designed to spread a fake antivirus program that shows bad scan results and charges money to fix the Mac. It’s a part of a scheme that uses scare tactics to bully users into buying software they don’t need.
0fficial Info Mac Virus Warnings quicklinks
- What is the 0fficial.info virus warning?
- 0fficial.info alerts
- Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!
- 0fficial.info tries to trick you
- Causes of the pop-ups
- How to get rid of and avoid 0fficial.info pop-ups
- Stop 0fficial.info warning pop-ups
- How to recognize 0fficial.info as fake
- Automatic Malware removal tools
- How To remove 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings from Firefox on Mac OS:
What is the 0fficial.info virus warning?
0fficial.info is a website that shows a fake virus detection alert and then downloads this potentially unwanted program, called Advanced Mac Cleaner (the file is called mccleaner.pkg). The file is only downloaded after 0fficial.info shows you a couple of screens of fake warnings, though.
First, 0fficial.info shows a screen with a browser alert that says this:
Your Mac OS X is infected (4) by viruses and Your system is damaged.
You must clean the system from viruses, as quick as possible!
** Do not ignore this warning **
Whoever wrote this attempted to make 0fficial.info seem official and authoritative. The person confronted with the pop-up is supposed to be intimidated, stressed, and scared.
0fficial.info is a scareware site for pushing fake security software:
|Dangers of falling for 0fficial.info’s lies||
|How to deal with fake virus alerts||
|Stop 0fficial.info pop-ups||
After dismissing the previously mentioned box, another alert shows up:
Your system is seriously damaged, found (4) viruses!
We discovered that Your Mac OS is damaged on 37,2% and contains (4) viruses.
If you will not delete viruses right now, then it can result in the damage of system files, data, appendixes and etc.
You need to do (step by step):
Step 1: Push the button Download and get free antivirus app.
Step 2: Download MacCleaner and recover Your system!
If you see a warning like 0fficial.info, or this AppleCare warning, or fake online virus scans, they always try to quantify the damage to your Mac in a number and threaten you that you’ll lose your files if you don’t act immediately. The AppleCare warnings even slightly raise the damage number as if to show that the Mac is trouble. This is plainly scareware meant to manipulate you.
0fficial.info tries to trick you
Fake virus warnings have been around for a long time. This article on fake anti-virus pop-ups might be old, but it addresses a lot of issues with fake virus warnings very well.
The 0fficial.info URL is “Official” with an ‘0’. The rest of the URL is “Mac/Updates”, “Mac/UpdMe”, or something similar, possibly as an attempt to seem genuine and trustworthy. The page tries to look like a Mac desktop with a real system warning by showing a system background and a System Preferences icon with one alert. If 0fficial.info goes to full-screen, its warnings might appear like very realistic virus alerts from your own Mac.
Scareware tactics are used by scammers to prevent people from spending time thinking or researching a problem. The fake urgency that 0fficial.info shows is nothing like how real and respectable antivirus programs present their warnings.
Causes of the pop-ups
The 0fficial.info page shows up unexpectedly, either because of malicious redirects or because of an adware infection.
In many cases, malicious ads are responsible for 0fficial.info appearing in your browser. These ads might be published on dubious torrent sites or online video, photo, and other downloaders. A lot are disseminated by notification-spamming adware sites. Pages like flvto.biz, instaview.me, even posts and links shared on Facebook occasionally promote 0fficial.info. Even legitimate sites are sometimes hacked and forced to periodically redirect their visitors.
Messages with links to 0fficial.info can also be shared with you in email or social media messages. Even trusted contacts might be used, either because their account is hacked or is being spoofed.
Adware viruses that manipulate the browser to show ads might also be responsible for opening sites like 0fficial.info. These viruses should have already caused a lot of issues with excessive pop-ups and unexpected browser redirects. A browser extension or an application on your computer might be responsible for hijacking the browser and/or showing malicious pop-ups.
How to get rid of and avoid 0fficial.info pop-ups
Stop 0fficial.info warning pop-ups
First of all, to get rid of fake anti-virus alerts, it’s advisable to scan your computer with a real anti-virus program and see if adware or other infections are found. Also, if you happened to download and install the mccleaner.pkg app that 0fficial.info was promoting, it should be removed. You can use any competent anti-malware program, for example, Combo Cleaner, and check the results.
Check your browsers and their extensions in case they’re causing 0fficial.info redirects. If you’re not sure about each one, look them up online. Or experimentally disable them to see if 0fficial.info and other pop-ups disappear. As a last resort, you can try deleting browser data.
Finally, block malicious websites and ads. You can use antivirus programs and ad-blockers for this (just watch out for the fakes) Blocking is not 100% effective because 0fficial.info is certainly not the only website spreading scams and fake virus warnings; new sites are created and they all need to be discovered and blacklisted before they can be blocked. Also, some advertising networks involved in malvertising have anti-adblocking technology.
As 0fficial.info is just a malicious website, your computer might have been completely unaffected by it. At the end of the day, it’s good to be careful and review your security, but there’s definitely no need to panic. Simply visiting it probably won’t infect your Mac with anything, the correct thing to do is to simply close the browser tab.
How to recognize 0fficial.info as fake
0fficial.info is not the first nor the last deceptive site. In order to avoid scam virus alerts in the future, it’s good to be familiar with what tactics tech support scammers use and the signs that the warning is fake.
- For example, if the warning is set in the browser, that’s already a sign that it’s fake. 0fficial.info shows a webpage with warnings that anyone could craft from scratch. It’s not that easy to infect your Mac and show realistic system warnings. A website is easy, though, and anyone can make one.
- Another thing to check is the URL. If you look up 0fficial.info, you’ll find security blogs telling you to block it and forum posts complaining about this site repeatedly spamming their browser.
- Check the text of the warning online. Just type in the text into your web search site.
- Don’t listen to virus alerts that try to scare you about losing your files or show a countdown until “permanent damage”. 0fficial.info and other scam sites use this tactic to stress you out, nothing more.
Automatic Malware removal tools
TopHow to remove 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings from Google Chrome on Mac:
- Open Chrome browser.
- Enter in the url field “chrome://extensions” address and hit Enter.
- Find 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings on the extensions list and click on the recycle bin icon next to it.
- Click on 'Chrome' button at the top left corner. Select 'Preferences' on a drop-down menu box.
- Find 'Search' options on Settings tab. If your search engine is changed, click 'Manage Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- On the same page find 'Show home button' checkbox and change your homepage.
- On the 'Preferences' menu window, scroll down to the bottom and find 'Reset settings' button. Click it.
- Confirm your selection and click 'Reset' on the following window.
How to remove 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings from Safari:TopRemove malicious extensions
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences.
- Select Extensions and uninstall 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings and other suspicious extensions.
- If your homepage was changed, click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Preferences and choose General tab. Enter preferable URL to the homepage field.
- Click on Safari menu on the top left corner of the screen. Select Reset Safari…
- Select which options you want to reset (usually all of them come preselected) and click on the Reset button.
How To remove 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings from Firefox on Mac OS:
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla window and select the “Add-ons” icon (Or press cmd+Shift+A on your keyboard).
- Go through Extensions list, remove everything 0fficial.info Mac Virus Warnings related and items you do not recognise. If you do not know the extension and it is not made by Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe then you probably do not need it.
- Enter “about:preferences” in URL bar and hit enter.
- Open Search settings tab.
- If your search engine is changed, click 'Default Search Engines' and set your preferred search engine.
- If your homepage was changed, click on the Firefox menu in the top right corner, select Preferences-> General. Enter a preferable URL to the home page field.
- Click on the menu button on the top right corner of a Mozilla Firefox window. Click on the Help button.
- Choose Troubleshooting Information on the Help menu.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button.
- Click on the Refresh Firefox button on the confirmation box. Mozilla Firefox will close and change the settings to default.