Apple.privacy-protection.space is a malicious website that impersonates Apple Security, says that your device has viruses, and forces you to install a very expensive app to “remove virus”. If you find yourself on Apple.privacy-protection.space, close the page immediately.
While the Apple.privacy-protection.space scam targets iPhones, iPad and Mac users are also vulnerable. For instance, I first encountered this scam on a Mac.
Apple Privacy Protection Space Scam quicklinks
- How does Apple.privacy-protection.space work?
- The progression of the Apple.privacy-protection.space scam
- How the scam spreads
- How to deal with Apple.privacy-protection.space ads
- How to avoid malicious ads
- How to deal with Calendar Cleaner
- Automatic Malware removal tools
|How the Apple.privacy-protection.space scam works||It impersonates Apple Security and shows a virus warning,
it recommends an app to “remove virus”,
the app charges 130 dollars.
|How to avoid Apple.privacy-protection.space||Delete spam calendar subscriptions,
block notifications from sites that abuse them.
|How to remove the scam app||If you downloaded the app, then remove it,
cancel unwanted subscriptions,
if the scam app charged you, request a refund,
consider checking your device with anti-malware scanners (Malwarebytes).
How does Apple.privacy-protection.space work?
The progression of the Apple.privacy-protection.space scam
Despite having “Apple” in its name, the Apple.privacy-protection.space website is note related to the company Apple. Rather, it was created by malicious actors to impersonate Apple.
Here’s how the Apple.privacy-protection.space scam works:
- While you’re browsing the web, you come across a pop-up ad that opens Apple.privacy-protection.space.
- This page presents itself as “Apple Security”. It warns you that malware was detected on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. It also says that you need to “repair”.
- If you click anywhere on the page, it opens a warning which says that “(129) viruses” have been detected on your device. It shows a countdown. At the bottom is a link called “Remove Virus”.
- Clicking on this alert opens the App Store page for an app.
- This app promises to block ads and get rid of calendar spam. It also charges 130 dollars.
In my case, the app that Apple.privacy-protection.space promoted was called Calendar Cleaner (by iTrade Online). Here are a few reviews for Calendar Cleaner:
How the scam spreads
I first saw the Apple.privacy-protection.space site while looking into a browser extension called Audio Voice Recorder Pro. It opened the Chromeapps.site/audio site which showed various pop-up ads, including Apple.privacy-protection.space.
Besides appearing as a pop-up ad, the Apple.privacy-protection.space site may also spread as calendar and notification spam.
Malicious websites try to trick you into giving them permission to send you notifications or calendar events. If they succeed, they send low-quality ads to your screen.
It is clever of Apple.privacy-protection.space to say that “hackers hijacked your calendar” – after all, it relies on these calendar hijackers to spread.
How to deal with Apple.privacy-protection.space ads
How to avoid malicious ads
Get an ad blocker app – a real, reputable one. Download it from the developer’s site, don’t search it on search engines. There are many impersonator apps out there that could be as bad as Calendar Cleaner.
Don’t interact with any pop-ups that tell you that there are viruses on your Mac. Just close them. Yes, malware and scans attack Apple devices. However, Apple would never ask you to install a paid app to get rid of them.
Be careful when installing apps. Read the reviews, especially the negative ones. Find out if the app is paid and how much it costs. Look up the developer’s reputation.
How to deal with Calendar Cleaner
If you installed the Calendar Cleaner app, then remove it quickly. You can use an anti-malware app, like Malwarebytes, to check your other apps.
Make sure that you aren’t subscribed to any unwanted apps. If needed, cancel unwanted subscriptions.
Automatic Malware removal tools