Hackers are watching you! pop-up scam Removal Guide
What is Hackers are watching you! pop-up scam?
“Hackers are watching you!” is a fake message designed to sell software in the worst possible way
Hackers are watching you! is a fake alert created by cybercriminals
It would be unsettling to know that somebody has breached your privacy and can leak personal data to your contact list. Hackers are watching you! pop-up scam is using precisely this method in order to make people download and install potentially unwanted applications on their devices. In this case, crooks are targeting Apple users, including those who utilize macOS and iOS devices.
The main purpose of this scam is to make people scared, all while saying that their systems have been breached and they need to secure their device within the two minutes, otherwise, all the browsing history would be sent off to the user's contact list. This is ultimately a lie, and you should not believe the “Hackers are watching you!” scam message.
|Name||Hackers are watching you!|
|Type||Scam, phishing, fraud, fake alert|
|Operation||Claims that the internet connection has been hacked and needs to be secure within two minutes. Otherwise, internet history and other data would be sent off to the contacts|
|Risks||Fake messages usually aim for users to download potentially unwanted or malicious programs, steal their personal information or trick them into subscribing to useless services|
|Removal||To check the device for infections easily, scan it with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner security software|
|Other tips||After removal of adware and other PUPs, you should take your time to clean your browser from cookies and other trackers – ReimageIntego can help you with that|
How do you end up on scam sites?
Evidently, people do not visit malicious websites purposely but venture there accidentally. For example, websites that distribute illegal software, X-rated content, allow copyrighted video streaming, etc., are very much at fault for bringing users to malicious websites. Since they are usually poorly regulated, they are open to all sorts of malicious individuals and, in some cases, are created by them.
While security and ad-blocking software can greatly aid you in preventing the malicious links and scripts from being executed, it is best to stay away from such places in the first place. Downloading software from peer-to-peer networks and similar websites can also result in ransomware or other malware infections.
From there, users are usually redirected to the site which hosts the scam content, and there could be a variety of websites that do this, for example, securitycheck.network, or blocker.digital were spotted being used for fake alert distribution.
It is also important to note that adware could be one of the main reasons why you encounter phishing content online. Adware is also known to be one of the biggest problems for Mac users, as it is spread using fake Flash Player updates or pirated software installers.
Hackers are watching you! scam attempts to manipulate users into downloading suspicious software
Fear used to manipulate users in various scam schemes
Social engineering is an art of human mind exploitation, and it's been a proven tactic by cybercriminals as extremely effective over many years. Recently, we have seen a rise of extortion emails sent by cybercriminals that use a similar tactic to the Hackers are watching you! pop-up scam – they claim that the system has been hacked and a Trojan has been installed on the affected device. They then demand users send Bitcoin to a special crypto-wallet if they don't want the allegedly filmed material of them watching XXX content to be leaked to their Facebook friend list.
Without a doubt, this new scam was inspired by these previous examples, as it makes people panic and, since they believe that the threat is real, they do what they are told by cybercrooks silently. Here is an example of the message you might expect after accessing a website that hosts the scam:
Hackers are watching you!
Your iPhone connection has been hacked and someone is watching on you! Please do not close this page. If you don't fix this in two minutes, the hacker will reveal your identity and send your browsing history and front-facing camera photos to everyone in your contacts!
Step 1: Click the “Connection Protection” button below.
Step 2: You will be redirected to the App Store.
Step 3: Install and run the recommended protection app to recover your iPhone.
Protect your connection
When dealing with messages that claim that something is missing or needs to be updated, always check the URL of the page showing it. The words within the URL can be “Security,” “Scan,” “Defender,” and similar ones that are related to security. Users are almost always asked to download and install software which could be malicious.
Another thing to keep in mind is that logos, fonts, and other attributes of well-known companies can be easily forged online, so you shouldn't trust a logo just because it's there. In fact, any message online that claims virus infections or data breach is fake and you should never adhere to it. The best thing is to close down the browser tab and check your device for infections using legitimate methods as described below.
Make the necessary malware checks
While all the information shown within the Hackers are watching you! scam message is fake, you should still make computer checks to be safe. As already mentioned, adware could be one of the main reasons for unexpected redirects, so we recommend removing it at once with SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, Malwarebytes, or another powerful security software. Alternatively, proceed with the instructions below.
- Click Safari > Preferences…
- In the new window, pick Extensions.
- Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.
- Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
- In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.
- Open the Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
- Select Add-ons.
- Here, select the unwanted plugin and click Remove.
Get rid of malicious apps
Adware can also be installed on the system level, so you should ensure that all of its components are eradicated.
- Open Applications folder
- Select Utilities
- Double-click Activity Monitor
- Here, look for suspicious processes related to adware and use the Force Quit command to shut them down
- Go back to the Applications folder
- Find ExtendedService in the list and move it to Trash.
Next, remove unwanted Profiles and Login items:
- Go to Preferences and select Accounts
- Click Login items and delete everything suspicious
- Next, pick System Preferences > Users & Groups
- Find Profiles and remove unwanted profiles from the list.
Finally, remove the PLIST files:
- Select Go > Go to Folder.
- Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
- In the Application Support folder, look for any suspicious entries and then delete them.
- Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and delete all the related .plist files.
Solution for iOS users
If you are encountering suspicious pop-ups on your iPhone, you can block them via the browser settings. Here's what you should do:
- Open Settings and go to Safari
- Here, look for the following options:
Fraudulent Website Warning
- Enable them by toggling the switch to the right.
Your next task is to make sure that your browser data is cleared so that you wouldn't be rerouted to the same malicious pages or that phishing content wouldn't be shown again.
- Go to Safari Settings once again and click Advanced
- Tap the Website Data section
- Select Remove All Website Data.
How to prevent from getting adware
Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool
Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.
Lost your files? Use data recovery software
While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.
To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.