Critical Security Warning! Your Mac is Infected…Fix

An increasing number of users are experiencing issues with Safari. Specifically, a pop-up alert window appears saying that their Mac may have been hijacked or that there is a “suspicious activity” or that their Mac is infected with a virus.

See also: Phishing for Apple ID Accounts: Scam Emails and Texts.

You may see a popup message something like this:

Critical Security Warning! Your Mac is infected with a malicious virus attack. Please contact tech support at +1-888-307-2735 and provide error code WBACK7917 to scan and resolve any potential threats to your personal and financial information, which was being tracked by suspicious connection. Consequently, we are performing additional security checks to verify the source of the attack and have halted all your system resources in order to prevent any additional damage to your system and information.”

Safari Virus

This is a scam message targeting Mac users. Safari (Explorer, Firefox, Edge, or Chrome) will look unresponsive and locked and you will not be able to close the popup.

This is a common method that scammers use to scare people. In fact, they are a lot of different methods to steal your money, personal information, or even identity.

This is just a JavaScript pop-up. Just keep calm. Do not worry, this is not a virus. And further, your Mac has not been infected with any malware. This message is designed to scare and deceive Mac users into thinking there is something wrong.

Do not call the number on the message. And do not click the “OK” button. If you call the number, whoever answers the phone will ask you to access your Mac remotely. Or they may ask you to pay between $100 and $500. Do not do this. They are trying to steal your money. And do not share your personal information.

The popup also has a phone number. The number does not belong to Apple. If you need to contact Apple, contact only via its official number or website.

If you worry about viruses, you can prevent viruses and other malware on your Mac. You can make your Mac more secure.

There is another similar phishing scam: Mac: Your System Is Infected With (3) Viruses.

Here is how to fix security alert messages:

Follow the steps below:

  • Force quit Safari by pressing Command-Option-Esc. Or click the Apple menu and select Force Quit.
  • Force Quit window will appear.
  • Select Safari.
  • Then click Force Quit.
  • Now you need to restart Safari. But if you start Safari normally, the popup may appear. Now while pressing the Shift key, launch Safari. This is an important step. This will restart the browser without reloading previously open sessions.

If you are still experiencing this problem:

  • Force quit Safari.
  • Relaunch Safari while holding down the Shift key.
  • Turn Wi-Fi off. Simply click the wireless icon in the upper left corner then choose Turn Wi-Fi Off.
  • Visit a web site e.g. apple.com.
  • Now connect to the Internet by turning Wi-Fi on.

Note: You may also want to clear your browser history. Choose History > Clear History. You may also want to clear your cache.

See also: Mac Stuck On “Setting up your Mac”, Fix

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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18 thoughts on “Critical Security Warning! Your Mac is Infected…Fix”

  1. My computer said that I have a virus and to call 1-888-770-9184. I called and the guy said I had to pay $50. I told him I will go and fix it at the Apple Store and he said they will charge me the same amount. I said thank you for your help and disconnected the call.

    Reply
  2. Had the same issue telling me my Ipad was seriously compromised and gave me a 1800 to call.
    Fortunately I used common sense and calm down Google this error message and YES lots of unfortunate folks did fell for it, so i close all windows restart the system and clean browser history, Thanks no issues.
    ALWAYS USE CAUTION, SCUMMERS ARE ALL OVER SPECIALLY ON THE NET, NEVER EVER DO CALL OR CONTACT THOSE UNWANTED SCUUMERS SON OF A B……!!!!!!

    Reply
  3. Yesterday while internet surfing on my MacBook Pro laptop, an alarming pop up alert purportedly from Apple appeared on my screen and locked out my Safari. The alarm said my Mac was infected with a malicious virus attack and my private and financial information was at risk. It asked me to contact tech support at a toll free number beginning with+65 800 … I panicked and didn’t know what to do as the alert sounded very urgent and alarming. So I decided to call the number, on my spare mobile phone with a prepaid SIM card. The person who answered the call was initially quite professional sounding, asking me how it happened and proceeded to guide me step by step to identify the problem. I even allowed him to remote control my computer. He actually brought me back to Safari and showed me that my Apple protection had expired. He then tried to persuade me to buy a new software at about $200. It was then I started to sense that he spoke with an Indian accent. When I asked him where he was based, he said Oregon. But why is the toll free number starting with+65, Singapore’s country code? I then said I would throw away my computer as it is already 6 years old. He then tried to convince me that my MacBook can still last another 6, 7 years. When I declined his offer, the pop up alarm came back and it looked like my whole computer was infected. I told him I sensed a scam and I put down the phone and shut down my whole computer. I googled this problem with my mobile phone then realized that many people in the US have been scammed. Apple does not send out such alerts and the toll number does not belong to Apple. The posts I read said this scam is to lure you to buy the fake software with your credit card and they may steal your credit card information. So beware. This morning I opened up my MacBook Pro and everything was back to normal. Hopefully he has not stolen anything from me.

    Reply
  4. The above steps worked for me but now my keyboard is mistyping. (ie. “Just” was typed as “stuj”) I was on a MacAir, Safari, Facebook. Do you have a fix for the keyboard too?

    Reply
  5. Hi there,

    You say do not click the OK button.

    I did, as there was no other way to quit, not even force quit.

    What do I do now? What might have happened because of clicking the OK on the pop up message?

    Thanks

    Reply
  6. So I had this happen on my iPhone 5c and how I fixed it was by asking siri to search safari for something, and then closing the other window…. It should work fine from there…

    Reply
  7. hi the above steps still dont help, pressing shift doesnt stop the page loading and blocking safari, even with wi-fi off the page still loads and safari is blocked. all safari options i.e. reset safari are greyed out.

    please help!!!

    Reply
    • If the Security tab is on your safari and a sign in notice won’t get off your screen even though you keep pressing cancel press the “esc” button constantly then at the top left the red x should appear. Press the red x and safari should disappear and it should be gone.

      Reply

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