'Net Shield Required!' Pop-Ups
The 'Net Shield Required!' pop-ups are an online tactic that targets iPhone and iPad users. Of course, the dubious sites involved in the scheme, such as safari-protection[.]com, can easily be opened on a Mac system as well. The goal is to use fake warnings to convince the user into downloading an application called Net Shield.
Upon landing on the hoax page, visitors will be presented with a pop-up window. It states that their Safari browser lacks the protection of Net Shield. As a result, the user's information is not safe and can be collected. A countdown timer is shown at the bottom of the window in red, implying that something terrible is going to happen if the Net Shield application is not downloaded and installed during that time frame. Indeed, the text mentions that cybercriminals might access the user's private or banking information.
While such tactics are normally used to push a barely-functional PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) to unsuspecting visitors, Net Shield appears to be a legitimate application and it is available on the App Store. However, the deceptive tactics involved in its distribution, shouldn't be ignored. Users should download and install applications only from reputable sources, and not on the recommendation of random websites they accidentally landed on.