'Your Mac is Infected' Pop-Ups
The 'Your Mac is Infected' pop-ups are hoax pages that rely on scare tactics to try and intimidate users into downloading a promoted application, usually an intrusive PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program). These dubious pages could claim that the user's Mac has been infected by numerous malware threats, the device has already sustained severe damage, the user's sensitive private data has been compromised, and the hackers may have taken control over the computer.
No matter what the exact messages and warnings say, users should keep in mind that they are all fake. No site can perform a malware scan on its own and the displayed results should be disregarded completely.
However, the frequent appearance of such deceptive pop-ups may be a sign that a PUP has already managed to infiltrate your Mac. These intrusive applications are spread via questionable tactics designed specifically to mask the installation of the program from the user's attention. The most widely used method is known as 'bundling' and it involves packaging the intruder application as a pre-selected choice among the installation settings of another far more legitimate application.
Apart from generating annoying pop-ups, banners, in-text links (adware), PUPs also may establish control over the browser's settings and force it to open an unfamiliar sponsored address (browser hijackers). PUPs also may spy on the user's browsing activities. Vast amounts of data may be continuously transmitted to a server under the control of the PUP's operators.
Users risk their search history, browsing history, IP address, browser type, geolocation, and more becoming accessible to third parties. In the most severe cases, the PUP may even try to harvest payment information and debit/credit card numbers that have been saved to the affected browser.