Fake Apple iOS crash reports prove tricky to remove

The fake message advertises a phone number for a technical support scheme

Some iOS users may have come across a difficult-to-remove pop-up message advertising a tech support scheme, according to Malwarebytes.

Some iOS users may have come across a difficult-to-remove pop-up message advertising a tech support scheme, according to Malwarebytes.

Some Apple mobile users have been encountering a pop-up message that is particularly difficult to close.

The message appears after a user has been redirected to a different domain, usually caused by viewing a malicious advertisement, wrote Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher with Malwarebytes.

The message warns that a third-party application on the phone has caused the device to crash and includes a phone number where users can allegedly get their device fixed.

Warnings such as this one are employed by technical support schemes, which convince people to call their support lines by falsely warning that their computers or devices have security or performance problems.

"These scams rely heavily on social engineering, and crooks are always ready to defraud you of hundreds of dollars if you give them your credit card number over the phone," Segura wrote.

The fake warnings, which Malwarebytes first saw complaints about in late 2014, is easy to deal with on a desktop computer by closing the browser window. But on iOS mobile devices, it's a thornier problem.

Segura wrote that the pop-up message is coded to reappear every millisecond, making it nearly impossible for a user to do anything else with the Safari browser in the short interval.

"It's quite amazing that a few simple lines of code could cause such a massive problem and severe headaches among users," he wrote.

The message doesn't actually harm the mobile device, however. To get rid of the message, Segura wrote that users should put their phone into airplane mode, clear Safari's browsing history and then reopen the browser before disabling airplane mode.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileiosapplicationstelecommunicationMobile OSesMalwarebytes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?