This article provides detailed walkthroughs to get rid of misleading events that recurrently poison the Calendar app on an iOS device or Mac computer.
Accidentally tapping or clicking something on the Internet entails a fair degree of potential risk these days. Whether it’s an innocuous-looking popup ad, an in-text link, or an “Allow Notifications” dialog from a web page, the outcome can range from a trivial one-time browser redirect – all the way to a malware download hidden in plain sight. In some cases, though, the entrapment comes down to a plethora of spam links being served through a third-party application or one pre-installed on the victim’s device as part of the feature set that comes with the operating system. A growingly prolific malvertising wave of that sort is underway hitting iPhone and Mac users. It relies on a combo or social engineering and malicious code to litter around one’s Calendar app. The affected users get numerous spammy events and invitations added to their built-in Calendar. As if the influx of these entries weren’t enough to ruin the experience of a self-organized user, they are riddled with hyperlinks leading to shady sites.
Often blamed on what’s called the iPhone Calendar virus, this ambush might have a less technically complex nature than the tedious process of developing and distributing malicious software or website scripts. Believe it or not, a malefactor may be able to send deceptive invitations by simply knowing the email address enrolled in the would-be victim’s Calendar account. The reason is that the application is configured to keep its doors wide open for anybody in terms of such appointments by default.
This indiscriminate tactic is at the heart of the service in question because it eliminates all barriers for members of the Apple user community to interact with each other. At the same time, it’s a major weak link of the Calendar app when it comes to abuse. Simply put, a malicious actor may obtain user credentials, possibly dumped on the Dark Web in the aftermath of a data breach incurred by an email provider, and from there orchestrate a spam campaign featuring custom event descriptions with phishing links in them.
Whereas the offensive logic described above is one of the plausible scenarios, there is a more vicious facet of the issue that adds virus activity to the mix. It’s about an instance of tapping on an advertisement online that sets a well-trodden contamination routine in motion. Most users do it unintentionally or in an attempt to close an ad they find intrusive. Furthermore, most of these dialogs are designed to evoke curiosity and a false sense of security. This explains why an iPhone or Mac user is likely to click through to explore in depth what’s being advertised, only to trigger a furtive website script that delivers a piece of malware to the device. Next thing the victim knows, the Calendar widget starts getting deluged with deceptive events, invitations, and appointments. These items come in huge quantities, ending up on the app’s list once or several times an hour. An additional nuisance is that they may be combined with audio alerts going off almost non-stop.
The themes of these fake Calendar events are typically related to some security issue with the Apple device, a recommendation to claim a gift that’s too good to be true, a photo sharing session with a stranger, or something similar that captures one’s attention. The bogus virus or compromise report, which is among the most common subjects, is aimed at giving the victim a heads-up via phrases like “Hackers might try to take control over your iPhone” or “Click now to secure your iPhone”. One way or another, all of these spoofed messages share one characteristic – they are laced with clickable links that are spammy or clearly malicious. By clicking them, the user runs the risk of visiting a fake login form and other types of phishing pages. Sometimes the links lead to info-stealing malware or adware. The only good news is, the Calendar virus problem is usually quite easy to deal with no matter if it’s encountered on an iPhone, iPad, or a Mac computer. The instructions below will do the trick, so go ahead and follow them to regain a peace of mind and make sure only real and worthwhile events show up in the Calendar app.
iPhone Calendar virus removal
If spammy events are constantly showing up in the iPhone Calendar app, there are several steps that will sort out the issue. For a start, it’s recommended to delete the sketchy calendar that was added to the device by a third-party service without proper authorization. Note that the following three steps apply to the latest iOS version.
- Go to the Home screen, tap the Calendar icon, and select the Calendars tab at the bottom.
- Spot the malicious calendar in the subsection called “On My iPhone”. The unwanted entry will usually have an icon whose color and design resembles those of the annoying events you’ve been seeing in the Calendar app.
- Tap the “i” button next to the rogue entry, select the “Delete Calendar” option, and confirm the removal.
If you are using an older version of iOS, then the process of eliminating the dodgy calendar is as follows:
- Tap Settings in the Home screen and select Passwords & Accounts.
- Under the subsection called Accounts, find an unfamiliar account whose access permissions include, among other things, the “Calendars” feature. Its name may be “Subscribed Calendars”, “Other Calendars”, or similar.
- Select the unwanted account and tap the “Delete Account” button at the bottom.
Now that the underlying issue has been addressed, it’s recommended to make doubly sure that the same trick won’t reoccur down the road.
How to prevent malicious iPhone Calendar events from reappearing
In order to ascertain that the same hoax won’t play out again, you need to configure your personal Calendar preferences accordingly. Here’s the walkthrough to do it.
- Sign into your iCloud account and select Calendar.
- Click the gear symbol in the bottom left-hand corner of the app screen and select Preferences.
- Hit the Advanced tab.
- In the subsection called Invitations, click the radio button next to the “Email to [your email address]” option to make this setting your default one instead of “In-app notifications”.
Remove misleading Calendar events virus from Mac
The steps listed below will walk you through the removal of this malicious application. Be sure to follow the instructions in the order specified.
- Open up the Utilities folder as shown below
- Locate the Activity Monitor icon on the screen and double-click on it
- Under Activity Monitor, find the unwanted process, select it, and click Quit Process
- A dialog should pop up, asking if you are sure you would like to quit the troublemaking process. Select the Force Quit option
- Click the Go button again, but this time select Applications on the list. Find the malicious entry on the interface, right-click on it and select Move to Trash. If user password is required, go ahead and enter it
- Now go to Apple Menu and pick the System Preferences option
- Select Accounts and click the Login Items button. The system will come up with the list of the items that launch when the computer is started up. Locate the potentially unwanted object there, select it, there and click on the “-“ button
Get rid of unwanted ads in web browser on Mac
To begin with, settings for the web browser that got hit by the virus should be restored to their default values. The overview of steps for this procedure is as follows:
- Reset Safari
- Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list
- Once the Preferences screen appears, hit the Privacy tab at the top. Find the option that says Remove All Website Data and click on it
- The system will display a confirmation dialog that also includes a brief description of what the reset does. Specifically, you may be logged out of some services and encounter other changes of website behavior after the procedure. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and click the Remove Now button
- In order to selectively clear data generated by certain websites only, not all of them, hit the Details button under the Privacy section of Safari Preferences
- This feature will list all websites that have stored potentially sensitive data, including cache and cookies. Select the one, or ones, that might be causing trouble and click the appropriate button at the bottom (Remove or Remove All). Click the Done button to exit.
- Open the browser and go to Safari menu. Select Preferences in the drop-down list
- Reset Google Chrome
- Open Chrome, click the More (⁝) icon in the top right-hand part of the window, and select Settings in the drop-down
- When on the Settings pane, select Advanced
- Scroll down to the Reset settings section. Under the Restore settings to their original defaults option, click the Reset settings button
- Confirm the Chrome reset on a dialog that will pop up. When the procedure is completed, relaunch the browser and check it for malware activity.
- Reset Mozilla Firefox
- Open Firefox and select Help – Troubleshooting Information
- On the page that opened, click the Reset Firefox button
Get rid of rogue Calendar events virus using Combo Cleaner removal tool
The Mac maintenance and security app called Combo Cleaner is a one-stop tool to detect and remove Spammy Calendar events virus virus. This technique has substantial benefits over manual cleanup, because the utility gets hourly virus definition updates and can accurately spot even the newest Mac infections.
Furthermore, the automatic solution will find the core files of the malware deep down the system structure, which might otherwise be a challenge to locate. Here’s a walkthrough to sort out the Spammy Calendar events virus issue using Combo Cleaner:
- Download Combo Cleaner installer. When done, double-click the combocleaner.dmg file and follow the prompts to install the tool onto your Mac.
- Open the app from your Launchpad and let it run the update of malware signature database to make sure it can identify the latest threats.
- Click the Start Combo Scan button to check your Mac for malicious activity as well as performance issues.
- Examine the scan results. If the report says “No Threats”, then you are on the right track with the manual cleaning and can safely proceed to tidy up the web browser that may continue to act up due to the after-effects of the malware attack (see instructions above).
- In case Combo Cleaner has detected malicious code, click the Remove Selected Items button and have the utility remove Spammy Calendar events virus threat along with any other viruses, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or junk files that don’t belong on your Mac.
- Once you have made doubly sure that the malicious app is uninstalled, the browser-level troubleshooting might still be on your to-do list. If your preferred browser is affected, resort to the previous section of this tutorial to revert to hassle-free web surfing.