iPhone adware: remove important-notice calendar notifications and spam

Malicious parties sneakily add advertisements to Calendar

Recently we have been receiving more and more messages from Apple users reporting that their iPhone has been affected by adware that has nested in the Calendar app. These users constantly receive notifications from important-notice or McAfee stating that their iPhone urgently needs to be secured. Other spam can also be added.

The iPhone and iPad are known for being optimally protected against hackers, malware, ransomware and adware. iOS and iPadOS are so closed that installing these types of malware and viruses is impossible. Yet today, malicious parties are smart and come up with all kinds of tricks to spread adware among Apple users.

What is Adware?

Adware is unwanted software specifically designed to deliver advertisements in web browsers and other digital apps and devices. Usually this takes place in web browsers on a Mac or PC where the address bar suddenly shows a lot of advertisements. The adware can also display a different search engine, so you only see sponsored results. You are constantly deceived and it can even be so bad that the adware provides websites with an extra layer of advertisements that the web owner has nothing to do with.

Adware on an iPhone or iPad

Adware is mainly a computer problem, but this can also occur on an iPhone or iPad. Although not directly in a web browser that is infected with malicious software, but in some other clever way. A few years ago we showed that ransomware can appear on an iPhone or iPad after your Apple ID has been hacked. Last year we collaborated with our readers a new adware variant has been discovered that nestles in the Agenda app.

The problem is therefore not new, we already placed this article exclusively on our website in February 2020. Cases have been increasing again in recent weeks, fortunately there is a solution.

iPhone adware and spam via Calendar notifications

Adversaries have devised a method to display unwanted advertisements on an iPhone or iPad using a shared calendar. This agenda adds appointments to the Agenda application and you will receive a notification with advertising every now and then. In the photo below you can see an example of such an appointment and notification.

iPhone adware: remove important-notice calendar notifications and spam

For example, the notification tells you that your iPhone needs to be secured and shows a URL to important-notice.com website. The description states that your iPhone is at risk and that it is best to protect your data with the Norton Security iOS app. Of course this is nonsense and they are trying to cheat you out of a subscription in a devious way. Fortunately, you can stop these annoying notifications by deleting the calendar.

delete important-notice calendar notifications

  1. Open Settings
  2. Go to ‘Calendar’ ▸ ‘Accounts’
  3. Tap ‘Subscription Calendars’
  4. Search the list for a strange name or email address
  5. Open it and tap ‘Delete account’

Do you still have iOS 13 or older installed? Then go to Settings ▸ ‘Passwords & accounts’ ▸ Tap ‘Subscription calendars’. Then search the list for a strange name or email address. Open it and tap ‘Delete account’

important-notice Agenda Adware removal

In addition, in some cases you can also delete the calendar via the Calendar app. Open this ▸ tap ‘Calendars’ at the bottom ▸ tap the i button next to the Calendar ▸ choose ‘Delete Calendar’. Performing these steps will clear all adware notifications in the Calendar application and you will no longer see annoying advertisements.

On a Mac, you can delete these shared calendars via Calendar ▸ Menu bar ▸ Calendar ▸ Preferences ▸ Accounts ▸ Select the account ▸ click the minus button. Or secondary-click the calendar in the sidebar and choose ‘Delete’.

How do I get adware on my iPhone

The above adware comes from (illegal) websites that offer video streams, among other things, and websites that use illegal advertisements are also the culprits. A pop-up asks you to accept certain conditions to open a stream, but in practice it installs a rogue shared calendar. Ultimately, you still have to confirm this installation yourself, but by being quick and not reading, this can be accidentally activated. In addition, the notifications are sometimes made in such a way that you think you are typing correctly, but in the end the calendar is installed anyway.

iPhone calendar adware

In addition, there is a second way the adware gets into your iPhone and that is when your Apple ID is hacked. Adversaries then only activate the shared calendars and do not change the password. You think nothing is wrong, but in reality they have stolen your data and activated adware.

You can only solve this by properly securing your Apple ID with two-factor authentication so that hackers can not only log in with your password, but also have to enter a unique security code.

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