Don't reinstall MacKeeper - it's crapware and malware of the worst kind.
Before you do anything drastic, download, install and run the free Sophos for Mac to see, if in fact, any malware can be found. Something highjacked your system, that's for sure, but only an erase of your hard drive and a reinstallation of your system would 'fix' anything.
Try Sophos first - if no malware is found, you're just going to have to erase your drive and install OS X anew.
I'm not sure exactly what happened, but there isn't any malware for Macs that can install simply through reading or forwarding an e-mail message in Mail. I suspect that you must have clicked a link in the e-mail message, which was probably designed to direct Windows users to that particular site in order to fool them into downloading malware. (The old "fake anti-virus" trick is quite popular on Windows. There are no fake anti-virus trojans for the Mac at this time.)
In Mac OS X 10.7.5, when you open an app like Safari, it will try to re-open whatever you had open when it quit. If you quit Safari every time that site loaded, it would re-load the next time you opened Safari, unless you hold down the shift key while opening Safari. Try doing that now, and see if you can get Safari to open, close and otherwise behave normally once that site stops loading.
Avoid MacKeeper altogether. Not only is it pretty much worthless at detecting modern Mac malware (see Mac anti-virus detection rates), but it has also been known to cause major performance problems and even to damage people's systems to the point that reinstalling is necessary.
To learn more about Mac malware in general, see my Mac Malware Guide.
Thanks Clinton. I panicked. Its been 7 years since I've used a PC on a regular basis that it freaked me out completely!
I am going to do everything you, Thomas and Linc have suggested. I had MAJOR problems with MacKeeper so thanks for the heads up on Sophos. I've been reluctant to reinstall MacKeeper since I've been problem-free since I got rid of it. I'm looking into Sophos. I unplugged my back up drive this morning before turning on the computer to be safe - no sense having it back up a potential virus.
The rest of my computer, except for Sarafi and now Opera are acting normally. Opera wouldn't open but i often have problems with it. Safari still needs to be forced to quit.
I must have clicked on a link as Thomas suggests without realizing it. The same email downloaded on my iPad and I grabbed a screen shot of the email before deleting it. I wasn't willing to play around and try forwarding it on the iPad to see what would happen although I was curious. It was way too late and I was trying to finish up and go to bed so its possible I clicked on a link. It was not a concious action as we're savvy enough not to buy into emails like that.
I should have gone to bed earlier and risen early! Teach me a lesson to scramble to get stuff done when I'm really tired.
I appreciate your help and feedback and the speed at which you responded.
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Thomas, you are probably right and that I clicked on something. As I replied above, I was way too tired to be doing what I was doing and I guess it serves me right....should have gone to bed.
Thanks for your quick feedback and help. I will look at the Mac Malware Guide.
I do know that Safari will reopen the last windows...the only problem is that it wouldn't let me click on any of my other open windows..Everything was greyed out, inaccessible unless I clicked on "ok" that took me to a page that tried to tell me my computer was infected.
So I reset Safari deleting all, especially passwords (only a few were saved) but now its acting weird so I'll follow up the suggestions from everyone and try to get rid of this - if there's anything there at all.
If I can get through this week, I'll happily wipe and clean up my computer after Christmas. Its not a bad thing if you have a back up!
Thanks again and Merry Christmas.
Thanks. Wish I'd known about the Shift Key before! Thanks for that. I'll have to stickie it onto my monitor until I remember it. Couldn't remember how to do a screen grab on the computer either....or I would have grabbed an image of each screen it took me too.
Thanks again - happy holidays and my your computer and your Christmas Turkey be virus free!
I really appreciate your feedback!
Okay thanks. I was reading a bit on its website and was just about to start reading reviews.
Why are MacKeepr and Sophos so problematic? I can't tell you how relieved I was to get rid of MacKeeper and I don't want to go through all that with Sophos again. Good to know before I wipe and rebuild the drive.
Can I ask you another question? Lately I've been having problems with my Mail (Apple) program where it freezes, won't delete emails I ask it to (brings them back on restart), saves copies after sending them. I use OS 10.7.5 (the one before Mountain Lion). I have noticed this only happens when Adobe Acrobat is open. And its only been the last four weeks its been happening. Unfortunately I use Acrobot for half the docs I get sent to me.
Have you encountered this? I can't find anything on the forums but I may be using the wrong words and phrases to look up the problem.
Thought I'd work on solving it after the holidays but if you have any clues, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Why are MacKeepr and Sophos so problematic?
MacKeeper is a problem because it's junky software marketed by a very unethical company. The only way the company keeps selling it is through extremely aggressive marketing to people who they fool into believing that they need all the things MacKeeper does.
As for Sophos, Linc and I have very differing opinions. It is one of the few anti-virus apps that I recommend. I don't believe that anti-virus software is necessary for most folks, but for those at higher risk, it works well. You have the most current version of Lion (Mac OS X 10.7), so you would not be likely to need anti-virus software at this time.
Can I offer a sincere thank you to both you and Linc? I mean it. I have not used this forum before - I've searched it for info but I can't remember ever posting a question for help.
The way you have both responded is incredible and I feel much better having more information.
I panicked last night! I over-reacted but it was just so weird. I guess I'd gotten used to viruses happening all the time on my PC...but never on my Macs.
So thank you and Linc for everything because having this kind of feedback is invaluable when there are so many general myths in the virus protecton world that can send someone into a tailspin. Even though you don't agree on Sophos, that's cool. I can go from here and continue reading reviews, research, etc., without panicking.
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I just wanted to share my own experience. I personally love MacKeeper. I use the Duplicates Finder feature all the time! It’s definitely a slow process, but it’s very, very effective.
What I do not like about MacKeeper is the Kaspersky Antivirus that is, by deafult, installed with it. That app is horrific. I not only experienced slowdowns but was completely unable to shut down my machines until I uninstalled it. (They all froze on shutdown.)
Just my 2¢.