Website access has been restricted Virus

Also Known As: Website access has been restricted Hosts File Hijacker
Type: Browser Hijacker
Damage level: High
Distribution: High
Damage Level

"Your website access has been restricted for downloading pirated software" virus removal guide

What is Website access has been restricted?

The online message, 'Access Restricted!', appears when trying to access popular websites (such as Facebook, YouTube, Google, Bing, etc.) This is a Hosts file hijacker virus, a redirect virus created to coerce unsuspecting PCs users into completing online surveys. Cyber criminals responsible for creating this scam receive commission each time users complete these deceptive online surveys. Internet users should be aware that completing these surveys can lead to serious privacy issues and considerable phone charges.

Commonly, online surveys such as these are used to collect users' private information or encourage subscription to costly mobile services. In some cases, Internet users are coerced into downloading software or browser add-ons, which may lead to serious security-related issues. This Hosts file hijacker virus is proliferated using fake downloads - users are tricked into downloading this virus, which is disguised as a hacking tool, video codec, etc. This type of scam (misleading Hosts file modification) is not new, and is a security threat similar to the "You have been blocked from our website! virus.

A screenshot of a deceptive online message used to coerce Internet users into completing online surveys:

Your website access has been restricted for downloading pirated software - virus

Cyber criminals responsible for creating this scam hope that unsuspecting PC users will believe that they are unable to access certain websites (due to downloading pirated software), and will then complete an online survey after clicking the 'UNLOCK' button. In fact, online messages such as these are not used by any legitimate websites - it is a scam created by cyber criminals.

A screenshot of the fake message "STOP! Please verify you are human!":

STOP! Please verify you are human - rogue message leading to online survery scams

If this message appears on your Internet browser/s (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla FireFox etc.), it is a clear indication of the presence of a Hosts file hijacker virus on your system. Do not complete any online surveys and use the removal guide provided to eliminate this scam from your computer.

A deceptive message used to trick Internet users into completing online surveys:

Access Restricted!
Your website access has been restricted for downloading pirated software. To restore normal browsing, press "unlock" below. Once verified you can download our unlocker.

Please complete one survey or offer below to verify you're human. You must use valid details.
STOP! Please verify you are human!

Quick menu:

"Your website access has been restricted for downloading pirated software" virus removal:

Internet browser redirects to a malicious website which encourages users to complete online surveys are caused by a Trojan, which modifies the operating system Hosts file. To remove this Trojan, download recommended malware removal software and run a full system scan.

remover for "You have been blocked from our website!" virus

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After eliminating this Trojan, check your operating system Hosts file. Information stored in this file is responsible for resolving canonical names of websites. If the information within this file is changed by a malicious program, you may encounter redirect problems whilst surfing the Internet.

The Hosts file is used to resolve canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, the user may be redirected to malicious sites, despite seeing legitimate URLs in address bar. It is difficult to determine sites are genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft Fix It tool, that restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:

Microsoft Fix It

You should also check some settings manually. Follow these instructions to check if everything is in place:

Check your proxy settings. (Internet Explorer)

Start Internet Explorer. Click Internet Options. Select Connections. Click LAN settings. Ensure that none of the boxes are selected.

Internet Explorer LAN settings

Start Mozilla FireFox. Click Tools, select Options. Click Advanced. Select Network Tab and click Settings. Ensure that "No proxy" is selected.

Internet Explorer Connection Settings

To check that there are no unusual entries added to the Hosts file, follow this information (Google redirect virus removal guide with examples of default Windows Hosts file values).

Check that there are no unwanted browser add-ons installed without your consent:

Internet Explorer logoInternet Explorer:

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for unwanted add-ons and disable them.

Mozilla Firefox logoMozilla FireFox:

Click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon(at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable unwanted add-ons.

Google Chrome logoGoogle Chrome:

Click the Chrome menu iconGoogle Chrome options icon(at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions".  Locate unwanted add-ons and click on the trash can icon.

Summary:

A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.

A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacy and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. Here are some examples of free software download clients that are used in Website access has been restricted Virus distribution:

Free software download managers distributing browser hijackers

To avoid installation of Website access has been restricted Virus be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine:

Declining installation of browser hijackers

Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.

Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker:

  • Your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed.
  • Appearance of new toolbars.
  • Slow performance of Internet browsers.
  • New Bookmarks or Favorites added.
  • You can't change your homepage or default search engine.
  • You see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website.
  • You get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.

If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove Website access has been restricted Virus from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

If you have additional information on Website access has been restricted Virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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