Website access has been restricted Virus
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: High
"Your website access has been restricted for downloading pirated software" virus removal guide
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:
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!":
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:
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!
"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.
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:
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:
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:
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.