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Cyber Security Warning Scam

Also Known As: Cyber Security Warning virus
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Cyber Security Warning?

Similar to Hard Disk Failure Error, BSOD Driver Problem, and many other scams, "Cyber Security Warning" is a fake error message displayed by a rogue website. Users are redirected to this site by a number of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that infiltrate the system during installation of regular (usually free) applications.

Following infiltration, PUPs cause unwanted browser redirects, continually track users' Internet browsing activity, and deliver intrusive online advertisements. Note that these apps often claim to provide 'useful functions'.

Cyber Security Warning adware

The "Cyber Security Warning" error informs users of high-risk computer infections and possible personal data leakages. It is stated that the victim's IP address has been used to access malicious websites and that there is a high probability that stored data will be lost due to these infections.

To prevent this, victims are encouraged to visit the nearest service center or call the toll-free telephone number provided (+1-844-245-8878). Victims will then supposedly receive help in solving this problem. Be aware, however, that this error is a scam.

All claims regarding infection are false - by offering help, cyber criminals who claim to be 'certified technicians' attempt to trick victims into paying for services that are not needed. Adware-type applications that cause redirects to this rogue site also generate various intrusive online advertisements.

To achieve this, developers employ a 'virtual layer' - a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site. None of the displayed advertisements (banners, pop-ups, etc.) originate from users' visited website and conceal underlying content, significantly diminishing the Internet browsing experience.

Furthermore, these ads can lead to malicious sites - clicking them can result in further computer infections. Research also shows that potentially unwanted programs record IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, browser/operating system types, geo-locations, and other similar data that might be personally identifiable.

The data is shared with third parties who misuse private information, thereby causing serious privacy issues. We strongly advise you to uninstall all potentially unwanted programs immediately.

All adware-type applications are very similar. By falsely claiming to enable 'useful functions' to supposedly improve the Internet browsing experience, apps such as MySafeSavings, ProxyGate, HDWallpaper, and many others, often trick users into believing that these apps are legitimate and useful.

The real and only purpose of adware is to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, these apps provide no significant value for regular users. Adware collects personally identifiable information and displays intrusive online advertisements.

How did adware install on my computer?

Adware is usually distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of third party software with regular applications/programs. Research shows that many users rush the download/install processes and skip virtually all steps.

Therefore, bundled programs are intentionally hidden within the "Custom/Advanced" settings section. Skipping this section often leads to inadvertent installation of bogus programs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Potentially unwanted programs are distributed using the bundling method. Never rush the download or installation processes. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings, observe each step, and decline all offers to download/install additional apps.

Text presented on Cyber Security Warning's website:

YOUR COMPUTER HAS BEEN LOCKED!


Your computer has been locked due to violation of the cyber security Act of 2016 (SCA 2016, A. 2077) of the United States Of America. Your IP address was used to visit websites containing Virus, Malware, Trojan and Key Logger. Your computer also contains files that has infected with virus. Spam-messages which contains virus were also sent from your computer.

 

The computer lock is aimed to stop your illegal activity.

To Unlock The Computer Please Call Support At +1-844-245-8878

And Ask For The Activation Key From Our Support Specialist.

Please call our support immediately otherwise all your Files & Data will be deleted from your computer.

You must call the support at +1-844-245-8878 to get your computer unlocked. Please do not attempt to shutdown or restart your computer, doing that may lead to data loss and indentity theft as illegal activity has been initated from your computer without your knowledge or consent, your PC may be infected by malware, thus you are voilating the law of Neglectful Use of Personal Computer.

All suspicious files from your computer were transmitted to a special server and shall be used as evidences. Don't try to corrupt any data or unblock your computer in an unauthorized way.

In order to resolve the situation in an above mentioned way you should call our support immediately. Please call support specialist at Toll Free +1-844-245-8878 And Get Your Computer Unlocked!

Screenshot of Cyber Security Warning pop-up error:

Cyber Security Warning error message

Text presented within this pop-up:

A Suspicious Connection Was Trying to Access Your Logins, Banking Details & Tracking Your Internet Activity.
Security Center & Firewall Services are Disabled, Error code 0x8007042c; .
Your TCP Connection Was Blocked by Your Firewall. Your Accounts May be Suspended Until You Take an Action.
Your Personal Information May Have Leaked. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUIRED
Your Hard Disk May Have Trojan Virus! Please Do Not Try to Fix Manually, It May Crash Your Data.
Please Visit Your Nearest Service Center OR Call Help Desk+1-844-245-8878


------------------------------------------------------------- Customer Service: +1-844-245-8878 (TOLL-FREE) -------------------------------------------------------------
PLEASE DO NOT SHUT DOWN OR RESTART YOUR COMPUTER, DOING THAT MAY LEAD TO DATA LOSS AND FAILIURE OF OPERATING SYSTEM , HENCE NON BOOTABLE SITUATION RESULTING COMPLETE DATA LOSS . CONTACT ADMINISTRATOR DEPARTMENT TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE.


********** IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUIRED **********


Your System32 .net frame work file missing due to some harmful virus, Debug malware error 895-system 32.exe failure. Please contact network administration to rectify the issue. Please do not open internet browser for your security issue to avoid data corruption on your registery of your system. Please contact network administration department at +1-844-245-8878 (TOLL-FREE)
Virus Info: A Trojan horse, or Trojan, in computing is a non-self-replicating type of malware program containing malicious code that, when executed, carries out actions determied by the nature of the Trojan, typically causing loss or theft of data, and possible system harm. The term is derived from the story of the wooden horse used to trick defenders of Troy into taking concealed warriors into their city in ancient Greece, because computer Trojans often employ a form of social engineering, presenting themselves as routine, useful, or interesting in order to persuade victims to install them on their computers.
A Trojan often acts as a backdoor, contacting a controller which can then have unauthorized access to the affected computer. The Trojan and backdoors are not themselves easily detectable, but if they carry out significant computing or communications activity may cause the computer to run noticeably slowly. Malicious programs are classified as Trojans if they do not attempt to inject themselves into other files (computer virus) or otherwise propagate themselves (worm).
A computer may host a Trojan via a malicious program a user is duped into executing files or browsing internet. Please contact network administration department at +1-844-245-8878 (TOLL-FREE)

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Quick menu:

Adware removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.

Windows 10 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

macOS (OSX) users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Cyber Security Warning adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any suspicious/recently-installed applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove adware from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Cyber Security Warning ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing Cyber Security Warning ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the cyber security warning virus, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Cyber Security Warning  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing Cyber Security Warning ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the cyber security warning virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Cyber Security Warning ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Cyber Security Warning ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with cyber security warning virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the cyber security warning virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Cyber Security Warning virus QR code
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