Windows Firewall Security Damaged Scam
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Windows Firewall Security Damaged?
"Windows Firewall Security Damaged" is a fake error message displayed by a malicious website. Users are redirected to this website by potentially unwanted adware-type programs (PUPs). These apps often infiltrate systems during installation of free software (bundling method).
Following infiltration, adware collects information relating to web browsing activity, delivers intrusive online advertisements, and, in this case, causes unwanted browser redirects.
"Windows Firewall Security Damaged" states that the computer is infected with an exploit kit and that this virus attempts to gather personal information (bank account details, information relating to web browsing activity, etc.) The error is displayed via a pop-up stating that closing it can result in deletion of the hard drive.
To solve the problem and remove the virus, victims must supposedly contact "Microsoft's technicians" immediately via a telephone number provided (1 888-748-8676). Be aware, however, that this is a scam - "Windows Firewall Security Damaged" is a fake error message.
Criminals attempt to scare and trick victims into paying for services (help removing the non-existent malware) that are not needed. Therefore, ignore this pop-up and never attempt to contact these people. As mentioned above, adware-type applications often deliver intrusive online ads.
These advertisements are displayed using a 'virtual layer' - a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site. The ads often conceal underlying content of visited websites, thereby diminishing web browsing experience. Furthermore, some redirect to malicious websites - even accidental clicks can result in high-risk computer infections.
In addition, PUPs continually monitor users' web browsing activity by gathering various data including IP addresses, URLs visited, search queries, pages viewed, etc. The collected information might contain private details that adware developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse personal information to generate revenue.
Thus, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Adware-type applications must be uninstalled immediately.
There are many scam errors similar to "Windows Firewall Security Damaged". Examples include This User Is Disabled, Microsoft Security Essentials Toll Free, and Microsoft Windows Is Not Genuine. All state that the system is infected, missing files, or damaged in other similar ways. To solve these problems, victims are encouraged to pay for 'services'.
In fact, these errors are fake - cyber criminals attempt to scam victims. The Internet is full of adware-type applications offering various 'useful features', however, rather than providing any real value, they collect private data (which is later sold to third parties) and deliver intrusive online ads (via the "Pay Per Click" advertising model).
Their only purpose is to generate revenue for the developers whilst regular users receive no significant value.
How did adware install on my computer?
Adware-type apps are often distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Developers hide all bundled apps within the "Custom/Advanced" settings of the download or installation processes. Rushing this stage and and skipping steps exposes the system to risk of various infections.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
This situation can be prevented by taking two simple steps. Firstly, never rush when downloading and installing software. Select the "Custom/Advanced" settings and closely analyze each step. Secondly, decline offers to download/install additional apps and cancel those already included.
Text presented within the first pop-up:
Windows Firewall Security Damaged by Exploit.SwF.bd Virus.
A Suspicious Connection was trying to Access Your Logins, Banking Details & Tracking Your Internet Activity.
Windows Security Center & Firewall Services are Disabled. Error code 0x8024402c
Your TCP Connection Was Blocked by Your Firewall. Your Accounts May be Suspended Until You Take Action.
Your Personal Information May Have Leaked. IMMEDIATE RESPONSE REQUIRED.
Your Hard Disk Has Exploit.SWF.bd Virus! Please Do Not Try To Dix Manually. It May Crash Your Data.
Please Visit Your Nearest Windows Service Center OR Call Microsoft Windows Help Desk Now.
Customer Service 1-888-748-8676 (TOLL-FREE)
Screenshot of the second error pop-up:
Text presented within the second pop-up:
Your Hard drive will be DELETED if you close this page. You have Exploit.SWF.bd Virus infection! Please call Microsoft Support Now! Call Toll-Free: 1 888-748-8676 to Stop This Process
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Windows Firewall Security Damaged?
- STEP 1. Uninstall deceptive applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove potentially unwanted plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Windows 11 users:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the windows firewall security damaged 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the windows firewall security damaged virus, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (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.
Computer users who have problems with windows firewall security damaged virus removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the windows firewall security damaged virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, 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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