Suspicious Ransomware Activity removal instructions
What is Suspicious Ransomware Activity?
"Suspicious Ransomware Activity" is a fake pop-up error displayed by a malicious website. Users often visit this website inadvertently - they are redirected by various potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). These rogue programs infiltrate systems without consent (the "bundling" method). In addition, they deliver intrusive online advertisements and continually gather various user-system information.
The pop-up states that ransomware activity has been detected and Windows firewall has been disabled. Furthermore, it states that personal details such as files, logins/passwords, banking details, etc. are at risk and that the malware must be eliminated immediately. Victims are encouraged to contact Microsoft technicians via a toll-free telephone number ("+1-844-699-8351") provided. These 'technicians' supposedly guide victims through the removal process. As mentioned above, however, the "Suspicious Ransomware Activity" error is fake. This pop-up attempts to scare and trick victims into contacting fake customer support and paying for services that are not required. The malware does not exist and, therefore, this error message should be ignored. You can remove it by closing the web browser. Furthermore, PUPs deliver banner, coupon, pop-up, and other similar advertisements by employing a "virtual layer" - a tool that enables placement of third party graphical content on any site. The displayed ads conceal underlying web content and often lead to malicious websites - even accidental clicks might result in high-risk adware or malware infections. Furthermore, PUPs continually gather various information relating to users' browsing activity. The collected information (IP addresses, URLs visited, search queries, etc.) might contain personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse private details to generate revenue. Therefore, information tracking can result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For the above reasons, all PUPs should be uninstalled immediately.
There are many fake error messages similar to "Suspicious Ransomware Activity" including, for example, Error Virus - Trojan Backdoor Hijack, Unknown Security Breach, Windows Security Alert, and Windows Defender Alert. All claim that the system is infected, missing files, or damaged in other similar ways. These claims are false. As with Suspicious Ransomware Activity, these pop-ups are designed only to scare and trick victims into paying for services that are not required. PUPs are developed simply to generate revenue for the developers. By offering various 'useful features', they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, these applications cause unwanted redirects, deliver intrusive online advertisements, and continually gather various user-system information.
How did adware install on my computer?
As mentioned above, PUPs are distributed using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling" - stealth installation of third party applications with regular software/apps. Developers hide bundled programs within the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings of the download/installation processes. Rushing and skipping this section, exposes systems to risk of various infections and puts users' privacy at risk.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
There are two simple steps you should take to prevent this situation: 1) closely analyze each download/installation step using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and; 2) opt-out of all third party applications listed for download/installation.
Text presented in the first pop-up of this scam:
FIREWALL BREACH DECTED
WINDOWS FIREWALL STATUS: DISABLED
REASON: RANSOMWARE ATTACK DETECTED
INTERNAL CONFIGURATION: ALERTED
YOUR WINDOWS FIREWALL HAS BEEN DISABLED
POSSIBLY DUE TO INTERNET INFECTION OR UN-AUTHORIZED CONNECTION THROUGH YOUR IF-ADDRESS
IT CAN CAUSE THE FOLLOWING THINGS:
1) POSSIBLE DATA LOSS
2) IDENTITY THEFT
3) LOSS OF EMAIL/SOCIAL NETWORKING/PERSONAL PASSWORDS
4) CREDENTIALS STORED OR USED IN THE COMPUTER.
CONSULT MICROSOFT NETWOK SECURITY ADVISORY IMMEDIATELY ON THE TOLL FREE NUMBER: +1-844-69908351
Second pop-up of "Suspicious Ransomware Activity" scam:
Text presented in the second pop-up of this scam:
Your system has detected possible Suspicious Ransomware Activity, please call toll free number below for a Microsoft certified technician to help you resolve the issue:
For your safety, please do not open Internet browser to avoid data corruption to the registry of your Operating System
Please contact support TOLL FREE +1-844-699-8351
PLEASE DO NOT SHUT DOWN OR RESTART THE COMPUTER, DOING THAT MAY LEAD TO DATA LOSS AND POSSIBLE FAILURE OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM, AND POTENTIAL NON BOOTABLE SITUATION RESULTING IN COMPLETE DATA LOSS.
CONTACT MICROSOFT CERTIFIED TECHNICIANS TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE TOLL FREE +1-844-699-8351
Your system has detected possible Suspicious Ransomware Activity, please call the toll free number below for a Microsoft certified technician to help you resolve the issue: +1-844-699-8351
The appearance of "Suspicious Ransomware Activity" pop-up (GIF):
- What is Suspicious Ransomware Activity?
- 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 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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.
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"Suspicious Ransomware Activity" virus
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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 "suspicious ransomware activity" 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 "suspicious ransomware activity" 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 "suspicious ransomware activity" 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 add-ons from Microsoft Edge:
Click the three horizontal dots icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".
Click the three horizontal dots icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.
In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.
Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.
- If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "suspicious ransomware activity" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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