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Suspicious Connection Scam

Also Known As: "Suspicious Connection" virus
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Suspicious Connection?

Displayed by a malicious website, "Suspicious Connection" is a fake error message similar to Error #0x0072ee7, Firewall Breach Detected, Internet Explorer Critical ERROR, and many others.

Users often visit this website inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that infiltrate systems without permission. Research also shows that PUPs often misuse system resources, gather system information, and deliver 'malvertising' ads (pop-ups, coupons, banners, etc.).

Suspicious Connection adware

This error states that the system has detected a suspicious connection attempting to access personal information (banking details, logins/passwords, etc.) and, for this reason, the system Security Centre and Firewall have been disabled. It is also stated that the system is probably infected with a Trojan virus.

Therefore, users are encouraged to call Customer Service via a toll-free telephone number ("+1-855-559-2111") provided. These people then supposedly help victims resolve the issue. In fact, "Suspicious Connection" is a scam.

Cyber criminals claim to be 'certified technicians' and attempt to trick users into paying for technical support that is not necessary - the malware simply does not exist. In addition, after calling, users will probably be asked for remote access to their computer. Criminals then attempt to gain control of their systems to stealthily modify system settings and/or install malware.

They then claim to "find" more issues and offer further help for an additional fee. For these reasons, the "Suspicious Connection" error should be ignored. Never call the aforementioned telephone number. You can remove the fake error simply by closing the web browser or rebooting the system.

As mentioned above, some PUPs (and malicious websites) stealthily misuse system resources to run unwanted processes (e.g., to mine cryptocurrency) without users' consent. Therefore, computer performance significantly diminishes. Another downside is display of malicious ads.

These generated ads conceal underlying website content (thereby diminishing the browsing experience), but might also lead to malicious websites or even execute scripts that download and install malware. Clicking them can result in high-risk computer infections.

Potentially unwanted programs are also known to track various data that might contain personal details. This information is sold to third parties. For these reasons, we strongly advise you to uninstall all potentially unwanted programs immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Suspicious Connection" virus
Threat Type Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
Symptoms Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution methods Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
Damage Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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As mentioned above, "Suspicious Connection" is virtually identical to dozens of other fake errors. All claim that the system is damaged (for example, infected, missing files, etc.), however, these claims are merely attempts to extort money from unsuspecting users.

Potentially unwanted programs also share many similarities. All claim to provide "useful features" (e.g., increase download performance, optimize system performance, allow users convert file types, etc.), however, very few PUPs provide the features promised - most are useless for regular users.

Rather than providing any value, PUPs pose a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did adware install on my computer?

Although some PUPs have official download websites, most are distributed using the aforementioned ads and via a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Therefore, due to many users' lack of knowledge and careless behavior, PUPs often infiltrate systems without permission.

"Bundling" is stealth installation of third party programs together with regular software/apps. Developers conceal "bundled" programs within various sections (usually the "Custom/Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes.

Many users rush the download/installation processes and click various advertisements, thereby exposing their systems to risk of various infections and putting their privacy at risk.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Be cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation procedures to opt-out of all additionally-included programs. Furthermore, never use third party download/installation tools, since these are monetized using "bundling" (they promote third party programs).

Malicious ads usually appear legitimate, however, they usually lead to gambling, survey, adult dating, pornography, and other dubious websites. If you encounter such ads, eliminate all suspicious applications and browser extensions.

Text presented in "Suspicious Connection" 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 Account 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
Customer Service: +1-855-559-2111 (TOLL-FREE)

PLEASE DO NOT SHUT DOWN OR RESTART YOUR COMPUTER, DOING THAT MAY LEAD TO DATA LOSS AND FAILURE OF OPERATING SYSTEM, HENCE NON BOOTABLE
SITUATION RESULTING COMPLETE DATA LOSS. CONTACT ADMINISTRATOR DEPARTMENT TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE.

The appearance of "Suspicious Connection" pop-up (GIF):

Suspicious Connection scam gif

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:
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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.

Suspicious Connection 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 Suspicious Connection 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 Suspicious Connection ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "suspicious connection" 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 Suspicious Connection  ads from Google Chrome step 1

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

Removing Suspicious Connection ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "suspicious connection" 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 Suspicious Connection 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 Suspicious Connection ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "suspicious connection" 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 "suspicious connection" 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
Suspicious Connection virus QR code
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