FastSupport.com Scam

Also Known As: fastsupport.com virus
Damage level: Severe

What is FastSupport?

FastSupport is a legitimate website that provides a remote computer access service using the GoToAssist toolset. Note that, although this site is legitimate, cyber criminals abuse it to generate revenue.

FastSupport malware

Remote access services are often legitimate and popular. Some of the more popular ones include TeamViewer, LogMeIn, etc. They are sometimes abused by cyber criminals, commonly through 'tech support' scammers.

Users encounter random redirects to deceptive sites claiming that system is damaged and encouraging them to contact tech support using various telephone numbers. After calling, users are asked to grant cyber criminals (who claim to be 'certified technicians') remote access to their systems via FastSupport (or another identical service).

These scammers then suggest that the system is infected and ask users to pay for removal of malware (that does actually not exist). In some, cases cyber criminals call the victim and claim to be from Microsoft, Apple, or another tech company. These people then demand remote access to solve technical issues, etc.

Bear in mind, that giving remote access to cyber criminals can be very dangerous. While, commonly, they strive to trick you into paying for services that are not required, they can install trojans, key loggers, and other malicious software on your computer.

If you gave access to connect to your computer to a suspicious third party agent, we recommend scanning your computer with a legitimate antivirus program, removing all the found threats, and then changing your passwords for online banking, email, and social media accounts, etc.

In this way, you can be sure that allowing remote connection to your computer will not result in identity theft, financial loss, and so on.

There are dozens of fake scams, all of which are very similar. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) Microsoft Alert Your Data Is At High Risk, Attention Your Computer Has Been Infected, Your Computer Might Be Infected By Trojans, and Windows Malware Detected. All claim that system is damaged .

Be aware, however, that these claims are merely attempts to trick users into calling fake tech support or, in some cases, downloading fake anti-virus suites. Websites that deliver fake errors are often promoted using potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Research shows that most PUPs infiltrate systems without permission.

They then immediately start causing unwanted redirects to malicious websites, delivering intrusive advertisements, and gathering sensitive information. Most PUPs are categorized as adware.

How did malware infect my computer?

Some PUPs are free for anyone to download on their official websites, however, in most cases, these programs infiltrate systems without permission. Developers proliferate them using intrusive advertisements and the "bundling" method. Intrusive ads redirect users to malicious websites and execute scripts that stealthily download/install malware.

"Bundling" is stealth installation of third party apps with regular software. Developers hide "bundled" programs within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes - they do not disclose this information properly.

Furthermore, many users are likely to click various advertisements and skip download/installation steps - behavior that often leads to inadvertent installation of various PUPs.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Poor knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, to prevent PUP infiltration, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Be aware that developers invest many resources into intrusive ad design, thereby making them seem legitimate.

In fact, these ads redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and so on). Most are delivered by adware-type PUPs. Therefore, if you experience suspicious redirects, immediately eliminate all dubious applications and browser plug-ins. Furthermore, carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings.

Opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. We also strongly recommend that you avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by promoting PUPs. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links.

If your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Sample of fake tech support scam that abuses FastSupport service:

Fake tech support scam that abuses fastsupport.com service

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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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically.

To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button.

Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button.

In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.

These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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