Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" virus
Damage level: Medium

What is Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws?

Similar to Windows Support Alert, Windows Operating System Alert, and many others, "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" is a fake error message delivered by various dubious sites. Users generally visit these sites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) or intrusive ads generated by other rogue sites.

Most potentially unwanted applications infiltrate systems without users’ permission. As well as causing redirects, they gather information and display intrusive advertisements.

Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws scam

The "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" error essentially states that the operating system and web browsers have certain security flaws that must be fixed. Therefore, users are encouraged to immediately contact Windows 'tech support' via a telephone number ("1-877-336-6351") provided. They then supposedly receive further instructions.

Be aware, however, that "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" is a scam and Microsoft (Windows Operating System developers) certainly have nothing to do with it. Cyber criminals generate revenue by scaring and tricking gullible users into purchasing services that are not needed. Your computer is likely to be safe and virus free.

Therefore, ignore the "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" error. It can be removed simply by closing the web browser, however, some rogue sites employ scripts that prevent users from closing browsing tabs/windows. In these cases, terminate browsers using Task Manager or simply reboot the system.

After re-running the browser, do not restore the previous session, otherwise the malicious websites are reopened.

Potentially unwanted applications record user-system information, such as IP addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and so on. Collected data usually includes personal details that developers share with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse data to generate revenue.

Therefore, having information-tracking apps installed on your computer might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Potentially unwanted applications are also notorious for display of intrusive advertisements. These apps deliver coupon, banner, pop-up, and other ads using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site.

Advertisements often conceal underlying website content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience. In addition, some can lead to dubious websites, and execute scripts that download/install malware.

Therefore, even a single accidental click might result in high-risk computer infections. You are strongly advised to eliminate all potentially unwanted applications immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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As mentioned above, "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" shares many similarities with dozens of other fake errors. All claim that the system is damaged (e.g., infected, missing files, and so on), however, these errors are designed only to trick users into paying for unnecessary services ('tech support') or purchasing useless software (typically fake anti-virus suites).

Potentially unwanted applications are also known to be very similar. By offering "useful features", they attempt to give the impression of legitimacy, however, all have only one purpose: to generate revenue for the developers. Rather than giving any real value for regular users, potentially unwanted applications pose a direct threat to your privacy and web browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some potentially unwanted applications have official download websites, however, due to the lack of knowledge and careless behavior of many users, they often infiltrate systems without permission, since developers proliferate them using "bundling" and intrusive advertising methods.

Bundling is essentially stealth installation of potentially unwanted applications together with regular software/apps. Developers are not honest enough to disclose installation of potentially unwanted applications properly. They hide "bundled" apps within various sections (usually "Custom" or "Advanced" settings) of the download/installation processes.

Furthermore, many users often rush these procedures and skip steps. In addition, they click various advertisements without understanding the possible consequences. This behavior can lead to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted applications. In this way, users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromises users' privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software.

Bear in mind that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, but they often redirect to dubious sites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.) If you experience these redirects, eliminate suspicious apps and browser plug-ins.

Furthermore, carefully analyze all download/installation steps and opt-out of additionally-included programs. We recommend that you download programs from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus should not be used.

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" pop-up:

Windows Support
Windows Operating System Alert
Windows & Internet Browser updates are needed to patch new security flaws and / or fix bugs in the system. If you have your computer connected to the Internet, you desperately need to keep your security as up to date as possible. Updates patch security vulnerabilities that could allow a system to become compromised. Please call to get it fixed 1-877-336-6351

System Support Alert
Please report this activity to 1-877-336-6351

The appearance of "Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws" pop-up (GIF):

Updates Are Needed To Patch New Security Flaws scam gif

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:

How to identify a pop-up scam?

Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.

While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.

Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:

  • Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
  • Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
  • Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
  • Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
  • Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.

Example of a pop-up scam:

Example of a pop-up scam

How do pop-up scams work?

Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.

Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.

How to remove fake pop-ups?

In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.

In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.

How to prevent fake pop-ups?

To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.

To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?

This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.

  • If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
  • If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
  • If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
  • Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.

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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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