Also Known As: "ERROR 0X1CXX560" virus
Damage level: Medium

What is "ERROR 0X1CXX560"?

"ERROR 0X1CXX560" is a fake error message/error alert that scammers use to trick people into believing that a problem occurred relating to Windows Operating System activation. This scam is used to trick people into contacting developers who claim to be Microsoft representatives.

Note that the "ERROR 0X1CXX560" pop-up window is displayed on an untrustworthy, deceptive website. People often end up visiting this (and other websites of this type) due to potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed without users' knowledge.

Therefore, they install PUAs unintentionally. When installed, they cause redirects to untrustworthy websites, feed users with intrusive advertisements, and gather various information.

ERROR 0X1CXX560 scam

This particular pop-up window displays a message informing Windows users that the operating system activation key is blocked.

According to the scammers, this happened since the Windows registration (activation) key is illegal, there is illegal software installed, the operating system is infected and proliferating viruses through the internet, or the operating system is hacked and being used from an undefined location.

They urge people not to close this pop-up window or restart the computer, and encourage them to make contact via +1 844 885 0155. This telephone number is presented as a Microsoft helpline number. According to scammers, by contacting this helpline, users will be helped to reactivate Windows.

Furthermore, the "ERROR 0X1CXX560" pop-up window also contains a notification that Windows has detected unusual activity that might harm the system and is related to tracking of financial activities. None of this information is accurate and Microsoft has nothing to do with it. Like many other scams of this type, this one is used to extort money from innocent people.

Cyber criminals attempt to achieve this by tricking them into making contact. They then offer purchase of software or use of their online services. These offers are not free. Since there is no real damage to the system (at least not relating to "ERROR 0X1CXX560" scam), we recommend that you close this website and never return to it.

If it cannot be closed normally (by closing the browser window or tab), terminate the entire browser process using Task Manager. Do not restore the closed session the next time the browser is opened - this will redirect you to the same deceptive website that initially caused the problem.

Potentially unwanted apps are often responsible for unwanted redirects to deceptive, dubious websites, however, they also deliver ads and gather data. They serve users with intrusive ads such as pop-ups, coupons, banners, surveys, and so on.

Generally, it is impossible for these to go unnoticed, since they are displayed using tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site and conceal underlying content. If clicked, they might cause unwanted redirects or execute scripts designed to download/install other PUAs.

Another downside of these unwanted apps is information tracking. They collect information such as IP addresses, search queries, URLs of visited websites, geo-locations, and so on. Furthermore, developers share collected data with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

The data might contain personal/sensitive details. Therefore, if installed, these apps can cause problems relating to browsing safety, privacy, computer infections, or even identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name "ERROR 0X1CXX560" 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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"Windows Is Not Activated", "Activate Your Windows Now", and "Error Code XLMR01F7985" are just some examples of other similar scams.

Cyber criminals use them to trick people into paying for software or services. As with these deceptive websites, PUAs are also presented as legitimate, however, once installed, they only cause problems rather than providing the functions promised.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

In some cases, potentially unwanted apps can be downloaded from their official websites, however, installations are usually caused through intrusive advertisements or when software developers use the "bundling" method. Bundling is a deceptive marketing method used to trick users into installing/downloading PUAs together with other software.

This is achieved by hiding information about the presence of bundled apps in "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of the download/installation set-ups. Most users install PUAs when they skip installation steps without checking settings of the download or installation dialogs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Use only official and trustworthy websites or other sources. Do not download software using torrents, third party software downloaders, Peer-to-peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, and other similar channels. Furthermore, install software with care - check all "Custom", "Advanced", and other settings.

Deselect (opt-out of) all additionally-included software (potentially unwanted applications) and only then finish the installation or proceed to the next step. Bear in mind that most online advertisements seem legitimate, even the malicious ones. These dubious ads usually cause redirects to gambling, pornography, adult dating, and other untrustworthy websites.

If you experience these redirects randomly (even without clicking any ads), it is possible that an unwanted application is installed on your browser or computer.

Check the list of add-ons, extensions, and plug-ins installed on your browser, and programs on your computer. Uninstall all unknown/suspicious entries immediately. 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 "ERROR 0X1CXX560" pop-up:

Do not close this window and restart your computer
Your windows activation key is Blocked.
Why we blocked your windows activation key?
The window's registration key is illegal.
This window is using pirated software.
This window is sending virus over the internet.
This window is hacked or used from undefined location.
We block this computer for your security.
Contact microsoft helpline to reactivate your computer.
Enter Windows registration key to unblock or Call Support at +18448850155 (Toll Free)
Windows Support Alert
Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.

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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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