What is "Virus Support Alert"?
"Virus Support Alert" is a fake virus alert that is displayed in a pop-up window on a deceptive, dubious website. This is simply a scam that cyber criminals use to trick people into believing that their computers are infected and blocked.
Most people arrive at this untrustworthy website due to potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on their computers or web browsers. In addition to redirects, PUAs deliver advertisements and collect user-system information.
According to this deceptive website (and its associated pop-up window), the system has detected unusual activity that might harm the computer and data stored on it, and that the activity might be related to tracking of financial information. Furthermore, within the "Virus Support Alert" pop-up window, scammers claim that the user's computer/registration key is blocked.
They state that this happened for one of these reasons: the Windows registration key is illegal; there is illegal software installed; the operating system is infected and proliferates viruses over the internet, or; the Windows Operating System is hacked and being used from an undefined location.
In any case, scammers claim that they have blocked the computer for security reasons (and users' safety). They urge website visitors not to close the window or restart the computer. Scammers encourage users to contact them by calling the "+1-866-391-4111" number. They claim to be a 'support team' that will help to reactivate the computer/registration key.
Websites of this type should never be trusted. Typically, when contacted, scammers attempt to sell software or trick people into paying for online services. They use these scams to extort money from innocent people. None of the statements on this website are accurate and anyone who visits it should simply close it.
If this website cannot be closed in the normal way (by closing the opened tab or browser window), use Task Manager to end the browser process. The next time a browser is opened, the previous browsing session should not be restored, since this will reopen the dubious website or another website that caused a redirect to it.
As mentioned above, PUAs that are responsible for redirects to untrustworthy websites, however, they often deliver ads and gather data as well. Unwanted apps of this type serve users with coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on. These ads can be annoying, since PUAs display them via tools that enable placement of third party content on any site.
Therefore, they conceal underlying content of visited websites. Furthermore, if clicked (accidentally or willingly), they usually open dubious (potentially, malicious) websites or run scripts that download and install even more unwanted apps. Another negative aspect of PUAs is information tracking.
Usually PUAs collect IP addresses, URLs of visited websites, search queries, geo-locations, and other data relating to browsing activity. It is also possible that these apps will record personal/sensitive details. Developers share the data with third parties (cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.
|Name||"Virus Support Alert" 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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Most PUAs have similar behavior - they perform actions that allow their developers to generate revenue. Furthermore, they are usually promoted as useful and legitimate, however, they provide none of the functionality promised (tools, features, and so on). Furthermore, the the internet is full of deceptive websites that display scams such as fake virus alerts, fake errors, and so on.
Some examples of other scams similar to this one are "ERROR 0X1CXX560", "Windows Is Not Activated", and "Activate Your Windows Now". Most are used by cyber criminals who attempt to extort money from visitors by offering purchase of software or paid services.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Some PUAs can be downloaded from their websites, however, most people do not download and install them intentionally. This usually occurs when developers trick them by using a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". This method helps developers to cause inadvertent downloads and installations when users download or install their chosen software.
They include (bundle) unwanted apps in set-ups of regular software (software that people download willingly).
All information about the inclusion of extra apps is usually hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings of the download/installation set-ups. Most people leave these settings unchanged, thereby causing unwanted installations/downloads of various PUAs .
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Always pay attention to all download/installation processes, especially if the software it is free. Check all available "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar options/settings, and look for checkboxes that are ticked by default. Deselect offers to install unwanted software. Download software using direct links and official websites.
Avoid using third party software downloaders/installers, since they are usually monetized via the bundling method and go on to install unwanted programs. Do not use unofficial websites or Peer-to-peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, and others). Do not click intrusive ads, especially if they are displayed on dubious websites.
These usually seem legitimate, however, they redirect to untrustworthy websites such as adult dating, pornography, gambling, and so on. If a browser causes unwanted redirects or displays various ads, PUAs might be installed on it. Check the list of installed extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins, and remove all unwanted/suspicious apps immediately.
Also check the list of programs installed on the operating system. 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 "Virus Support Alert" pop-up:
Virus Support Alert
Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.
Please report this activity to +1-866-391-4111
This computer is BLOCKED
Do not close this window and restart your computer
Your computer's registration key is Blocked.
Why we blocked your computer?
This 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 helpline to reactivate your computer.
Enter Windows registration key to unblock or Call Support at: +1-866-391-4111 (Toll-Free)
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:
- What is "Virus Support Alert"?
- 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 extensions from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Removal of potentially unwanted applications:
Windows 11 users:
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:
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:
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:
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 application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove rogue extensions 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 "virus support alert" 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 "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "virus support alert" 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 on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with "virus support alert" 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 extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the "virus support alert" virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the 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.
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