Azurewebsites.net POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Azurewebsites.net" virus
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

"Azurewebsites[.]net" removal instructions

What is "azurewebsites[.]net"?

Microsoft Azure Web Sites is a web-hosting platform based on cloud computing, a legitimate service developed by Microsoft. It supports multiple technologies and programming languages (such as .NET, PHP, node.js, Python, and so on). As part of creating a website, the site's URL is assigned a subdomain of azurewebsites[.]net. In various for-pay tiers, a website can be assigned one or more custom domains, however, this service is often misused by scammers and malware (malicious software) distributors. In this particular case, it is misused to promote a tech-support scam.

azurewebsites.net scam

Typically, tech-support scams are promoted using dubious websites that are opened by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on the system or through clicked deceptive advertisements. This scam is presented as a security warning from Microsoft, however, this company has nothing to do with it. Scammers often use well-known company names to disguise their scam pages as official and legitimate. Once opened, this site displays a pop-up window stating that "ERROR # 268d3x8938(3)" has occurred and encourages users to contact scammers via the "+1-844-276-0777" telephone number within five minutes. They go on to state that users must prevent their computers from being disabled and avoid data loss. People are urged not to ignore this 'critical error', since ignoring it (closing the scam website) might result in a disabled and damaged system. This pop-up also states that the user's computers was infected with spyware that was used to steal Facebook and email account login details, credit card information, and photos that were stored on the computer. We strongly recommend that you ignore this scam. It is safe to close the website, however, if you are unable to do this in the normal way, terminate the browser process using the Task Manager. The closed browser session should not be restored, since this will reopen the scam page.

This scam was probably opened by installed PUAs, which cause unwanted redirects, serve users with intrusive advertisements, and often gather information relating to users' browsing habits. Displayed ads are usually various pop-up ads, coupons, banners, surveys, and other unwanted content. If clicked, they open untrustworthy websites or run scripts designed to download and install other unwanted apps. When installed, some PUAs continually gather IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, and other data of this kind. Some might also record personal, sensitive details. In any case, developers share collected data with other parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. These PUAs should be removed/uninstalled immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name "Azurewebsites.net" virus
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim The fake error message claims that the system is infected and the user's account credentials/photos stored on the computer are at risk.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-844-276-0777
Symptoms Fake error messages, fake system warnings, pop-up errors, hoax computer scan.
Distribution methods Compromised websites, rogue online pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft, possible malware infections.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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This tech-support scam is very similar to others such as "Error Code 09-986-6321", "Error XR01F5", and "Windows Defender Alert (0x3e7)". Scammers often use them to trick people into paying for technical support or software. Once contacted, these criminals try to make people believe that they must solve the so-called issues immediately using their services or products. None of these scams should be trusted. PUAs that lead to them also share many similarities. Most are presented as legitimate, however, once installed they simply cause problems - they generate revenue for developers by causing unwanted redirects, displaying intrusive ads, and gathering data.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Common ways to download/install unwanted apps are through intrusive ads or when they are bundled with other software. Bundling is a deceptive marketing method used to trick people into downloading and installing PUAs with other, regular software in a stealthy way. PUAs are usually hidden in "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar sections of the software set-ups. In summary, information regarding the inclusion of apps into set-ups is not properly disclosed. Generally, people who skip steps (leave all settings unchecked) install their chosen software, but also with unwanted apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Avoid using third party software installers and downloaders, torrent clients, eMule and other Peer-to-Peer networks or unofficial websites to download software. Use only official pages and direct download links. Check all available "Advanced", "Custom" and other similar settings of software setups and deselect offers to download or install unwanted programs. Avoid clicking intrusive ads. Once clicked, they often redirect to untrustworthy and potentially malicious websites such as pornography, gambling, adult dating, and so on. If these ads and unwanted redirects happen regularly, check your browser for unwanted extensions, add-ons, and plug-ins, and remove them. Also uninstall any unwanted programs. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "azurewebsites[.]net" pop-up:

** Microsoft Warning Alert **
ERROR # 268d3x8938(3)
Please call us immediately at:
+1-844-276-0777    (Toll Free)
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware. The following information is being stolen...
Call Microsoft: +1-844-276-0777    (Toll Free) 

The appearance of "azurewebsites[.]net" pop-up (GIF):

azurewebsites.net scam gif

Another variant of azurewebsites[.]net pop-up scam:

azurewebsites[.]net pop-up scam (sample 2)

Examples of other pop-up scams promoted using azurewebsites[.]net service:

Pop-up scam promoted via azurewebsites.net site (sample 1) Pop-up scam promoted via azurewebsites.net site (sample 2) Pop-up scam promoted via azurewebsites.net site (sample 3) Pop-up scam promoted via azurewebsites.net site (sample 4)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes 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:

Removal of potentially unwanted applications:

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.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.

Mac 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.

PUAs 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 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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing rogue extensions 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 rogue extensions from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "azurewebsites.net" 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 rogue extensions 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 and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "azurewebsites.net" 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 rogue extensions 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 on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with "azurewebsites.net" 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 "azurewebsites.net" 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "azurewebsites.net" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "azurewebsites.net" virus or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Azurewebsites.net virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "Azurewebsites.net" virus on your mobile device.
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