"Windows hard disk is at high risk" removal instructions
What is "Windows hard disk is at high risk"?
"Windows hard disk is at high risk" is a technical support scam that is promoted on a deceptive website. Scam websites of this type are used to extort money from unsuspecting people by tricking them into paying for unnecessary software or services. Typically, people do not visit websites of this type intentionally - they are redirected to them by deceptive ads that they have clicked, or potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) that have been installed on their browsers or computers. In addition to redirects, PUAs feed users with unwanted ads and gather browsing-related information.
This scam site states that all data stored on the visitor's hard drive will be deleted if the web page is closed. According to this website, the computer/system was attacked by ALUREON, supposedly a high-risk virus. It is stated that the visitor's hard drive will be wiped after five minutes. To prevent this from happening, this scam page encourages people to call the "1-855-623-5333" telephone number. According to the pop-up window displayed by this website, the virus attack occurred due to recently-downloaded files that were malicious. Since this is a scam, these statements can be ignored. This is a typical method used to extort money from people. Once contacted, scammers try to trick people into paying for their services or to purchase software that will supposedly fix the problem (in this case, to eliminate viruses). Do not fall for these scams - simply close this page. If it cannot be closed in the normal way, end the browser process using Task Manager. Do not restore the previously-closed session the next time browser is opened, since this will reopen the deceptive web page.
As mentioned, redirects to untrustworthy, deceptive web pages often occur due to PUAs that people have installed on their computers and browsers. These apps usually gather various data such as IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites, and so on. Note, some might be designed to record personal details. Developers send all gathered data to other parties (often, cyber criminals). The third parties can misuse private data to generate revenue. PUAs might also deploy intrusive ads. For example, coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on. If clicked, they open scam sites and other dubious pages, or execute scripts designed to download and install unwanted programs.
|Name||"Windows hard disk is at high risk" virus|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||The fake message claims that system is attacked by "ALUREON" and that the hard drive will be deleted if the user closes the web page. The message also encourages users to contact "certified technicians" immediately.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||1-855-623-533|
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
There are many deceptive, scam websites online. Some examples include "Microsoft detected malicious virus and blocked your computer", "Enter Windows registration key to unblock", and "Error XR01F5" Typically, scammers who create these sites try to trick visitors into paying for dubious, unnecessary software, or to use their services ("technical support"). None of these pages should be trusted. The best option is to simply ignore and close them. PUAs are often the reason for redirects to these pages - they are promoted as legitimate and useful tools, however, when installed, they cause unwanted redirects, gather data, and serve ads. Having apps of this type installed might lead to problems with browsing safety, privacy, or cause even more serious problems such as identity theft.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Typically, PUAs are installed when people download and install other software without dismissing additionally-included apps - they leave download or installation settings such as "Custom", "Advanced" and others, unchecked and unchanged. Including apps into set-ups of other software is known as a marketing method called "bundling". To trick people into downloading and installing PUAs, they hide information regarding the inclusion of PUAs in download/installation set-ups. Unintentional downloads and installations are also caused by clicking deceptive, intrusive advertisements - they then run scripts designed to download and install unwanted apps.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Do not use third party software downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), dubious, unofficial websites and other similar sources to download or install software. Downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and using direct download links. Check included "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of software setups, and deselect bundled apps (otherwise, they are downloaded and installed with your chosen software). Avoid clicking intrusive advertisements, especially if they are displayed on pages relating to gambling, adult dating, pornography and so on. If clicked, they open untrustworthy, potentially malicious websites or download/install PUAs. If you encounter these redirects or ads, check for unwanted/unknown extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons installed on the default browser and remove them immediately. Also remove unwanted programs that are installed on the operating system. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in "Windows hard disk is at high risk" website:
Your Hard drive will de DELETED if you close this page. You have a ALUREON Attack! Please call Support Now! Call Toll-Free: 1-855-623-5333 To Stop This Process
Hard Drive safely delete in starting in 4:36
Your Windows hard disk is at high risk
To immediately rectify issue and prevent data loss
Call Toll Free: 1-855-623-5333
Screenshot of this scam website pop-up window:
Text presented in this pop-up window:
Windows Detected ALUREON Attack, The Infection detected, indicate some recent downloads on the computer which in turn has created problems on the computer. Call Toll Free 1-855-623-5333 and share this code SD333 to the Agent to Fix This.
The appearance of "Windows hard disk is at high risk" pop-up (GIF):
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:
- What is "Windows hard disk is at high risk"?
- 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 7 users:
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:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 "windows hard disk is at high risk" 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 "windows hard disk is at high risk" 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 "windows hard disk is at high risk" 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 "windows hard disk is at high risk" 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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove "windows hard disk is at high risk" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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