Windows Hard Disk Is At High Risk POP-UP Scam

Also Known As: "Windows hard disk is at high risk" virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"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 with a purpose to extract money from unsuspecting people by tricking them into paying money for unnecessary software or services. Typically, people do not visit websites of this type intentionally. They are redirected to them by deceptive ads they have clicked or potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) that they have installed on their browsers or computers. In addition to redirects, apps of this type usually feed their users with unwanted ads and gather browsing-related information.

Windows hard disk is at high risk scam

This scam page says that all data stored on a visitor's hard drive will be deleted if he will close this page. According to this website, a computer/system was attacked by ALUREON, supposedly a high-risk virus. It is stated that a visitor's hard drive will be wiped out after 5 minutes. To prevent this from happening, this scam page encourages people to call the "1-855-623-5333" number. According to the pop-up window that this website displays, this virus attack happened due to some recently downloaded files that were malicious. Since this is a scam, it can be ignored. This scam is a typical method to swindle people out of their money. Once contacted, scammers try to trick people into using their services that are not free, or to purchase some software that supposed to fix the occurred problem (in this case to eliminate some viruses). We strongly recommend not to fall for this or any other similar scam and to simply close this page. If it cannot be closed in a normal way, then we suggest to end browser's process using the Task Manager. Note, it is not recommended to restore the previously closed session the next time a browser is opened. It will reopen the same deceptive web page again.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, redirect to untrustworthy, deceptive pages often occur because of various PUAs that people have installed on their computers and/or browsers. These apps usually are designed to gather various data too. They collect user's IP addresses, geolocations, entered search queries, URLs of visited websites and so on. Note, some of them might be designed to record personal details too. One way or another, their developers send all gathered data to other people, potentially, cyber criminals. Third parties misuse received data to generate revenue. One more problem such apps is that they might be designed to deliver intrusive ads. For example, various coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups and so on. If clicked, they open various scam and other unreliable pages or execute scripts designed to download, install unwanted programs.

Threat Summary:
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 hard drive will be deleted if user will close the page. Message also encourages users to contact "certified technicians" immediately.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number 1-855-623-533
Related Domain(s)
browsersecurityalert1z001[.]info
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.
Removal

To eliminate Windows hard disk is at high risk virus our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
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There is a great number of various deceptive, scam websites. Here are some examples: "Microsoft detected malicious virus and blocked your computer", "Enter Windows registration key to unblock" and "Error XR01F5" Typically, people (scammers) who created them try to trick their visitors into paying them money for some questionable, unnecessary software, or to use their services ("technical support"). None of these pages should be trusted, the best option is to simply ignore/close them. PUAs that often are the reason behind redirects to such pages usually 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 get installed when people download and install some other software without dismissing additionally included apps. In other words, when they leave all download or installation setup's settings like "Custom", "Advanced" and others unchecked and unchanged. Including apps into setups of other software is known as a marketing method called "bundling". To trick people into downloading and installing PUAs, they hide information about them in the aforementioned parts (settings) of download/installation setups. Another way to cause unintentional downloads and installations is to click deceptive, intrusive advertisements that, once clicked, run scripts designed to download and install unwanted apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

We do not recommend to use various third party software downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule, etc.), questionable, unofficial websites and other similar sources to download or install any software. It should be downloaded from official, trustworthy websites and using direct download links. Furthermore, it is important to check what are the included "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings of any software's setup, and to deselect bundled apps. Otherwise, they will be downloaded and installed together with the desired software. We suggest to avoid clicking intrusive advertisements, especially if they are displayed on pages related to gambling, adult dating, pornography and so on. If clicked, they open various untrustworthy, potentially malicious websites or download/install PUAs. If you encounter such redirects or ads often, then we recommend to check if there are no unwanted/unknown extensions, plug-ins or add-ons installed on a default web browser. All apps of this kind should be removed as soon as possible. Unwanted programs that are installed on the operating system should be uninstalled too. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter 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's pop-up window:

pop-up window by windows hard disk is at high risk scam page

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):

Windows hard disk is at high risk scam gif

Instant automatic removal of Windows hard disk is at high risk virus: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Windows hard disk is at high risk virus. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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 "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.

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 "windows hard disk is at high risk" 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 plugins 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 "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, 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 logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset 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 "windows hard disk is at high risk" virus from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on "windows hard disk is at high risk" 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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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
Windows hard disk is at high risk 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 "Windows hard disk is at high risk" virus on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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