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Remove malware distributed via "The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found" scam

Also Known As: "The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found" virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found"?

Similar to "Chrome Update Center" and many others, "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" is a fake error message displayed by various malicious websites. Users typically visit these websites inadvertently - they are redirected by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) already present on the system or intrusive advertisements delivered by other rogue sites.

PUAs usually infiltrate computers without users' consent and are designed to deliver intrusive advertisements and record sensitive data. Note: "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" scam is used to spread the TrickBot trojan.

The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found scam message

"The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" displays a fake error message stating that the system is missing a font called "PT Sans". The message encourages visitors to download this font immediately, otherwise content will not be displayed properly. In fact, rather than downloading a font, users end up downloading and installing a high-risk trojan called TrickBot.

Furthermore, the error text differs slightly depending on the browser used. Although TrickBot has been updated a number of times, its main purpose remains identical: to record sensitive data. One TrickBot feature is modification of visited websites - it changes them so that entered logins/passwords are immediately saved to a remote server.

This malware is also capable of stealing browser cookies, saved logins/passwords in browsers and in various applications. Other account-related data is also collected and saved to a server. Cyber criminals aim to generate as much revenue as possible. Therefore, having a data-tracking trojan installed on your computer can have serious consequences.

Cyber criminals might gain access to victims' bank accounts and steal savings. Furthermore, they can steal email, social network, and other personal accounts, which can lead to identity theft. Therefore, TrickBot poses a significant threat to your privacy and should be eliminated immediately.

We strongly recommend that you ignore "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" error message and never download any files from websites that display this or other similar messages.

As mentioned above, users are often redirected to websites that deliver "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" message by various PUAs. As well as causing redirects, these applications are also likely to deliver coupons, banners, pop-ups, and other similar intrusive advertisements.

These usually redirect to dubious websites and might even run scripts that download/install other PUAs. Therefore, even a single accidental click can result in high-risk computer infections. PUAs are also likely to record user-system information.

In this case, however, collected data is less sensitive - the list typically includes IP addresses, website URLs visited, web pages viewed, search queries, IP addresses, geolocations, and so on. The data is later shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue.

Therefore, data tracking can lead to privacy issues. As with TrickBot, all potentially unwanted applications should be immediately removed.

Threat Summary:
Name "The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found" virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password-stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Hoax The fake error message claims that the system is missing a font called PT Sans and encourages recipients to download it so that website content can be displayed properly.
Payload TrickBot trojan
Detection Names Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), BitDefender (Trojan.GenericKD.32100244), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/GenKryptik.DLEY), Kaspersky (Trojan-Banker.Win32.Trickster.dxw), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

There are dozens of fake error messages displayed by deceptive websites. Most claim that the system is damaged, however, not all proliferate high-risk trojans such as TrickBot.

Most fake error messages encourage users to contact fake 'tech support' or to download fake system cleaners (both of which require payment). In any case, trusting fake error messages can lead to financial loss and privacy issues.

How did "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" infect my computer?

As mentioned above, "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" encourages users to download a font, which is supposedly missing. The font supposedly allows website content to be displayed properly. In fact, the downloaded file is malicious and downloading/running it leads to infiltration of the TrickBot trojan.

Criminals often present malware as legitimate software. In most cases, they use this method when proliferating malware through various unofficial download sources (e.g., Peer-to-Peer [P2P] networks, freeware download websites, free file hosting sites, and similar).

How to avoid installation of malware?

The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge of these threats and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. Therefore, pay attention during the download/installation processes. Never trust error messages displayed on dubious sites.

Software/operating systems should be updated only through implemented functions or tools provided by the official developers. The same applies to software downloads. Your programs should be downloaded from official sources only, preferably using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps and, thus, these tools should never be used.

While downloading/installing, carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Opt-out of all additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them. The aforementioned intrusive advertisements usually seem legitimate.

Once clicked, however, they redirect to dubious websites (gambling, adult dating, pornography, and similar). If you experience these ads/redirects, eliminate all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins.

If you have already opened "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

The malicious executable ("Ono1_bFgdX.exe") distributed using "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" scam and its associated process ("ODBC Driver Manager" - TrickBot trojan) in Windows Task Manager:

TrickBot trojan process

Appearance of "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" error displayed in Google Chrome web browser (GIF):

The PT Sans Font Wasnt Found error scam in Google Chrome

Text presented within this page:

The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found
The web page you are trying to load is displayed incorrectly, as it uses the 'PT Sans' font.
To fix the error and display the text, you have to update the 'Chrome Font Pack'.
Manufacturer:    Chrome
Current version:    Font Pack 23.43.5443.12
Latest version:    Font Pack 28.56.5543.23

Appearance of "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" error displayed in the Mozilla Firefox web browser:

The PT Sans Font Wasnt Found error message in Mozilla Firefox

Text presented within this page:

The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found
The web page you are trying to load is displayed incorrectly, as it uses the 'PT Sans' font.
To fix the error and display the text, you have to update the 'Firefox Font Pack'.
Manufacturer:    Firefox
Current version:    Font Pack 23.43.5443.12
Latest version:    Font Pack 28.56.5543.23

Appearance of "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" error displayed in the Internet Explorer web browser:

The PT Sans Font Wasnt Found error message in Internet Explorer

Text presented within this page:

The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found
The web page you are trying to load is displayed incorrectly, as it uses the 'PT Sans' font.
To fix the error and display the text, you have to update the 'Internet Explorer Font Pack'.
Manufacturer: Internet Explorer
Current version: Font Pack 23.43.5443.12
Latest version: Font Pack 28.56.5543.23

Appearance of "The PT Sans Font Wasn't Found" error displayed in Microsoft Edge web browser:

The PT Sans Font Wasnt Found error message in Microsoft Edge

Text presented within this page:

The 'PT Sans' font wasn't found
The web page you are trying to load is displayed incorrectly, as it uses the 'PT Sans' font.
To fix the error and display the text, you have to update the 'Edge Font Pack'.
Manufacturer:
Edge
Current version:
Font Pack 23.43.5443.12
Latest version:
Font Pack 28.56.5543.23

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:
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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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