What is "HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE"?
"HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE" is a tech-support scam that displays a fake virus alert and encourages users to contact "technical support" by calling the telephone number provided. Criminals use these scam pages to generate revenue by tricking people into paying for software or services.
These sites are often opened by potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) installed on the system. Do not trust these websites - simply ignore them.
This scam is displayed on a web page disguised as an official Microsoft site, however, this company has nothing to do with it. According to information on the site, the user's computer is blocked, since the web page has detected a virus ("HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE") that caused the "o0acxfasf" error.
It is also stated that the user's Windows registration key is illegal, and that the operating system is hacked and is proliferating viruses over the Internet. To "reactivate" their computers, users are encouraged to contact a "Microsoft helpline" by calling the "+1(888)759-7475" telephone number.
This scam also shows a pop-up window disguised as a notification from "SmartScreen". According to this pop-up, Windows SmartScreen has prevented an unrecognized app ["windows10manager (1).exe"] from starting and that this might put the computer at risk. It also encourages users to call "technical support" via the number provided.
Remember, this is a scam that often tricks people into believing that their computers are infected or at risk. People who contact scammers via the telephone number are encouraged to remove viruses or fix other problems with paid software or using online services. Websites of this type should not be trusted.
If the site cannot be closed normally, end the browser process through Task Manager. Note that restoring the previously-closed session will reopen the same scam page. When this scam is opened in full-screen mode, it can be exited by pressing the "Esc" key.
In many cases, scam web pages (and other untrustworthy sites) are opened by potentially unwanted apps (PUAs) installed on the browser or operating system. In addition to unwanted redirects, PUAs usually gather details relating to users' browsing habits and display deceptive, dubious advertisements.
PUAs also collect users' IP addresses, geolocations, URLs of visited sites, entered search queries, etc. Developers share this data with other parties (possibly, cyber criminals) who misuse it to generate revenue. Furthermore, PUAs often display ads (coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, etc.) that lead to dubious web pages or even unwanted downloads/installations.
|Name||"HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE" virus|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||According to this scam, the computer is infected with a virus that causes system errors.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1(888)759-7475|
|Detection Names (securitywarning.s3-website.us-east-2.amazonaws[.]com)||Avira (Phishing), CLEAN MX (Malicious), CyRadar (Malicious), Kaspersky (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (securitywarning.s3-website.us-east-2.amazonaws[.]com)||126.96.36.199|
|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 Combo Cleaner.
None of these should be trusted. Often, they promote dubious applications or encourage visitors to call numbers that lead to scammers. PUAs that open these pages are usually advertised as legitimate, useful applications, however, they cause a number of problems (issues with privacy, browsing safety, and so on) and deliver none of the advertised features.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
In some cases, potentially unwanted applications can be downloaded from their (supposedly official) websites, however, most are promoted and distributed via a deceptive marketing method called "bundling". Developers use this to trick people into installing PUAs with other, regular software.
They hide PUAs in "Custom", "Advanced" or other similar settings of the software download/installation set-ups.
In most cases, these PUAs are downloaded and installed when users download/install their chosen software without checking the settings. In other cases, it happens when they click dubious ads that run scripts designed to cause download and installation of potentially unwanted applications.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Use official and trustworthy websites or other sources to download software. Third party downloaders/installers, dubious web pages, Peer-to-Peer networks, and other similar sources should not be trusted. These channels are often monetized by promoting PUAs or other, potentially malicious and rogue apps.
Install software with care - do not complete any setup steps without checking "Custom", "Advanced" and other similar settings. Opt-out of offers to download or install potentially unwanted apps, and only then finish downloading or installing software. Do not click dubious ads, especially if displayed on dubious unofficial web pages.
These ads can redirect to untrustworthy or potentially malicious websites (such as gambling, adult dating, pornography etc.). If unwanted redirects or ads occur regularly, check your browser for any unwanted/dubious extensions, plug-ins, or add-ons, and remove them immediately.
The same applies to the programs of this type 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 "HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE" scam:
VIRUS ALERT FROM MICROSOFT
BSOD:DIRREGESTRATION ERROR CODE o0acxfasf.
Why we blocked your computer?
The window's registration key is illegal. Windows Defender Time Out Error Code 0x214aL
Microsoft in order to receive immediate support and assistance with windows defender software
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 microsoft helpline to reactivate your computer.
Microsoft Security ERROR: Windows or a kernel-mode driver accessed page memory at DISPATCH_LEVEL or above.
BSOD error code 0x0000000A may also show "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL" to the same blue screen.
Screenshot of a pop-up that appears after clicking the "Back to Safety" button":
Text presented in this window:
Windows protected your PC
Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognised app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk. For technical support call on +1(888)759-7475
Publisher: Unknown Publisher
The appearance of "HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE" pop-up (GIF):
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 "HARDDISK_ROOT KIT_TROJAN_HIJACK.EXE"?
- 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 "harddisk_root kit_trojan_hijack.exe" 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 "harddisk_root kit_trojan_hijack.exe" 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 "harddisk_root kit_trojan_hijack.exe" 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 "harddisk_root kit_trojan_hijack.exe" 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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