What is "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED"?
"CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED" is a fake error/stop code, the notification of which appears on a technical support scam website. Scammers behind this web page attempt to trick visitors into calling the number provided and paying for a supposedly legitimate technical support service.
We strongly advise against trusting this scam or calling the people (cyber criminals) responsible for it. People do not generally visit these sites intentionally - they are redirected to them through other dubious web pages, deceptive ads, or by installed potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
This technical support scam states that the security system has detected an attempt to gain access to the visitor's bank logins and other banking-related details. It also states that this attempt was blocked with the Firewall, however, visitors are advised to temporarily block all accounts and take necessary security measures.
They are encouraged to check current system security and stability immediately by calling the +1 (855) 723-3755 number, which is disguised as the number of the Microsoft Support/Help Desk. This scam site also asks visitors to provide their Windows usernames and passwords.
There are a number of other cases whereby scammers claim to be members of the Microsoft support team. Note that Microsoft has nothing do to with any of these 'technical support', or other, scams. Generally, people who call scammers are offered paid services or software.
The scammers behind such scams attempt to extort money from unsuspecting people. If your browser opens this, or another scam, ignored it and close the website. If this cannot be done normally (by closing the opened tab or window), end the browser process through Task Manager. Do not restore the closed browsing session, since this will reopen the same scam website.
These scam websites are usually opened by a PUA that is installed on the browser and/or operating system. These apps usually gather browsing-related information. For example, IP addresses, entered search queries, addresses of opened websites, geolocations, etc.
Sometimes they also record sensitive, personal information. The developers can then sell the details to third parties who misuse them to generate revenue. Some of these parties might be cyber criminals. PUAs often serve intrusive advertisements in the form of coupons, banners, surveys, pop-ups, and so on.
The ads conceal underlying content of visited websites and, if clicked, also open untrustworthy websites or execute scripts designed to download and/or install other unwanted apps. PUAs can lead to problems relating to online privacy, browsing safety, and other issues. Furthermore, users risk having their identities stolen.
|Name||"CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED" tech support scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||According to this tech support scam page, it has detected an attempt to gain access to the visitor's banking details.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1 (855) 723-3755|
|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.
Many deceptive websites are used to trick unsuspecting people into paying for supposedly legitimate services and/or software. Typically, these web pages display fake virus, error alerts and other fake notifications. Examples of other scams are "Activation Warning Alert", "Microsoft Protected Your Computer" and "Call Microsoft Helpline".
Potentially unwanted apps that make browsers open these deceptive websites are also very similar. In most cases, they open untrustworthy websites, collect information and serve intrusive ads. They are often promoted as useful and legitimate apps, however, they are useless and cause various problems.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Generally, people do not download or install PUAs willingly - they are tricked when these apps are included as additional offers in the download and/or installation set-ups of regular software. This PUA distribution method is called "bundling". Typically, offers to download and/or install PUAs are mentioned in settings of set-ups such as "Custom", "Advanced", and other similar sections.
To prevent PUAs from being downloaded/installed, you must change the settings (dismiss offers to download and/or install unwanted apps), however, many people often fail to check them, thereby granting PUAs permission to be installed/downloaded. They are sometimes downloaded or installed through deceptive ads - if clicked, these execute certain malicious scripts.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
The safest way to download software and files is using official, trustworthy websites and direct links. Various third party downloaders, installers, torrent clients, eMule (and other Peer-to-Peer networks), unofficial websites, etc., should not be used.
Do not finish any download or installation process without checking "Advanced", "Custom" and other settings that are included in the setup. Dismiss offers to download and/or install unwanted software. It is not safe to click intrusive ads (especially if they are displayed on untrustworthy websites).
These can lead to other dubious websites or cause download/installation of potentially malicious apps.
Finally, remove all unwanted extensions, plug-ins and add-ons from the web browser, and software of this kind from 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 the left pop-up window of the "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED" scam website:
The server ****** is asking for your user name and password.
That server also reports:
Text presented in the right pop-up window of the "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED" scam website:
Stop code: CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED | Error Report
Security system has detected the threatening attempt to gain access to your bank logins and related data, but this dangerous connection was blocked with Firewall and further data leak was prevented.
We strongly recommend you to perform temporary block of all your accounts, and take some necessary security measures.
Despite the timely blocking of the connection, there is still a serious threat of private data stealth.
Please don t wait to respond, every minute is important!
There is possibility that virus already hurt your disks or destroyed and stole its data.
It is reason for checking current system security and verifying its stability.
Do not spend your time and immediately call us or contact our service center support team.
Contact Microsoft Support:
+1 (855) 723-3755
We are waiting for your rapid responce to help you
Please contact our administration to solve this issue.
Call Help Desk:
+1 (855) 723-3755
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 "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED"?
- 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 "critical_process_died" tech support scam, 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 "critical_process_died" tech support scam, 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 "critical_process_died" tech support scam 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 "critical_process_died" tech support scam, 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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