"Antivirus Update is prepared" removal instructions
What is "Antivirus Update is prepared"?
"Antivirus Update is prepared" is a deceptive pop-up window displayed by scam websites. By implying that antivirus software requires updating and devices are at risk, the pop-up attempts to urge people into downloading/installing untrustworthy, malicious content. Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) are often proliferated through these scams. For example, fake antivirus programs, adware, browser hijackers, etc. Note that no site can detect issues or threats present on systems - any making such claims cannot be trusted. Additionally, few visitors to deceptive/scam web pages enter them intentionally - most are redirected by intrusive ads or PUAs already infiltrated into the device.
The text presented in the "Antivirus Update is prepared" scam web page claims that visitors' systems might be infected with viruses. It advises them to update their "PC Cleaner" to prevent further damage to the system. This fake update is supposedly necessary to protect the system and personal data stored on the device (e.g. applications, photos and other files) from other potential infections. This page also lists currently available updates. When the "Install Update" button is clicked, the web page displays a pop-window with text stating that the update has been prepared and urging users to click the "Download Update" button to initiate the update process. Clicking this button will redirect to the promotional page of an untrustworthy product. At the time of research, the redirect of the studied sample was broken, however, there are plenty of identical and similar scams on the internet. This scam model (device is infected / antivirus needs to be updated) is popular and scammers reuse identical site design throughout hundreds of web pages. These scams have one purpose: to generate revenue for their designers through the promotion of bogus, nonoperational, untrustworthy and even malicious software. You are strongly advised against downloading, installing or purchasing products promoted via these dubious methods, since this can lead to serious issues and endanger device/user safety. If a deceptive website cannot be closed by exiting the browser tab/window, terminate the browser process using Task Manager. The next time the browser is opened, do not restore the previous session, otherwise the scam site will also be reopened.
Schemes identical or similar to "Antivirus Update is prepared" typically promote fake system cleaners/optimizers. This type of PUA requires 'activation' (i.e., purchase) to perform the advertised functions. Following activation, however, it remains nonoperational. PUAs are the main causes of rogue redirects to harmful websites (e.g. deceptive/scam, untrustworthy, compromised and malicious pages), however, apps within this classification have other dangerous capabilities. They can run intrusive advertisement campaigns: delivering unwanted and dangerous ads that diminish the browsing experience. Other types can modify browsers and restrict/deny access to settings. Regardless of type, most PUAs can track data. They monitor browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect users' personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The data is commonly shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) intent on misusing it for profit. In summary, PUAs can lead to browser and system infiltration/infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. Therefore, you are advised to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Antivirus Update is prepared pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims that the visitor's device might be infected and recommends updating the antivirus software.|
|Detection Names (protectyourpc-al[.]club)||CyRadar (Malicious), Avira (no cloud) (Phishing), ESET (Malware), Fortinet (Phishing), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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.
"ERROR 0xC004FC03", "Your PC is infected with 5 viruses" and "Norton Subscription Has Expired Today" are examples of scams such similar to "Antivirus Update is prepared". Social engineering and scare tactics are used to further these schemes. Alerts of outdated software, warnings of viruses present in the system, announcements of 'amazing' prizes won are common scam models. They often trick users into performing specific actions. E.g. downloading, installing, purchasing untrustworthy/malicious programs, calling expensive fraudulent technical support lines, making monetary transactions (paying bogus fees, fines and other payments), revealing personal information, and so on.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Some PUAs have "official" download web pages, which are commonly promoted by other deceptive/scam sites. PUAs also proliferate via download/installation set-ups of other software. The deceptive marketing method of pre-packing regular products with unwanted or malicious programs is called "bundling". When downloading/installing, ignoring terms, skipping steps and sections, using pre-set options risks unintentionally allowing bundled content onto devices. Intrusive ads also proliferate these applications. Once such an ad is clicked, it can execute scripts to stealthily download/install PUAs.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
Research all products to verify their legitimacy, before downloading, installing, or purchasing them. Use only official and verified download channels. Sources such as free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.) and other third party downloaders are untrustworthy and should be avoided. When downloading/installing, read the terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of bundled additions (apps, tools, features and so on). Intrusive advertisements often seem normal and innocuous, however, they can generate redirects to dubious web pages (e.g. pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.). If you experience ads/redirects of this type, check the system and remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins without delay. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in "Antivirus Update is prepared" web page:
UPDATE & SECURITY
Your PC may be infected by viruses. An urgent update is recommended for PC Cleaner to protect the system from viruses and prevent further damage to the system in your personal data, such as the loss of applications, photos or other files.
Updates are available:
2018-08 Cumulative Update for Windows Version 1703 for x64-based Systems
2018-09 Cumulative Update for Windows Version 1703 for x64-based Systems
Screenshot of the pop-up presented by "Antivirus Update is prepared" scam:
Text presented in the pop-up window:
Antivirus Update is prepared
Click the button below to download update
The appearance of "Antivirus Update is prepared" 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 "Antivirus Update is prepared"?
- 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 antivirus update is prepared pop-up, 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 antivirus update is prepared pop-up, 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 antivirus update is prepared pop-up 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 antivirus update is prepared pop-up, 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 antivirus update is prepared pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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