Avoid being scammed by "Windows Defender Browser Protection"

Also Known As: Windows Defender Browser Protection tech support scam
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Windows Defender Browser Protection" removal instructions

What is "Windows Defender Browser Protection"?

"Windows Defender Browser Protection" is a technical support scam. This scam model operates by warning of potential/detected infections and urging users to contact a 'legitimate' support service. The "Windows Defender Browser Protection" scheme is run on various deceptive websites. It claims that the browser has been compromised and immediate actions are necessary. Note that no site can detect the presence of infections on systems, and therefore any that make such statements are undoubtedly scams. Visitors to these deceptive web pages rarely access them intentionally - they are usually redirected by intrusive advertisements or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already infiltrated into the device.

Windows Defender Browser Protection scam

The scam informs users that the "Windows" security system has detected attempts to stealthily exfiltrate data from their browsers. The targeted information included financial data, such as banking account credentials and associated details. This supposed data theft has been prevented, however, it is recommended that users block all related accounts and take other unspecified security measures. It is also added that despite the success of the prevention measures, it is unclear whether other private information has been compromised and/or is still at risk. Furthermore, this alleged virus may have damaged the system and it is thus necessary to check its health and stability. Therefore, the scam states that users must contact "Microsoft service center support" and provides the relevant telephone numbers for this purpose. The risk of calling fraudulent technical support lines is that they are typically very expensive (despite often being indicated as "free"). These scammers cannot actually provide 'tech support', since all information presented by the respective scams is false. Additionally, under the guise of genuine technicians, the cyber criminals may ask to run checks and/or fix the issues manually, hence gaining access to the system. To summarize, trusting "Windows Defender Browser Protection" and other similar schemes can lead to various infiltration and infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. Deceptive web pages can sometimes execute scripts to prevent users from closing them. In these cases, Task Manger must be used to end the browser process. Note that the next time the browser is opened, it is important not to restore the previous session, as doing so will reopen the malicious site.

As mentioned in the introduction, deceptive/scam web pages are commonly force-opened by PUAs. These applications can also open sale-oriented, rogue, untrusted, compromised and malicious pages. As well as causing redirects, unwanted apps also have various other capabilities. They can function as adware - i.e., deliver intrusive advertisements (e.g. banners, pop-ups, surveys, coupons, etc.). Other PUAs classified as browser hijackers can modify browser settings, restrict/deny access to them and promote fake search engines. Regardless of their specific capabilities, most PUAs track data. They can monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information (IP address, geolocations and other details). This private data is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) seeking to generate revenue. Therefore, the presence of PUAs on systems can endanger device integrity and user safety. You are strongly advised to remove all dubious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Windows Defender Browser Protection tech support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Scam claims users' browsers have been compromised and that their private data is at risk.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1 (570) 844-2039
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)

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"VIRAL ALARM OF MICROSOFT", "Windows is not activated" and "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED" are examples of other technical support scams, however, there are many other popular models, such as alerts of outdated and/or missing software, prize giveaways, 'amazing' offers, etc. Social engineering and scare tactics are used to further these schemes. The purpose might be to trick users into: calling expensive numbers; downloading/installing and/or purchasing nonoperational, untrusted or malicious content; revealing personal information (e.g. identity, banking, credit card details, etc.); making monetary transactions, various fees/payments, and so on.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs proliferate via the download/installation set-ups of other programs. This deceptive marketing tactic of pre-packing normal content with unwanted or malicious software is called 'bundling'. Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled applications onto the system. Certain PUAs have "official" promotional sites, from which they can be downloaded. Intrusive ads also proliferate these apps. When an intrusive advertisement is clicked, it can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Research all content prior to download/installation. Use only official and verified download channels. P2P sharing networks (BitTorrent, eMule, Gnutella, etc.), free file-hosting websites and other third party downloaders are untrustworthy and should be avoided. When downloading/installing, it is important to read the terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features and so on. Intrusive may seem legitimate, however, they cause redirects to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter these advertisements/redirects, inspect the device and remove all suspicious applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins immediately. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented by "Windows Defender Browser Protection" scam:

Windows Defender Browser Protection
Stop code: Mozilla Firefox Detect Malware | 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 leaks was prevented.
We strongly recommended you to perform temporary block of all of 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.

----------------------
Contact Microsoft Support:
+1 (570) 844-2039
----------------------
We are waiting for your rapid responce to help you.
Please contact our administration to solve this issue.
Call Help Desk:
+1 (570) 844-2039

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Malwarebytes By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

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 defender browser protection 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.

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 defender browser protection tech support scam, 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 plug-ins 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 defender browser protection 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, 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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the windows defender browser protection tech support scam, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the 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 defender browser protection tech support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on windows defender browser protection tech support scam 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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
Windows Defender Browser Protection tech support scam QR code
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