Avoid being scammed by the "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" scheme

Also Known As: WARNING! 36 infections found!!! tech support scam
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" removal instructions

What is the "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" scam?

"WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" is a technical support scam promoted on various deceptive websites. The scheme states that users' systems have been infected with 36 viruses and urges them to call Microsoft 'tech support' via the number provided. All of these claims are false and are in no way connected to the Microsoft Corporation. Furthermore, no website can detect threats/issues present on a device - any that make such claims are scams. These deceptive/scam web pages are usually accessed through redirects caused by intrusive ads or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs) already infiltrated into the system.

WARNING! 36 infections found!!! scam

When a website running the "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" scheme is entered, it displays several pop-up windows. The pop-up in the left corner of the page states that thirty-six infections have been detected during the last scan. It advises users to remove the threats before they cause irreparable damage to the system. The possible consequences are listed as additional infections, system crashes, processor overheating, reduced internet connection speed, permanent data loss and serious privacy issues. The window at the center of the page reports that, due to a spyware infection, suspicious activity has been noted on the IP address. This is putting all of the users' data at risk (e.g. online information and financial activity), and they are instructed to call the listed number and contact certified technicians to resolve this issue immediately. Additionally, the message in the pop-up warns users not to open any internet browsers or make any changes to the system, as this can result in data loss, system file and driver corruption, and system failure, etc. Restarting or shutting down the computer can lead to the same outcome. This window also asks users to provide their account usernames and passwords. This is not a legitimate security report from Microsoft - "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" is simply a scam. The fake technical support telephone numbers provided by these types of scams often have high-tolls (despite any claims that they are toll-free). Alternatively, the scammers may demand payment for "services rendered", attempt to extort sensitive information from the users and/or gain unauthorized access to their systems. In summary, trusting "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" or similar schemes can result in system infiltration/infections, financial loss, endangering user's privacy and identity theft. Therefore, do not trust this scam or any others. In some cases, a deceptive site cannot be closed. If this is the case, use Task Manger to end the browser process and, upon reopening the browser program, do not restore the browsing session (to prevent the scam web page from being opened again).

As mentioned, PUAs can force-open various deceptive/scam, untrusted, rogue, sale-oriented, compromised and malicious websites, however, they also have other malicious capabilities. They can deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys and other intrusive advertisements. Once clicked, these ads redirect to similarly harmful sites and can even execute scripts to stealthily download/install rogue software (e.g. PUAs). Other applications within this classification can modify browser settings and deny access to them - this, to promote bogus search engines. Most PUAs (regardless of type/specifications) can track data. They can record browsing activity (browsing and search engine histories) and collect personal information derived from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The gathered data is often shared with third parties, seeking to misuse it for profit - potentially, by putting it to criminal use. To ensure device integrity and user safety, remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name WARNING! 36 infections found!!! tech support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Scam claims that the user's system is infected.
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-844-976-1809
Related Domains securitywindow28606311[.]club
Serving IP Address 104.168.242.190
Detection Names (securitywindow28606311[.]club) Kaspersky (Malware), 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.
▼ Download Malwarebytes
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Malwarebytes. 14 days free trial available.

"Windows Defender Browser Protection", "Windows Was Blocked Due To Questionable Activity", "Microsoft Protected Your Computer" and "CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED" are some examples of other technical support scams. They attempt to trick people into performing certain actions - to further the scammers' nefarious aims. People are often encouraged to: call fake and expensive support/service lines; download/install or purchase nonoperational, untrusted or malicious software; make monetary transactions (e.g. pay for fraudulent services or likewise fake subscription, registration fees, etc.), and; reveal personal information (e.g. names, addresses, telephone numbers, emails, credit card or banking account details, etc.). Regardless of what these deceptive pages claim or request, they have just one purpose: to generate revenue at users' expense. Therefore, you are advised to exercise caution when browsing - avoid becoming the victim of a scam.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

PUAs spread via the download/install set-ups of other programs. This deceptive marketing method of packing normal software with unwanted or malicious additions is termed "bundling". Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. using presets, skipping steps and sections, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content. Some PUAs have "official" download web pages. Intrusive ads also proliferate these apps. When clicked, they can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications

Software should be researched prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Use only official and verified download channels. Untrustworthy sources, such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders can offer bundled content and should be avoided. When downloading/installing, you are advised to read the terms, study available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of additional apps, tools, functions and so on. Intrusive advertisements may seem legitimate and harmless, however, once clicked, they can redirect to dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). If you encounter these ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/pug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" pop-up:

Antivirus Scan Results

WARNING! 36 infections found!!!
Malicious threats have been found during the last scan.
We strongly recommended to delete the threats before they inflict unrecoverable damage to your PC:

Permanent loss of data
System virus infections
Privacy vulnerabilities
Windows crashes
Internet connection slowdown
CPU overheating
Remove all threats
Continue unprotected

Second variant of "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" pop-up scam:

WARNING! 36 infections found!!! pop-up scam (sample 2)

Third variant of "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" pop-up scam:

WARNING! 36 infections found!!! pop-up scam (sample 3)

Another variant of "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" pop-up scam:

WARNING! 36 infections found!!! pop-up scam (2020-08-07)

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 warning! 36 infections found!!! 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 warning! 36 infections found!!! 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 warning! 36 infections found!!! 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 warning! 36 infections found!!! 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 warning! 36 infections found!!! tech support scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on warning! 36 infections found!!! 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
WARNING! 36 infections found!!! tech support scam QR code
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