What is the "Attention 22 threats found" scam?
"Attention 22 threats found" is a technical support scam run on deceptive websites. It makes claims that "22 threats" have been detected on the users' devices to trick them into calling a fake tech support line. No web page can detect threats/issues present on a visitor's system.
Any that make such statements are scams. Therefore, you are expressly advised against trusting the "Attention 22 threats found" scheme. Typically, users access these deceptive web pages though redirects caused by intrusive ads or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs).
When a website, promoting "Attention 22 threats found" scam is entered, it displays several pop-up windows. The pop-up in the right corner of the web page states that more than a dozen threats have been detected and are present on the visitor's device. They range from spyware to remote access Trojans (RATs).
Therefore, users are instructed to contact the service helpline immediately and quarantine the infected file, as cyber criminals have allegedly gained access/control over the infected system, or might attempt to do so soon. The pop-up window asks for user account credentials (i.e., username and password). It reiterates that the device is at risk due to serous infections.
This pop-up also instructs people not to open any browsers to avoid having more information exposed to the supposed viruses. Users are urged multiple times to call the provided toll-free telephone number so that "computer experts" can resolve the issues.
Additionally, they are informed that shutting down or restarting/rebooting the device can lead to system failure and/or permanent data loss. The text presented in the background page instructs users not to ignore the critical alert or to close this web page. The latter will result in loss of access to their device, as prevention measure against further damage to the network.
Supposedly, the system has been infected with pornographic spyware and other viruses, which are in the process of exfiltrating email and Facebook account credentials, stored photographs and documents, and credit card details. To prevent loss of data and access, users are urged to call the number within five minutes.
As mentioned, "Attention 22 threats found" is a scam and the information provided by it is false. Despite any claims to the contrary, fake technical support lines are often expensive.
Furthermore, scammers can trick callers into paying additional fees for "services rendered", request that they reveal personal information (e.g. names, locations, emails, banking account or credit card details, etc.), try to gain unauthorized access to the device and/or infect it with actual malware.
Trusting this scam can lead to system infections, financial loss, serious privacy issues and even identity theft. You are advised to simply ignore the scheme and close the site.
In some cases, it might be impossible to normally close these web pages. In this case, use Task Manager to end the browser process and choose not to restore the previous browsing session upon reopening it (to prevent the initial problem from reoccurring).
PUAs can force-open various deceptive/scam, sale-oriented, untrusted, rogue, compromised and malicious websites, however, these unwanted applications have additional capabilities. Some types (adware) can enable the placement of intrusive advertisements on any visited page.
In addition to being a nuisance, these ads redirect to harmful sites and stealthily download/install PUAs when clicked. Another type (browser hijacker) modifies browser settings and limits/denies access to settings in order to promote bogus search engines. Furthermore, most PUAs also have data tracking functions.
They can monitor and collect browsing-related information such as URLs visited, search queries typed, geolocations, IP addresses and other sensitive details. The gathered data is often shared with, or sold to, third parties seeking to similarly misuse it for profit.
You are strongly advised to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||"Attention 22 threats found" tech support scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scam claims users' devices have been infected with multiple viruses.|
|Tech Support Scammer Phone Number||+1-8-(844) 363-3406|
|Detection Names (secureserver25[.]club)
||Emsisoft (Phishing), Fortinet (Phishing), Kaspersky (Malware), Netcraft (Malicious), 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 Combo Cleaner.
"Activation Warning Alert", "WARNING! 36 infections found!!!" and "Your Windows 10 is infected with 5 viruses!" are some examples of other tech support scams. The internet is rife with deceptive web pages and the schemes run on them are varied.
In essence, they use social engineering and scare tactics to trick users into performing certain actions (e.g. calling fake support/service lines, downloading/installing and purchasing untrusted or malicious content, revealing personal information and so on).
Regardless of what the scams claim or demand, their purpose is identical: to generate revenue for the designers. Therefore, exercising caution when browsing is crucial.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Some PUAs have "official" promotional pages from which they can be downloaded. They can also be downloaded/installed with other products. "Bundling" is the term used to define this deceptive marketing tactic of packing unwanted/malicious content together regular software.
Despite the presence of opt-out options and additions, rushing downloads/installations (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps, etc.) endangers systems with potential infiltration and infections. Once clicked, intrusive advertisements can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without users' permission.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
It is important to research all products before download/installation or purchase. All downloads should be performed only from official and verified sources. Unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders can offer deceptive/bundled content, and thus 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, etc. Intrusive ads rarely seem suspicious, however, they can redirect to various dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others).
If you encounter these ads/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Appearance of "Attention 22 Threats Found" pop-up scam (GIF):
Text presented in "Attention 22 threats found" pop-up:
Attention! Threats found
Attention! 22 threats found!
File Name Threat Alert level Status
Backdoor.POISON.BQA Medium Quarantine Active
Email-Worm.Zhelatin Critical Remove Active
Email-Worm.Zhelatin Critical Remove Active
Spyware.BANKER.ID Low Fix Active
Backdoor.POISON.BQA Medium Quarantine Active
Backdoor.POISON.BQA Medium Quarantine Active
Threat name: Backdoor.POISON.BQA
Action: Quarantine this file
Infected file: C:\CONFIG.SYS
Description: This backdoor arrives as attachment to email messages spammed by another malware or a malicious user. This is a backdoor component of the Darkmoon RAT (Remote Administration Tool), via this backdoor hackers attempt to control your PC.
Service Helpline : +1-8-(844) 363-3406
Please click "Removal All" button to heal all infected files and protect your PC
Another variant of "Attention 22 Threats Found" pop-up scam:
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 "Attention 22 threats found"?
- 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 "attention 22 threats 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.
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 "attention 22 threats found" 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 "attention 22 threats 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, 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 "attention 22 threats found" 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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