Do not download dubious apps from "Free up some memory" scam sites

Also Known As: "Free up some memory urgently" pop-up
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"Free up some memory urgently" scam removal instructions

What is the "Free up some memory urgently" scam?

"Free up some memory urgently" is a scam, run on deceptive websites. It is designed to promote the Kalox APP browser hijacker. However, it is not unlikely that the scheme may promote different browser hijackers, adware and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). This scam could potentially promote malware (e.g. ransomware, trojans, etc.) as well. Like the name suggests, the scheme claims that users' device is overloaded and states that they must immediately free up the memory. It must be emphasized that no webpage can detect issues and/or threats present in systems; therefore, any pages that make such claims - are scams. Typically, users access these websites unintentionally, they get redirected to by intrusive advertisements or by PUAs, already infiltrated into the device.

Free up some memory urgently scam

When a website, running "Free up some memory urgently" scam is accessed, a pop-up window is displayed. It informs that visitors' computer's memory has reached its limit. It urges users to create some space by freeing up the memory. They are instructed to click the "Free memory" button and follow the steps provided afterwards. The small print in the pop-up states that by clicking the aforementioned button - users agree with the scam's terms. At the time of research, once the button is clicked, users are presented with the Kalox APP browser hijacker. This software, following the scheme's narrative, will supposedly free up system memory. Instead, browser hijackers operate by reassigning browsers' homepage, default search engine and new tab/window URLs - to the addresses of fake web searchers. Hence, every new browser tab/window opened and every single search query typed into the URL bar - redirect to the promoted address. Illegitimate search engines are usually unable to provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate ones. Even if fake search engines can provide said results, they tend to be inaccurate and/or promote untrustworthy and malicious sites. In case of Kalox APP, it promotes s3redirect.com and gooogle.page - illegitimate web searchers. Additionally, browser hijackers can restrict/deny access to the browser's settings and/or reset any permitted changes made. Furthermore, most PUAs (browser hijackers included) can track data - they monitor browsing activity and gather sensitive details extracted from it. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, geolocations, personally identifiable details and other data. What is more, the gathered information is often shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). To summarize, presence of data-tracking software on browsers/systems can result in financial losses, severe privacy issues and even identity theft. Therefore, it is strongly advised not to trust "Free up some memory urgently" and not to download products promoted using such dubious techniques.

As mentioned in the introduction, if a browser is force-opening websites like ones promoting "Free up some memory urgently" scheme - it is most likely due to PUAs, already installed onto the system. These applications can cause redirects to untrustworthy/rogue, sale-oriented, deceptive/scam, compromised and malicious websites. Another type (browser hijacker) modifies browsers in order to promote illegitimate web searchers. Adware-types run intrusive advert campaigns, i.e. deliver pop-ups, banners, coupons and other ads. Upon being clicked, these advertisements redirect to various harmful sites and some can even stealthily download/install software (e.g. PUAs). Most unwanted apps can also spy on users' browsing habits and collect private information. To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.

Threat Summary:
Name "Free up some memory urgently" pop-up
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam claims device's memory is overloaded
Distributed Unwanted Apps Kalox APP
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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"A virus has been detected on your computer", "VIRUS ALERT FROM Windows" and "Windows firewall has blocked some features of this program" are a few examples of scams, making bogus claims about users' devices. There is a wide variety of scam models, which attempt to trick users in different ways. For example, users may be pushed to: download/install and/or purchase nonoperational, untrustworthy or malicious software; reveal personal information (e.g. names, addresses, telephone numbers, emails, banking account and/or credit card details, etc.); make fake payments (e.g. for "services rendered", registration, subscription, shipping, etc.); call fraudulent and expensive tech support lines, and so on. Regardless of what such schemes claim, offer, request or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue to the scammers / cyber criminals behind them.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

Some PUAs have "official" download webpages, which are commonly promoted by deceptive/scam ones. These apps can also be downloaded/installed together with other products. "Bundling" is the term used to describe this false marketing method of packing ordinary software with unwanted or malicious additions. Rushed downloads/installations (e.g. ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) - increase the risk of inadvertent installation of bundled content. Intrusive ads proliferate this software as well. Once clicked on, they can execute scripts designed to download/install PUAs without user consent.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

All products should be researched before download/installation and/or purchase. It is highly recommended to only download from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, like: unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer dubious and bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary applications, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts usually look legitimate and harmless, however they redirect to various questionable websites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating and others). Should users encounter such advertisements/redirects, they are to inspect the system and immediately remove all suspect applications and/or browser extensions/plug-ins from it. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Text presented in the "Free up some memory urgently" pop-up:

Attention!

 

Free up some memory urgently, your computer is overloaded!

 

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/83.0.4103.116 Safari/537.36

 

Click "Free memory" button and follow the instructions.

 

By clicking "Free memory" you agree with the terms
Free memory

The appearance of "Free up some memory urgently" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Free up some memory urgently scam

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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 "free up some memory urgently" 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.

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 (such as "Kalox APP") and remove them.

Removing rogue extensions from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the "free up some memory urgently" pop-up, 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 plugins 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 "free up some memory urgently" 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, 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 "free up some memory urgently" pop-up, 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 "free up some memory urgently" pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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
Free up some memory urgently pop-up QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "Free up some memory urgently" pop-up on your mobile device.
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