"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.
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.
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
"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:
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
The appearance of "Free up some memory urgently" pop-up scam (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 "Free up some memory urgently"?
- 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 "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.
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 (such as "Kalox APP") and remove them.
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 (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 plugins 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 "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, 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 "free up some memory urgently" 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 "free up some memory urgently" pop-up from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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