Remove apps that open scams like Windows Defender - Security Warning?

Also Known As: Windows Defender - Security Warning technical support scam
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

"Windows Defender - Security Warning" removal instructions

What is "Windows Defender - Security Warning"?

As a rule, scammers behind technical support scams like this one attempt to trick users into believing that their computers are infected, there are some errors on them, etc., so they would call the provided number and then pay money for unnecessary services, software. In some cases scammers behind such pages attempt to trick visitors into providing a remote access to the computer. In most cases users end up on such pages through other shady pages, by clicking deceptive ads or when some installed PUA opens such pages for them. Either way, users do not visit scam pages like this one intentionally. It is worthwhile to mention that this page is hosted using the Amazon AWS service provided by Amazon. It is common for scammers, cyber criminals to employ this service for malicious purposes.

Windows Defender - Security Warning scam

As stated in the pop-up windows that appear once this technical support website is visited, a Trojan, Spyware the error code #0x898778 has been detected, and the access to o computer has been blocked. Information such as email, Facebook credentials, banking passwords, pictures and documents has been compromised as well. In order to restore the access to the computer, fix the detected error and remove detected threats visitors are encouraged to call the +1-(888)-351-4098 number. As a rule, when scammers behind websites like this one are contacted, they try to sell unsuspecting users some unnecessary software or trick them into paying for some unnecessary services. Also, it is common that they ask users for a permission to access their computers remotely. In such cases they use the provided access to steal sensitive information, infect computers with some malware (e.g., ransomware, Trojan) or for other malicious purposes. Either way, technical support scams must be ignored. As mentioned in the introduction, quite often users end up on such pages because they have some PUA that is designed to promote (open) such pages installed on a browser and/or computer.

It is common that PUAs are designed not only to open untrustworthy pages (like technical support scams), but also to collect various information and/or serve advertisements. They gather details like IP addresses, geolocations, addresses of visited websites, entered search queries, etc. In some cases they are capable of accessing sensitive information as well. The problem with it is that their developers could sell gathered data to third parties (potentially cyber criminals) or misuse it to generate revenue in other ways. Additionally, PUAs can be designed to serve coupons, banners, pop-ups, surveys and/or other types of ads. When clicked, most of those ads open unreliable websites, sometimes they execute scripts designed to cause download and/or installation of some PUA.

Threat Summary:
Name Windows Defender - Security Warning technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Website has detected Spyware, Trojan and error
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-(888)-351-4098
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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"Trojan Spyware Alert", "ERROR # 0x6a4-0xf9fx3999", "Activation Failed! (Error Code 001)" and "Windows Error Code: DLL011150" are examples of other technical support scams. As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, scammers behind such websites attempt to deceive unsuspecting visitors into believing that there is something wrong with the operating system/computer and calling the provided number. Their main goal is to extract some money or allowing them to access computers remotely. If a browser opens websites of this kind often, then it is very likely that it has some PUA installed on it.

How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?

It is common that users download and/or install programs that have "Custom", "Advanced" or other settings in their setups without changing them. Therefore, they allow for included PUAs to be downloaded and/or installed too. As a rule, the aforementioned settings can be used to decline offers to download and/or install PUAs. This distribution method of PUAs is known as "bundling". In some cases unwanted downloads and/or installations can be caused by clicking deceptive, untrustworthy advertisements. Although, only the ones that are designed to execute certain scripts.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Quite often third party downloaders, installers, unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule, etc., are used as tools to distribute various PUAs. Therefore, files and programs should be downloaded from official websites and via direct download links. Download and/or installation setups that have settings like "Custom", "Advanced", "Manual" often include offers to download and/or install potentially unwanted software. The aforementioned settings should be always checked before completing downloads and installations. Intrusive advertisements that appear on questionable, unofficial websites should not be clicked as well, they can be designed to open various potentially malicious websites or cause unwanted downloads, installations. If there are any suspicious, unwanted, unknown extensions, plug-ins and/or add-ons installed on a browser or programs of this kind installed on the operating system, then they should be removed/uninstalled. If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "Windows Defender - Security Warning" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Windows Defender - Security Warning scam

Text presented in initial pop-up window:

Windows Firewall Protection

 

Microsoft
Trojan Spyware Alert - Error Code: #0x898778
Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.

 

Contact Windows Support: +1-(888)-351-4098

 

Threat Detected - Trojan Spyware

App: Ads.financetrack(1).exe

 

Run Anyway Back to Safety

Text in the second pop-up window:

Windows Defender - Security Warning
** ACCESS TO THIS PC HAS BEEN BLOCKED FOR SECURITY REASONS **

 

Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Trojan Spyware. The following data has been compromised.

 

> Email Credentials
> Banking Passwords
> Facebook Login
> Pictures & Documents

 

Windows Defender Scan has found potentially unwanted Adware on this device that can steal your passwords, online identity, financial information, personal files, pictures or documents.

 

You must contact us immediately so that our engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone.

 

Call Microsoft Support immediately to report this threat, prevent identity theft and unlock access to this device.

 

Closing this window will put your personal information at risk and lead to a suspension of your Windows Registration.

 

Call Microsoft Support: +1-(888)-351-4098 (USA Toll Free)

 

OK Cancel

Text in the background:

Error: Unknown System Failure!

 

Contact Support

 

+1-(888)-351-4098

 

(USA Toll Free)

 

LIVE CHAT
 

 Windows Defender Scan

 

 Settings Help

 

You Are Protected
Protection Updates: Current

 

Last Scan: Not available | Quick Scan

 

Licenses Used: 1 of 5 | Install on Another Device

 

Security Protected Identity Protected Performance Protected Firewall Protected

 

SUBSCRIPTION STATUS: 2 Days Remaining

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:
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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:

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 - security warning technical 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 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 windows defender - security warning technical 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 - security warning technical 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.

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 - security warning technical 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

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 - security warning technical 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 - security warning technical 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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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 - Security Warning technical support scam 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 Windows Defender - Security Warning technical support scam on your mobile device.
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