What is "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update"?
"Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" refers to a scam run on various untrustworthy webpages. The scheme is presented an alert concerning a new update to the Norton anti-virus, which users are urged to install.
It must be emphasized that "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" is not a genuine message from NortonLifeLock - the software developers of Norton AntiVirus. The "small print" even states that it is an "Advertisement by an independent affiliate of Norton", though the claim of affiliation is untrue.
The goal of such schemes is to endorse various products. It is especially rare for scams to promote legitimate tools; they are usually used to distribute untrustworthy and possibly malicious software.
Most notably, scams like "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" promote fake anti-viruses, adware, browser hijackers, and other PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). In some cases, schemes of this kind have been observed being used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).
Deceptive sites are typically accessed inadvertently - via mistyped URLs, or redirects caused by intrusive advertisements or installed PUAs.
The "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" scam claims that Norton has released an update in response to recent malware/virus reports. The scheme alerts that devices without installed protection tools are at risk of system infections and poor performance.
The scam urges users to clean and improve their computer system operation immediately. To install the update supposedly does not require a system restart. The "small print" on the page states that it is not a security warning but an advertisement.
The scheme falsely claims that it is an advert from an "independent affiliate of Norton". It must be emphasized that "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" cannot be trusted. It is strongly advised against downloading/installing and/or purchasing content endorsed through this scam.
As mentioned in the introduction, PUAs are often promoted through scams.
These applications appear legitimate and offer "useful" features, which are seldom operational. Fake anti-virus tools are prime examples of this; they require activation (i.e., purchase) to perform the advertised functions, yet following activation - they remain nonoperational.
Furthermore, unwanted apps can have unmentioned, harmful abilities. Some can force-open misleading, deceptive/scam, and malicious websites (e.g., ones running "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update"). Another PUA type classified as adware - operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns.
The delivered ads seriously diminish the browsing experience, and they are deemed to be dangerous. Upon being clicked, intrusive adverts redirect to dubious/malicious sites, and some can stealthily download/install software.
Browser hijackers are a type of PUAs that modify browser settings and restrict/deny access to them - in order to promote illegitimate search engines. The promoted web searchers usually cannot provide search results, so they redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other genuine search engines.
What is more, most PUAs can track data. They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and collect vulnerable information inferred from it (IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details).
PUA developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices - can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
To ensure device integrity and user privacy, all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.
|Name||Norton Antivirus 2021 Update pop-up|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam urges users to update the Norton anti-virus.|
|Disguise||Scam is presented as an alert from Norton/ advertisement from an independent affiliate of Norton.|
|Detection Names (secure.protect-pc-plus[.]xyz)||Forcepoint ThreatSeeker (Suspicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Serving IP Address (secure.protect-pc-plus[.]xyz)||126.96.36.199|
|Distributed Unwanted Apps||Various dubious applications|
|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.
The Internet is rife with misleading and deceptive websites/content.
Popular scam models include: alerts that an essential piece of software is outdated or missing, warnings that the system is infected or at risk, fake prize giveaways and raffles, unbelievable deals and offers, etc. "Instagram Copyright Infringement", "Your System Detected Some Unusual Activity", "Chrome search contest 2021", "Your ANTIVIRUS subscription has expired", and "Spin The Wheel" are some examples of online scams.
The sole purpose of these schemes is to generate revenue at user expense. Due to how widespread the scams are, it is highly recommended to exercise caution when browsing.
How did potentially unwanted applications install on my computer?
Select PUAs have "official" download webpages, which may be promoted by deceptive/scam sites. These applications are also distributed via downloaders/installers of other programs. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling".
Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., ignored terms, skipped steps, etc.) increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system. Intrusive advertisements proliferate PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources.
Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - can offer harmful and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc.
Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and innocuous; however, they redirect to unreliable and questionable sites (e.g., pornography, adult-dating, gambling, and many others).
In case of encounters with such ads and/or redirects, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay.
If your computer is already infected with PUAs, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Text presented in the "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" scam:
Norton Antivirus 2021 Update
Due to recent reports of Malware and Viruses, Norton has released an Antivirus update.
Computers without the Antivirus, could be exposed to viruses and slower performance.
Clean and improve the performance of your Computer now. No computer restart is required.
Click Here to Enable Now
Advertisement by an independent affiliate of Norton
PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
Instantly identify harmful threats
Speedup overall performance
Delete redundant files
Secure internet connection
The appearance of "Norton Antivirus 2021 Update" pop-up scam (GIF):
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 Norton Antivirus 2021 Update pop-up?
- How to identify a pop-up scam?
- How do pop-up scams work?
- How to remove fake pop-ups?
- How to prevent fake pop-ups?
- What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
How to identify a pop-up scam?
Pop-up windows with various fake messages are a common type of lures cybercriminals use. They collect sensitive personal data, trick Internet users into calling fake tech support numbers, subscribe to useless online services, invest in shady cryptocurrency schemes, etc.
While in the majority of cases these pop-ups don't infect users' devices with malware, they can cause direct monetary loss or could result in identity theft.
Cybercriminals strive to create their rogue pop-up windows to look trustworthy, however, scams typically have the following characteristics:
- Spelling mistakes and non-professional images - Closely inspect the information displayed in a pop-up. Spelling mistakes and unprofessional images could be a sign of a scam.
- Sense of urgency - Countdown timer with a couple of minutes on it, asking you to enter your personal information or subscribe to some online service.
- Statements that you won something - If you haven't participated in a lottery, online competition, etc., and you see a pop-up window stating that you won.
- Computer or mobile device scan - A pop-up window that scans your device and informs of detected issues - is undoubtedly a scam; webpages cannot perform such actions.
- Exclusivity - Pop-up windows stating that only you are given secret access to a financial scheme that can quickly make you rich.
Example of a pop-up scam:
How do pop-up scams work?
Cybercriminals and deceptive marketers usually use various advertising networks, search engine poisoning techniques, and shady websites to generate traffic to their pop-ups. Users land on their online lures after clicking on fake download buttons, using a torrent website, or simply clicking on an Internet search engine result.
Based on users' location and device information, they are presented with a scam pop-up. Lures presented in such pop-ups range from get-rich-quick schemes to fake virus scans.
How to remove fake pop-ups?
In most cases, pop-up scams do not infect users' devices with malware. If you encountered a scam pop-up, simply closing it should be enough. In some cases scam, pop-ups may be hard to close; in such cases - close your Internet browser and restart it.
In extremely rare cases, you might need to reset your Internet browser. For this, use our instructions explaining how to reset Internet browser settings.
How to prevent fake pop-ups?
To prevent seeing pop-up scams, you should visit only reputable websites. Torrent, Crack, free online movie streaming, YouTube video download, and other websites of similar reputation commonly redirect Internet users to pop-up scams.
To minimize the risk of encountering pop-up scams, you should keep your Internet browsers up-to-date and use reputable anti-malware application. For this purpose, we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
What to do if you fell for a pop-up scam?
This depends on the type of scam that you fell for. Most commonly, pop-up scams try to trick users into sending money, giving away personal information, or giving access to one's device.
- If you sent money to scammers: You should contact your financial institution and explain that you were scammed. If informed promptly, there's a chance to get your money back.
- If you gave away your personal information: You should change your passwords and enable two-factor authentication in all online services that you use. Visit Federal Trade Commission to report identity theft and get personalized recovery steps.
- If you let scammers connect to your device: You should scan your computer with reputable anti-malware (we recommend Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows) - cyber criminals could have planted trojans, keyloggers, and other malware, don't use your computer until removing possible threats.
- Help other Internet users: report Internet scams to Federal Trade Commission.