How to spot scams like "Threats Detected:Stuxnet"

Also Known As: Threats Detected:Stuxnet technical support scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of scam is "Threats Detected:Stuxnet"?

Upon examination, we determined that it is a technical support scam designed to trick users into believing that their device has a critical issue that needs immediate attention. This scam involves a pop-up message that warns users of a problem, followed by a prompt to call "Windows Support" for assistance.

Threats Detected:Stuxnet scam

"Threats Detected:Stuxnet" scam in detail

The pop-up displayed by the technical support scam page appears to be from Windows Defender Security Center, claiming that a malicious program called "Ads.financetrack(07).dll" has been detected on the user's computer, along with the notorious Stuxnet virus.

The pop-up then states that access to the computer has been blocked for security reasons and urges the user to contact a supposed "Windows Support" team at +1-888-860-0130 for assistance. However, this is a fake pop-up designed to deceive users into calling the listed number and paying for unnecessary and bogus tech support services.

It is important to be wary of unsolicited messages and verify the legitimacy of technical support requests before providing access or payment. Legitimate companies never ask for payment or access without proper authentication and communication.

It is also important to note that some technical support scams can be used to obtain remote access to computers. Scammers may request access to a victim's computer to fix the supposed issue, but in reality, they use the access to steal sensitive information or install malware. Examples of such scams are the TeamViewer scam and the UltraViewer scam.

Threat Summary:
Name Threats Detected:Stuxnet technical support scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim A computer is infected/threats have been detected
Disguise Legitimate warning from Windows Defender Security Center
Tech Support Scammer Phone Number +1-888-860-0130, +1-888-486-8442
Related Domain d1d2hc98w[.]sbs
Detection Names (d1d2hc98w[.]sbs) Google Safebrowsing (Phishing), Seclookup (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)

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Similar scams in general

The main goal of all technical support scams is to trick the victim into believing that their computer has a problem or is infected with malware. The scammers then convince the victim to pay for unnecessary or fake technical support services, often involving remote access to the victim's computer.

The scams typically use scare tactics, such as displaying fake error messages or pop-ups, and may use social engineering techniques to gain the victim's trust. Overall, technical support scams aim to exploit the victim's lack of technical knowledge and fear of computer problems to make a profit.

Examples of similar scams are "Windows Key Code Is Not Valid And Seems Pirated", "Critical Threat Detected: Adware App", and "Admittance To This PC Has Been Hindered".

How did I open a scam website?

Users can end up on technical support scam pages through various methods. One common method is through malicious ads or pop-ups that redirect users to fake websites that display the scam message. These ads and pop-ups may be displayed on legitimate websites or due to adware installed on the user's device.

Another method is phishing emails containing links to fake technical support pages. These emails may appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a well-known tech company or an online retailer, and they may use social engineering tactics to convince users to click on the link.

In some cases, users may intentionally search for technical support online and accidentally click on a link to a fake website that appears to offer legitimate support.

How to avoid visiting scam pages?

Do not click on suspicious links or download files and programs from unknown sources. Avoid clicking on pop-up ads or closing them using the "X" button, which may lead to unintentional clicks. Install reputable anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date to detect and block malicious websites.

Do not allow shady websites to send notifications. Remove advertising-supported apps from your computer. Be cautious of unexpected emails containing suspicious links (or attachments). Download software from official pages and stores. If your computer is already infected with unwanted apps, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

The appearance of "Threats Detected:Stuxnet" pop-up scam (GIF):

Appearance of Threats Detected:Stuxnet scam

Text in one of the pop-ups:

Windows Defender Security Center

App: Ads.financetrack(07).dll
Threats Detected:Stuxnet. Unknown Error code: #0x6D9

Access to this PC has been blocked for security reasons.

Contact Windows Suport: +1-888-860-0130 (Security Support)

Windows Support [Deny] [Allow]

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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:

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a pop-up scam?

A pop-up scam is a type of online fraud where a fake pop-up message is displayed on a victim's computer screen, usually while browsing the Internet. The message is designed to look like an official warning from a reputable company, such as a software vendor or security provider.

What is the purpose of a pop-up scam?

The purpose of a pop-up scam is to trick users into taking a certain action, such as calling a fake technical support number or installing malicious software.

Why do I encounter fake pop-ups?

You may encounter fake pop-ups as a result of visiting malicious websites, downloading infected software or browser extensions, or being redirected from legitimate websites to fraudulent ones.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from pop-up scams?

Combo Cleaner is programmed to scan every website you visit, and it can detect malicious sites, including those designed for pop-up scams. As a result, if you come across such a site, Combo Cleaner will immediately alert you and block access to it.

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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.

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