Alureon - Misused name. Detailed guide. Removal instructions for 2019

Alureon Removal Guide

What is Alureon?

Alureon – a self-replicating trojan that has been involved to tech support scams

Alureon trojanAlureon is a wide-spread botnet that infected millions of machines worldwide. As a result, its name has been included to several scams spreading online and seeking to mislead users into contacting hackers via the given number.

Alureon is a relatively old cyber threat – it was first spotted by researchers in 2007 and reached its peak in 2010, when it was considered the second biggest botnet at the time.[1] The virus entered PCs by being manually installed by users, such as when they downloaded rogue anti-virus software like Security Essentials 2010. After making several modifications within the system, the malware establishes itself as a rootkit[2] and starts intercepting system's network traffic, resulting in sensitive data harvesting. The threat also disables anti-malware software and redirects victims to spoofed websites on Google Chrome or any browser. Having in mind its danger level, there is no surprise that virus developers have included it into several scams, including “Windows Detected ALUREON” and “You have a ALUREON virus” scam.

Name Alureon
Type Trojan/rootkit/botnet
Also known as Windows Detected ALUREON scam; You Have A ALUREON Virus
First spotted 2010
Activity Self-replicating trojan steals personal data and redirects to malicious websites
Main dangers Loss of data, additional malware infections
Infiltration
  • The trojan itself is manually installed by victims, usually from torrents and file-sharing sites
  • The scam appears when the system is infected with adware
Elimination Use powerful anti-malware software to eliminate the rootkit
Optimization Use ReimageIntego to repair the damage done by malware

Since Alureon virus does not emit any symptoms, users were not aware of the presence of the threat on their machines. Fortunately, cybercriminals made a mistake within its code, which led 0×80070032, 0x800704ec and 0×80501001 BSoDs appearing on victims' systems (32-bit versions of Windows OS) after the MS10-015 software update. This allowed experts to research the threat and work on Alureon removal.

As soon as the rootkit enters the machine, it hijacks spoolsv.exe service and updates the master boot record which allows the virus to execute alternative Windows loading process. It also creates a randomly named copy of itself and copies it into the system folder. The threat then infects system drivers and modifies Windows Registry to assure persistence.

Researchers reported that Alureon is capable of changing DNS settings.[3] This allows the virus to reroute users to spoofed or malicious websites, where more malware can be obtained by using click fraud or other deceptive ways.

Once settled, the threat begins its activity immediately. After modifying system settings, the malware is capable of stealing the following:

  • Credit card information;
  • Usernames and passwords or all accounts;
  • Social security numbers;
  • PayPal information;
  • Other sensitive data.

While it is an old threat, it does not mean it is not active anymore. Users can still get infected, so there might be a need to remove Alureon virus from their systems permanently. We recommend using reputable security software in Safe Mode without the internet connection. Additionally, experts recommend changing passwords and using system repair tool like ReimageIntego to fix the damage done by the rootkit.

Alureon botnetAlureon is a rootkit that usually infiltrates machines after users install malicious executable from unsafe sites.

Scammers have misused virus name in Windows Detected ALUREON virus scam

Being a rootkit, Alureon is hardly detected, so it is worth mentioning that there are crooks that make use of the notoriety of the popular malware name. However, you can hardly miss the Windows Detected ALUREON Virus scam that is floating around the Internet. In this case, you can be sure that the malware reported in the alert is fake.

“Windows Detected ALUREON virus” or “You Have A ALUREON Virus” pop-up belongs to the category of tech support scam. These alerts are displayed on the web browser after infecting it with an adware-type virus. Once installed, this threat generates dubious notifications and uses social engineering technique to trick users into contacting scammers via the given number. Once contacted, they seek the following goals:

  • Get the remote access to the system;
  • Trick the user into installing malware by presenting it as effective anti-virus;
  • Make the user pay for “fixing the system.”

“You Have A ALUREON Virus” or similar scam is typically displayed within the browser. Because of special techniques, sometimes this window can't be left when desired and even increases the illusion that a real Alureon virus is hiding on the system. However, you just need to leave the affected web browser by canceling it and then remove the related adware from the system.

Alureon scamAlureon virus has been involved into numerous scams seeking to swindle users' money by contacting fake Microsoft experts.

Malware can penetrate into the system after the download of unsafe files from the internet

While some malware uses weak RDP or exploit kits to infiltrate systems (does not rely on the person to initiate the download), most of the cyber threats are installed by users themselves. Of course, they are not aware of the consequences when they download and install rogue software or use file-sharing, torrent sites. Nevertheless, users can also be tricked by social engineering used by criminals and believe that there is a need to download and install the malicious file.

Thus, users are advised to be vigilant when it comes to downloading freeware on their machines. Do not visit suspicious sites and do not download pirated software or keygens and cracks. While you may think you got yourself a free application, the malware is doing its job by stealing personal information in the background.

Additionally, we recommend you obtain legitimate security software that can protect from unauthorized file intrusion. Make sure that the anti-virus program is kept up to date at all times.

Eliminate Alureon from your machine without wasting your time

No matter which version of the malware has infected your system, you should take care of Alureon removal without wasting your time. If you are lucky enough to find out that it is just a scam, you need to get rid of Windows Detected ALUREON Virus by removing all suspicious entries hiding in your system. Additionally, you should reset your web browser to default. Instructions on how to do that are given below.

However, if the real threat is hiding in your system, do not even try to remove Alureon virus manually as it makes hundreds of changes. We highly recommend opting for professional help to fix your system fully. You can attempt to eliminate the threat by using security software as ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. If you find out that the virus is blocking your anti-malware, make sure you reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking before a scan:

  • Click on Windows Start button and write msconfig.exe into the command line;
  • Click this entry and select Boot tab;
  • Check Safe boot and Network options;
  • Click OK and Restart buttons.

Remember that the rootkit can be especially hard to remove, therefore, you might have to disconnect your PC from the internet and only then attempt the elimination.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Alureon. Follow these steps

Uninstall from Windows

To get rid of “Windows Detected ALUREON Virus” or “You Have A ALUREON Virus” scam, remove all entries you don't recognize or have not installed on the computer yourself:

Instructions for Windows 10/8  machines:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK. Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program. Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Delete from macOS

Remove items from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash) Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files. Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove from Google Chrome

To get rid of the scam from Chrome, reset it to its default state:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Fix Firefox by removing unfamiliar browser add-ons and then reset this web browser.

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Alureon registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

How to prevent from getting trojans

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address.

If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for the server or network manager that needs to monitor connections and activities. VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world.

 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various reasons, malware is one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, and images get encrypted. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them.

Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system. In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 

 

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References
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