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Remove “High Priority Message” virus (Improved Guide) - Support Scam

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Malware

“High Priority Message” scam wants to trick unsuspecting computer users into calling fraudsters and wasting money on their services

"High Priority Message" virus

“High Priority Message” alert is a deceptive pop-up that appears on the screen after visiting a phishing website. Such visits might occur due to adware existence on the computer but can also occur after clicking on a malicious online ad[1]. These scam pop-ups say “Do not ignore this high priority message” and repeatedly urge the victim to call a provided “toll-free” number.

It has been noticed that the deceptive tech support scam message comes from Criticalwarningerrortgfn.xyz domain; however, pop-ups displaying similar fake security warnings can be opened by a variety of different scam pages available today.[2] If you noticed a similar warning on your screen, close the browser and check your computer for adware/spyware installed on it. You can use ReimageIntego software to scan the computer if you want.

The website behind the “High Priority Message” pop-up says:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown.
DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESSOR_EQUAL
If this is first time you’ve seen this screen, contact windows technician: 1-800158-029
Beginning dump of physical memory.
Immediately contact technical support to prevent further damage
A problem has been detected, and Windows has been crash

The rest of the message says that “the problem seems to be caused by the following file: SPCMDCON.SYS” and informs about “PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA” issue. However, these issues are invented and do not even exist on your PC. Therefore, you must find and remove “High Priority Message” malware that is trying to convince you to contact tech support scammers.

It is hard to identify which program is causing these deceptive pop-ups, so we recommend using anti-malware software for identification and “High Priority Message” removal. If you haven’t decided what security program you want to use, consider relying on software suggested by our and Zondervirus.nl[3] teams: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

"High Priority Message" scam"High Priority Message" virus aims to scare the user and trick him into calling cyber criminals seeking to swindle money from him. Besides, frauds might be trying to get remote access to victims computer in order to install malware on it.

Deceptive software and their distribution methods

There are thousands of deceptive programs that users install unknowingly. However, there is a way to prevent their installation. You just need to remember the list of things listed below:

  • Potentially unwanted programs tend to travel alongside freeware or shareware, so keep that in mind when installing free software downloaded from the Internet. Make sure you choose Custom/Advanced installation settings to see all additional items added to your download and deselect them;
  • Software cracks and other illegal software tends to contain malicious files or malware downloaders, so better stay away from them not only to avoid involvement in illegal distribution and use of pirated software but also for your safety;
  • Avoid opening questionable email attachments or links sent to you by unknown people.
    Keeping the system secured with an anti-malware software is also a very good idea. It helps to automatically ward off suspicious attempts to compromise your system.

Remove “High Priority Message” fake alerts using proper software or manually

You can try to remove “High Priority Message” virus in two ways – manually or automatically. However, we have noticed that many people experience problems when trying to delete the deceptive adware manually, so we assume that tech support scammers continuously change the name of the program and files related to it to avoid detection.

Automatic “High Priority Message” removal option is probably the best choice when trying to delete the described virus from the computer. It also helps to wipe all other dangerous files and programs away at once. If you haven’t decided what program to use for elimination of computer threats, consider checking the list of programs provided below.

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 remove 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.

To remove “High Priority Message” virus, follow these steps:

Remove “High Priority Message” from Windows systems

Eliminate the virus displaying High Priority Message warnings to you by uninstalling suspicious software off your computer immediately.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall “High Priority Message” and related programs
    Here, look for “High Priority Message” or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove “High Priority Message” from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Eliminate “High Priority Message” from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove “High Priority Message” from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for “High Priority Message”-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 “High Priority Message”, 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 related to “High Priority Message” and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the “High Priority Message”-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Erase “High Priority Message” from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for “High Priority Message” and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete “High Priority Message” removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete “High Priority Message” virus 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 “High Priority Message”-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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

Uninstall “High Priority Message” from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select “High Priority Message” and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete “High Priority Message” removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Get rid of “High Priority Message” from Google Chrome

In Chrome, enter chrome://extensions page and delete unwanted extensions that could be displaying the fake pop-ups to you. In addition, reset Chrome to eliminate all suspicious changes to browser settings.

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select “High Priority Message” and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete “High Priority Message” removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove “High Priority Message” from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for “High Priority Message” or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by “High Priority Message”, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete “High Priority Message” removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.

 

Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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