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IRS virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Malware

IRS virus is a spam email campaign that may lead to identity theft

IRS virus
IRS virus is a scam created by cyber criminals with a purpose of getting money.

IRS virus is a cyber threat which is spread through trustworthy-looking emails presented as an official notice from the government. Looking like it is from the Internal Revenue Service, it tricks people into installing a Trojan horse[1] which additionally infects the computer with further viruses. As a result, within 5-10 minutes, victims are completely disabled and can't do anything on their machine. IRS malware starts working immediately after the victim is tricked into downloading the malicious file attachment from the safe-looking email notice. An email looks legitimate as it is filled with different logos and other details. However, this threat can lock your computer and prevent you from using your files or programs. This screenlocker seeks to make its victims pay the predetermined ransom in exchange for recovering the connection to the device.

Name IRS virus
Type Malware
sub-type Screenlocker
Disguised as Internal Revenue Service letter
Symptoms Keeps you from using data and programs, displays alerts, pop-ups
Main danger Can be used to spread various malware, swindle personal information
Distribution Email attachments
Removal Use Reimage for IRS virus removal

The infection is implemented thru this scenario: the victim receives an email from the Internal Revenue Service and finds an attachment. The message body typically looks convincing, so there is a high chance that people will click on the attachment to download it. However, when you download this attached file, the system starts acting differently. Your computer gets locked, and many programs cannot be launched. You can't even open various files on your device.

The reason why scammers have released this virus is the money. Keep in mind that IRS never contacts its taxpayers about their account over email, so if you receive such letter, you're looking at a scam that has to be ignored.

The main message looks trustworthy and legitimate because of the name of genuine service and the content. This phishing email contains this or similar message: 

[BLOCKED] Complaint Case #383255724858. Warning: This message has had one or more attachments removed (Complaint_05292013.exe, Complaint_383255724858.zip). Please read the “ExchangeDefender-Attachment-Warning.txt” attachment(s) for more information.”

However, this is a phishing email campaign that is using social engineering[2] to trick people into possibly purchasing software, programs or similar resources. This threat also can cause fake security alerts or other pop-up windows. Although, the main purpose of these emails, in most cases, is to spread malware further on the system of an infected computer. You should remove IRS virus as soon as possible to prevent serious consequences hailing from such virus ability.

If you keep this threat on your device for a more extended period, it may affect the performance or more significant parts of the device. IRS virus removal should be done using anti-malware tools like Reimage because the file attachment may contain more than this threat. You need to scan your system fully to find and eliminate all those programs. 

Fraudulent emails spread various threats, so be careful with them

Spam emails with various questionable attachments can be used to spread all different types of malware. Trojans can be set to install ransomware or perform a malicious activity directly. Other malware can cause background processes or spread other programs further. These emails can be infected with direct virus payload. Unfortunately, these emails look safe and legitimate, in most cases.

The most significant feature of these emails can be grammar mistakes or typos, suspicious addresses. Often malicious actors use real services or even institution names on these emails. You should pay more attention while reading your emails and especially when opening attachments. You can scan the file before downloading. The best way is to delete emails form services you are not using, without opening. 

Unlock computer after IRS virus attack

To remove IRS virus, you should use anti-malware tools like Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. Security experts[3] claim that the way how this software works is damaging: a user is left incapable to load his files or finds all its programs and icons hidden. You need to scan your device fully to get rid of all additional programs this malware installed during the main virus installation.

IRS virus removal is essential and should be done as soon as possible. This is a severe threat, so you may need to perform this removal a few times with an anti-malware of your choice. You can also look through our suggestions below if you find yourself blocked and disabled from using your computer as previously. Also, there are a few steps you can do if you want to eliminate this malware properly.

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If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove IRS virus, follow these steps:

Remove IRS using Safe Mode with Networking

You should try rebooting your device in Safe Mode with Networking first:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove IRS

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete IRS removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove IRS using System Restore

System Restore feature might also be helpful:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of IRS. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that IRS removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from IRS and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner or Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References

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