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Microsoft Security Essential Alert. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Ugnius Kiguolis - - | Type: Malware

Microsoft Security Alert – fake notification having nothing in common with this company

The image displaying Microsoft Security Essentials Alert trojan

Microsoft Security Essential Alert[1] is a fake warning message which pretends to be a notification from Microsoft Security Essentials program. However, there is no need to fall for this Microsoft Security Alert because its aim is to trick you into contacting scammers who are seeking to swindle people's money. Besides, they can try to infect your computer with additional malware.

In reality, this Microsoft Security Alert virus is related to adware-type program or a browser hijacker. Once an infected user restarts the computer, it initiates system changes, hijacks all web browsers and starts showing a fake warning reporting about these virtual threats:

  • Trojan-PSW.Win32.launch
  • HackTool:Win32/Welevate.A
  • Adware.Win32.Fraud

We should add that this malware behaves quite aggressively: when you attempt to cancel the window, additional notification emerges. It states that you need to clean the computer right away to prevent further damage. The fake program offers you two options – Apply actions and Clean Computer. No matter which option you choose, you see an additional message informing you that Microsoft Security Essential was unable to remove the infection.

Next, the fake Microsoft Security warning offers another scan which lists 35 anti-virus applications that are supposed to solve victim's problems by removing detected virus. Beware that 5 of them are rogue apps: Red Cross Antivirus, Peak Protection 2010, Pest Detector 4.1, Major Defense Kit, ThinkPoint, and AntiSpySafeguard/AntiSpy Safeguard.

Beware that these programs function on the same principle  – alarm users about non-existent threats and claim that the only way to remove them is purchasing the full version of the program. In case you install one of the mentioned programs, it will also bother you with taskbar pop-up alerts:

Warning! Database updated failed!
Database update failed!
Outdated viruses database are not effective can't guarantee adequate protection and security for your PC! Click here to get the full version of the product and update the database!

Users also reported noticing the alerts when visiting certain game sites via Internet Explorer[2]. The trojan also injects its virus scripts in the browser which results in occasional “Microsoft Security Essential Alert” pop-ups. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate the trojan as soon as possible.

This trojan was most active in 2015, but a recent hike in the distribution campaign suggests its revival. If you suspect that this trojan is present on the system, make a rush to remove Microsoft Security Alert virus. Reimage or Malwarebytes Anti Malware accelerate the elimination process. 

Other counterfeited Microsoft Security Essentials cases

Since the program was popular among Windows 7 users, there are multiple instances of counterfeited Microsoft Security Essentials program. Microsoft has identified the malware known as SupportScam:MSIL/Hicurdismos.A[3]. It pretends to be the installer of the said program.

However, after it settles on the system, it triggers BSOD (“Blue Screen of Death”) screen. The message is identical to the legitimate BSOD screen except that it includes a phone number. The latter is the main indicator suggesting it is a tech support scam. Other cases of scam might include an email address. Note that in case of legitimate BSOD alert, no phone email or email address is displayed. 

Finally, you should also be careful with tech support scams pretending to be Microsoft Security Alert. No matter how trustworthy they seem, you should never use these telephone numbers offering you a free tech support. In reality, you will be connected to scammers who will do their best to swindle your money or infect your computer with another virus.

Trojan employs various distribution channels

This malware is likely to spread with the help of dubious programs or questionable free software. There is also a prossibility that the malware might be advertised via malvertising networks such as AdNetworkPerformance.

To prevent such “unwanted guests”, make sure you pay attention to the installation wizard when installing any program. No matter how harmless the app seems, it might carry one or two optional programs which are more useless than practical. To prevent bundling, always use Advanced installation mode and untick check marks that allow installation of optional components.

Finally, you should always have reputable anti-spyware on your computer to block fake Microsoft Security alters. Of course, you should update these applications constantly to make them work for you properly.

Microsoft Security Essential Alert trojan elimination guide

In order to get rid of the infection properly, you will need to reboot the system in Safe Mode and then eliminate its registry keys as well as all associated web scripts and files. In order to remove Microsoft Security Alert virus, scan the system with an updated anti-virus program. 

After that, click on Windows key+R, type regedit and launch Registry Editor. Enter Edit section. Choose Find Next and type “Microsoft Security Essential Alert”. If the command identifies any files, delete them. After you restart the computer into normal mode, perform additional scan to ensure that Microsoft Security Essential Alert removal was successful.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Microsoft Security Essential Alert. 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.
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Manual Microsoft Security Essential Alert Removal Guide:

Remove Microsoft Security Essential Alert using Safe Mode with Networking

  • 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 Microsoft Security Essential Alert

    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 Microsoft Security Essential Alert removal.

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

Remove Microsoft Security Essential Alert using System Restore

Reboot the PC into Safe Mode and begin Microsoft Security Essential Alert removal procedure.

  • 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 Microsoft Security Essential Alert. 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 Microsoft Security Essential Alert removal is performed successfully.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Microsoft Security Essential Alert and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The mastermind

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  • plantpoppyweed

    Real or fake? Thats what came to mind when a message appeared on my Windows PHONE. It just popped up when I searched and was in the process of being taken to a page about Pensmore Mansion. (FYI: This is the huge fortified mansion being built near the huge underground food storage, and other tunnels near it in Missouri).

    As my search was taking me to the page, which I never got to see, suddenly a pop up appeared that said:
    “Microsoft Security Essentials detected threats that *migth compromise your privacy or damage your computer. You need to clean your computer immediately to prevent the system crash.” (Clue: grammatical error).

    Also note that the word “might” is misspelled migth. This and the grammatical error alerted me that the message might just be fake and so I (thankfully) did not click on the “clean” button. Instead I thought, better do a little research which landed me here. After reading here, I did ignore it and my phone is currently acting fine…fingers crossed.
    Thanks. You might have saved me.

    By the way – this may be a dopey question but – does my phone need antivirus or something, and if so, how do I get it on there?
    Is there anything else I should do to make sure my phone has not been compromised? Thanks again!

  • Bill Feller

    The fake alert is with Essentials plural, with the window title “Microsoft Security Essentials Alert”