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Remove System Support Alert (Support Scam Virus) - updated Sep 2018

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Malware

System Support Alert is a fake alert that uses compromised websites to convince users that their personal information is in danger

System Support Alert scam

System Support Alert is a fake message that belongs to Technical Support Scam category.[1]  It has been spotted attacking users at the end of March 2018 striking people who try to access websites like Amazando.co, Free3dadultgames.com, Onclickrev.com, and, most recently, WordPress.org. The pop-up reports an Error # 0x80072ee7 warns users about the “suspicious activity” that can cause money or sensitive information loss. The System Support Alert then prompts victims to contact the alleged Tech Support to prevent the damage. Although the pop-up window mimics Microsoft design, coloring, and marking, Microsoft does not distribute such warning, especially with telephone number provided.

Name System Support Alert
Malware type PUP, Technical Support Scam
Main symptoms Web browser initiates redirects and freezes with a pop-up alert showing Error # 0x80072ee7  and saying “System Support Alert”
Contact info 1-855-205-8314 (may vary). The number belongs to criminals, so do not call for it
Affected web browsers Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, and others
Download Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego to repair damage done bu pups

System Support Alert is not an ordinary Microsoft alert. It's a scam developed by cybercriminals who seek to earn money in illegal ways. They trick less tech-savvy people into believing that their PCs are at risk. Criminals are great psychologists that render various strategies to fool people.

First of all, they impersonate legitimate companies, such as Microsoft. To look more convincing, they misuse numeric codes, as in this case Error # 0x80072ee7″[2]. Besides, they induce the act of immediacy by employing JavaScrip code, which freezes the web browser, and urges to call for “certified technicians” for help.

Usually, the System Support Alert scam occurs in several layers. When trying to access a hacked website, web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Safari, etc.) initiates multiple redirects and eventually stops at a website saying:

** System Warning Alert **
Malicious Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80072ee7
Please call us immediately at 1-855-205-8314
Do not ignore this critical alert.
If you close this page, your computer access will be disabled to prevent further damage to our network.
Your computer has alerted us that it has been infected with a Pornographic Spyware and riskware.
The following information is being stolen…
Financial Data, Facebook Logins, Credit Card Details, Email Account Logins, Photos stored on this computer
You must contact us immediately so that our expert engineers can walk you through the removal process over the phone to protect your identity.
Please call us within the next 5 minutes to prevent your computer from being disabled or from any information loss.
Toll-Free: 1-855-205-8314

Right after the above given pop-up window, the System Support Alert tech-support-scam generates a pop-up notification in a red background saying:

System Support Alert
Your system detected some unusual activity.
It might harm your computer data and track your financial activities.
Please report this activity to 1-855-205-8313

Please, do not fall for calling. At best, the indicated telephone number may be premium-rate and the first minute may charge more than $2.99. In this case, criminals may try to stretch the time to make you pay as much as possible.

System Support Alert pop-up alert System Support Alert is a Technical Support Scam alert triggered by malicious websites or PUPs.

Unfortunately, hackers on the other side of the handset may try to extort personal information out of you or trick into downloading Remote Desktop applications, so that they could connect to your PC remotely and take over of the system.

In most of the cases, this fake pop-up shows up on people's web browsers soon after they download a potentially unwanted program (PUP), such as adware or browser hijacker. PUP can further initiate redirects to hacked websites. Thus, to remove System Support Alert scam, you should check your PC for unwanted programs and eliminate each of them. You should use security software or eliminate each threat manually. To fix your computer after PUP infection, scan it with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Don't worry about PUP removal did not stop intrusive pop-ups from occurring. System Support Alert removal will be finished when you reset your web browser's default settings. You can learn how to do that following the guide given at the end of this post.

A popular content management system WordPress compromised – hackers inject scam messages

According to researchers,[3] content management system (CMS), WordPress has been compromised and is redirecting users to the System Support Alert and other scams since early September. Therefore, thousands of website owners who host their sites on this domains fell victims to the ordeal.

Experts explained that this campaign allowed crooks to use vulnerable systems (which use outdated plugins) to inject malicious JavaScript that leads to domains like ads.voipnewswire.net or similar. Unfortunately, these sites are not safe and might result in malware infections such as CoinHive crypto-mining malware, as well as loss of money and data due to tech support scams.

WordPress is not the only platform that has been affected by similar incidents. Dubbed Drupalgeddon, Drupal vulnerabilities led to ransomware infections on even governmental sites. Therefore, owners of vulnerable domains are urged to clean out the infected pages and update to the latest version of WordPress software.

WordPress hackedSecurity researchers claim that WordPress succumb to hackers - malicious JavaScript redirects to tech support scamming sites

Tech-support-scam is usually triggered by adware

The research initiated by utanvirus.us[4] team proved the fact that Technical-Support-Scam alerts are usually displayed by hacked websites. However, people seldom stumble upon those websites accidentally. Their web browser is purposely redirected to infected sites by potentially unwanted programs, such as adware or browser hijacker.

If you have never dealt with a PUP, you should beware that they are usually spread via software packages in the form of web browser add-ons and toolbars. That's why they tend to infiltrate PCs without being noticed.

To protect yourself from unwanted installers, be cautious during the installation of any free program, be it a download manager or converter. Select Advanced or Custom installation method all the time and remove ticks saying that you agree with the installation of toolbars, extensions or other additional components.

Get rid of System Support Alert Scam

System Support Alert removal consists of two phases. First of all, you should eliminate a PUP that slithered to your PC via software stack.

Alternatively, you can remove System Support Alert manually. Open Control Panel and investigate what kind of apps have recently been installed on your PC. Eliminate all suspicious apps that you did not remember installing.

The second phase requires the recovery of your web browser. To stop intrusive scam alerts, you should disable malicious Chrome extensions. You can find a tutorial on how to disable System Support Alert virus on Chrome and other web browsers down below.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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?
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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 System Support Alert, follow these steps:

Eliminate System Support Alert from Windows systems

To terminate malicious scam alert, you should delete PUPs from the system in the first place. For that, please follow this guide:

To remove System Support Alert from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to System Support Alert (or any other recently installed 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.

Remove System Support Alert from Mac OS X system

Mac OS users, please follow a step-by-step guide on how to eliminate potentially unwanted programs given below. It will help you to deal with System Support Alert virus and similar cyber threats.

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

Remove System Support Alert from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of System Support Alert from Internet Explorer (IE)

Upon successful PUP removal, initiate a full IE recovery. For that, you should:

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 System Support Alert 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 System Support Alert removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Erase System Support Alert 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 System Support Alert-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

Delete System Support Alert from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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 plugins that are related to System Support Alert and click Remove.Remove extensions from 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

In case System Support Alert did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete System Support Alert removal.Reset Firefox 2

Uninstall System Support Alert from Google Chrome

Google Chrome users can follow the guide given below to disable intrusive extensions and restore web browser's condition prior to the attack.

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 System Support Alert 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the System Support Alert-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 to complete System Support Alert removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate System Support Alert from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to System Support Alert 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

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. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

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 server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

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. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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