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System Support Alert. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

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 urges users to contact fake tech support.

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 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.

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.

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 hacked
Security 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 can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they 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, 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.
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 System Support Alert, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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:

  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 System Support Alert and related programs
    Here, look for System Support Alert 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'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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.

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for System Support Alert or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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

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

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for System Support Alert and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete System Support Alert removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase System Support Alert from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, System Support Alert should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete System Support Alert 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 System Support Alert 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. 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'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete System Support Alert removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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.

  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 System Support Alert 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. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. 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
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete System Support Alert removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate System Support Alert 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 System Support Alert or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. 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...'
  4. 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 System Support Alert removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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