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Remove “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam (Removal Instructions) - Jun 2019 update

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Malware

Zeus virus detected is a fake error message that tries to make users call a bogus tech support service

"Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus" Tech support scam

Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus is Zeus virus scam claiming that Zeus virus is detected on the machine. In reality, the error message that resembles legitimate Windows alerts is entirely fake – it appears inside the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or another browser, instead of a full, locked screen as it is typical to the real error reports from Microsoft.

However, one might ask why Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus notifications are appearing seemingly out of nowhere? The answer is adware – these potentially unwanted programs usually enter machines without notifying their owners and modify web browser settings in order to insert banners, in-text links, pop-ups, and other commercial content during web browsing sessions.

However, while some ads might be not more than an inconvenience, the malicious redirects are the ones that link users to Zeus Virus scam sites. In reality, their computers are not infected with the notorious Zeus virus – banking malware[1] that began to spread around the internet in 2007 and affected more than 74,000 FTP accounts of NASA, ABC, Amazon, and other high-profile corporations, as well as infected thousands of regular users worldwide.[2]

Fortunately, the malware was terminated in 2011, but malicious scammers keep claiming that the computer is damaged and Zeus virus detected on the system with the help of adware campaigns.

Name Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus
Type Closely related to adware
Can be found on Rogue pages, in software packages
Relations made with  Zeus virus. Gladly, this cyber threat is no longer active
Prevention Use original installers, avoid rogue sites
Detection Reimage can detect the PUP
Removal  Use automatical tools for the removal

Typically, when a potentially unwanted program (PUP) enters a computer, it causes unwanted ads and redirects to sponsored websites. However, it can also initiate redirects to phishing websites that show Zeus virus detected messages[3] and fake security warnings used for stealing users' money.[4] Nevertheless, you might infect your computer system with dangerous malware if you do not get rid of the rogue application on time.

One of such warnings is Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus scam, which can appear even when you visit a legitimate site. To scare unaware PC users, it uses a blue background, also identified as a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD), and similar elements. Keep in mind that Windows Defender would never use BSoD to warn its user about malware. Also, it doesn't open alerts via a web browser in such an intrusive way.

Typically, the Zeus virus scam claims:

*******************************************************
RDN/YahLover.worm!055BCCAC9FEC infection
*******************************************************
Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus Detected In Your Computer !!
Please Do Not Shut Down or Reset Your Computer.

The following data will be compromised if you continue:
1. Passwords
2. Browser History
3. Credit Card Information
4. Local Hard Disk Files.

This virus is well known for complete identity and credit card theft. Further action through this computer or any computer on the network will reveal private information and involve serious risks.

Call Microsoft Technical Department (Toll Free)

The number which is provided in this scam is (888) 252-1520. However, it has been changed for several times, so you can be asked to call another number to reach “Microsoft technicians”. Keep in mind that these people are scammers who are ready to do anything to swindle your money.

Zeus virus detected scam
The design of "Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus" alerts can differ depending on the malware version. Usually, the victim sees a "toll free" number provided on them.

For that, they create such alerts as Zeus virus detected scam which mimic Microsoft. Their aim is to initiate the sense of urgency and trick the victim into calling the scammers who can either sign up him/her for useless services or infect the target computer with malware. In this case, you can lose your personal information with only one call.

If you noticed such messages on your screen, you should remove Zeus virus scam without wasting your time. When dealing with Tech support scams, we recommend using Reimage.

Scammers that wait for victims to call them are ready to tell all kinds of lies. People who are hiding behind Windows Defender Zeus Virus alert are on prey for easy targets – if the victim gets convinced to call the scammers, it is likely that he/she will follow their commands as well. This might lead to unwanted consequences, for example, unexpected money losses.

First of all, the developers who spread Windows Defender Zeus Virus ask what picture is displayed on the user's computer screen. This way, they understand what kind of tech support scam program the victim was infected with. Then, they tell the victim to go to particular computer folders, press keyboard keys and do other things that are useless. These tasks are used just to confuse the victim.

Zeus virus detected fake alert

Finally, they announce that the problem is very serious and urge the victim to buy an overpriced security software pack or, even worse, they suggest “helping” the user remotely. If the victim provides remote access to the computer system, scammers can easily infect it with the desired virus, e. g., ransomware, a trojan horse[5] or another dangerous program. To avoid contact with scammers and keep your computer safe, users should perform the Zeus virus scam removal.

Malware related to Zeus virus

Zeus trojan

Zeus Trojan virus is one of the most prevalent data-stealing malware samples that was disabled in 2016. It is also known as  Zbot Trojan and Gameover Zeus. Once installed, it was used to collect sensitive information by recording user's keystrokes. It was able to operate behind the user's back for weeks, months or even years.

All information collected by Zeus Trojan was transferred to its Command & Control center. This center has also been used to receive commands from virus developers. 

Zeus Panda virus

Zeus Panda virus has also been categorized as a banking Trojan as its main targets are financial information and logins. While this virus operates the same way as previously described Zeus Trojan, the phrase “Zeus Panda virus” was introduced because this virus was created on the same code as an infamous Trojan horse. At the moment, Zeus Panda tries to avoid Russian-speaking countries, so it has been speculated that the virus hails from these countries. 

Nevertheless, Zeus Panda virus is also incorporated in Zeus virus scam, so watch out for bogus messages within web browsers that claim the infection.

Zeus Virus scam
"Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus" is related to adware which means that the program can display rogue pop-ups and redirect to suspicious-looking websites

Terdot virus

Terdot virus is the newest malware related to Zeus virus. Just like the previous ones, this threat seeks to take over people's personal information. However, its main targets are social media credentials. It has been reported that the virus seeks to steal users' Yahoo, Gmail, and Microsoft live.com login information.

Deceptive programs are distributed using different methods

NoVirus experts[6] report that tech support scams distribute malware using software bundling, malicious spam, and other techniques. Luckily, victims can prevent installing such malicious programs quite easily. Usually, all that the user needs to do is to avoid opening shady email attachments and installing freshly downloaded software the right way.

Wondering what is the right way to install computer programs? Let us clear this out for you. Sadly, many people believe that it is enough to hit the “Next” button several times and then click “Finish” to complete the process. Sadly, such way of installation is likely to grant several potentially unwanted programs a permission to enter the computer system unnoticed

For this reason, we always recommend reading Privacy Policy and Terms of Use documents and adjusting the installation settings the right way. To do that, select Custom or Advanced settings instead of Default or Standard ones. All that is left to do is to deselect unwanted apps and extensions suggested to you.

Zeus Virus scam - fake Tech support messages
"Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus" Tech support scam virus keeps displaying repetitious pop-ups that urge the victim to call fake tech support. The virus slows down the computer system to scare the victim even more.

Remove Windows Defender Zeus virus alert

If the described pop-ups emerge on your screen on a daily basis, do not delay the Zeus virus detected removal. To eliminate the virus, choose a decent anti-malware program that will do all the work for you. Before that, you should quit your web browser and eliminate the scam from your desktop.

If you want to fix this error manually, you can remove Zeus virus scam with the help of steps given below.  However, you will have to find all programs that are showing this annoying pop-up on your computer. Make sure you are careful enough to follow every step in the right order to remove “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” fake alerts completely.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner, 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 SpyHunter 5.
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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam, follow these steps:

Get rid of “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam from Windows systems

To fix Windows OS, you need to uninstall all suspicious programs that could be related to this scam. If you can't remember installing a program on your computer, you must remove it.

  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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam and related programs
    Here, look for “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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'

Erase “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam from Internet Explorer (IE)

Clean your Internet Explorer web browser in order to erase all adware-related components:

  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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Uninstall “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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, “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Delete “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If you have spotted some rogue content in the Mozilla Firefox web browser, check out these instructions in order to eliminate them:

  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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam from Google Chrome

To fix Chrome web browser, you need to reset it with the help of the following steps:

  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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Get rid of “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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