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Remove “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam (Removal Instructions) - Oct 2020 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 Gladly, this cyber threat is no longer active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 Reimage Cleaner Intego 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 scamThe 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 Reimage Cleaner Intego.

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 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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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running 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.

To remove “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam (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.

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:

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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam-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 “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:

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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal.Reset Firefox 2

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:

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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam-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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam removal.Reset Chrome 2

Get rid of “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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 “Windows Defender Alert: Zeus Virus” Tech Support Scam 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
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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