A tech support scam which can remotely connect to your PC and execute commands has emerged recently. The fake tech support will put a lock screen displaying a message stating that your computer is locked, because the Zeus software is detected. This is probably referring to the Zeus Banking Trojan, but the message is not real as no Windows application will lock your screen and show such a message in case malware is found. The 1-844-324-6233 phone number is placed as a contact detail at the end of the message. The process WinCpu.exe is associated with the scam as well as some batch files.
You should read the whole article and see how to remove the scam alert lock screen.
|Type||Tech Support Scam|
|Short Description||The tech support scam tries to scare while locking your screen and trying to make you call the provided phone number.|
|Symptoms||A lockscreen will block access to your computer and show a fake alert message that looks like it’s from the Windows OS. The 1-844-324-6233 phone number will be given as the only solution.|
|Distribution Method||Freeware Installers, Suspicious Sites, Browser Redirects|
|Detection Tool|| See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware |
Malware Removal Tool
|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss 1-844-324-6233.|
1-844-324-6233 Scam – Distribution Methods
The 1-844-324-6233 tech support scam has various distribution methods. One of the most well-known ways for distribution of this scam is through browsing suspicious websites which are unknown to you. That way, files associated with the scam will get on your computer device. Advertisements and redirects that are related to dubious websites can inject you with a PUP (potentially unwanted program) which contains the malware files WinCpu.exe.
The unwanted software that causes the 1-844-324-6233 phone number scam to appear on your computer screen could come with third-party installer packages. Freeware and bundled applications often contain such packages. The install setups could have been configured to place additional components on your PC with the default install setting. Preventing the setup from installing the extra components, can happen if you find an Advanced or Custom options menu from where you can deselect them.
1-844-324-6233 Scam – More Information
The tech support scam uses the 1-844-324-6233 phone number and that is why it is named like that. There is a message that shows, trying to scare you that the Zeus Banking Trojan is found on your computer device.
On top of it all the message tries to imitate a Windows error of the computer failing to start. Certain details give it away and the presence of a telephone number makes it blatantly obvious that this alert message is not authentic. The goal of the scam is to try and trick people into calling the provided phone number.
This is how the lockscreen looks:
The message reads:
A problem has been detected and windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.
If this is the first time you’ve seen this stop error screen, restart your computer.
If this screen appears again, follow these steps: of Contact us 1-844-324-6233
[Actual copy/paste data instructions from a real Windows error message] …
Zeus was detected and put in quarentine
Zeus is a very dangerous software used by criminals to steal data such as credit card information, access to banking accounts, passwords to social networks and emails.
Contact us +1-844-324-6233
Despite the multiple mentions of the 1-844-324-6233 number, the mention of the Zeus Trojan and the spelling mistakes made in the text, lots of users still fall victim to the scam. The difference compared to similar tech support scams is that this one can connect its creators to your computer device, and execute commands remotely. That is possible due to the use of the following executable and batch files:
- C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ClientProtocol\wincpu.exe
The source code of the WinCpu.exe file can be viewed from the below image:
The WinCpu.exe file will create the following Registry entry:
→HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\wincpu C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ClientProtocol\wincpu.exe
From the above image you can see the location used for the remote connection, which is:
That is the Command and Control server (C&C) that the hackers use to get inside your system. From there they can steal heaps of information. The addition of the 1-844-324-6233 phone number is in case your computer is not connected to the Internet at that time and to make the extraction of information easier. The scammers will probably introduce themselves as Microsoft representatives or other reputable support technicians.
Do NOT call the phone number in any circumstance and know not to provide any personal information over the phone unless you are completely sure you know who you are talking to. The 1-844-324-6233 phone number is not toll-free, and even the shortest communication over it will cost you a small fortune.
The cybercriminals will try to stall for time, as their C&C remote server will execute a new command every five minutes. Also, even if they cannot find any personal information on the computer machine or cannot extract it from you over the phone, they still make money. That happens through the call’s impulses, or using your PC to make revenue for an adware website or something similar. Remember that any information they can get their hands on can be sold on the black market, which might even lead to identity theft. In any case, you should remove the malware responsible for the scam. Remember to enter Safe Mode.
Remove 1-844-324-6233 Tech Support Scam (WinCpu.exe)
To remove WinCpu.exe or otherwise known as the 1-844-324-6233 Tech Support Scam, manually from your PC, follow the step-by-step removal instructions given below. If the manual removal does not get rid of the scam and redirects effectively, you should search for and remove any leftover items with an advanced anti-malware tool. Such software will keep your system safe in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove 1-844-324-6233 from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of 1-844-324-6233 from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove 1-844-324-6233 from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase 1-844-324-6233 from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall 1-844-324-6233 from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove 1-844-324-6233 from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate 1-844-324-6233 from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove 1-844-324-6233 from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove 1-844-324-6233
Step 2: Uninstall 1-844-324-6233 and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by 1-844-324-6233 on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by 1-844-324-6233 there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of 1-844-324-6233 from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall 1-844-324-6233 and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove 1-844-324-6233 via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove malware from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts, programs and malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. Combo Cleaner offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove 1-844-324-6233 from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase 1-844-324-6233 from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall 1-844-324-6233 from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove 1-844-324-6233 from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the 1-844-324-6233 will be removed.
Eliminate 1-844-324-6233 from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.