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System Support Alert (Windows Defender) Scam – How to Remove It

This article has been created in order to explain to you what is the System Support Alert scam and how you can remove the scamming message and the potentially unwanted program that is causing it on your PC.

The System Support Alert is the type of scamming message which has been designed in order to trick users in to calling the tech support number 877-213-9242. Calling the number is highly inadvisable, since the scammers may employ scare ware tactics with the main goal to get you to grant them remote access to your computer and ask you to pay a lot of money to remove what they claim is the Zeus Virus. In the events that you have encountered the System Support Alert messages, we would suggest that you immediately take actions towards removing the program causing this tech support scam page to appear by reading the following article.

Threat Summary

Name System Support Alert
Type Ransomware, Cryptovirus
Short Description
Symptoms You may start seeing various types of online pop-ups and other types of unwanted content to begin appearing.
Distribution Method Via PUP.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by malware

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User Experience Join Our Forum to Discuss System Support Alert.

System Support Alert – Distribution Methods

For the System Support Alert to be spread on the computers of users, there may be several methods via which this may have happened. One of those methods is if you have visited a website which has a low reputation. Usually low-rep sites often cause web browser redirections and other types of unwanted browser redirects the outcome of which may be to have your web browser locked by this scamming pop-up.

Another reason for receiving the System Support Alert redirect could be if you have a PUP (potentially unwanted program) that is installed on your computer. Usually those unwnated programs tend to find themselves onto users’ computers by slithering into the installers of third-party freeware aps downloaded from software providing websites. These installers may contain the PUP that is causing the System Support Alert pop-ups on the computers of users. Most users tend to miss it’s installation prompt, because the install step is often concealed In the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation options on the user PC.

System Support Alert – More Information

Once the System Support Alert message is installed on the victim PC, users start seeing the following message:

The message claims that Spyware has been detected on the victim PC, and this may not even be the case as no real antivirus program or support software would ask a victim to call a tech support number. And when we checked the number itself (877-213-9242), we have quickly come to the conclusion that multiple different instances of the number have started to pop-up on the radar of victims.

When we checked the number itself, we have established that it’s main purpose is to scam users out of their money or to get victims to allow remote access to the cyber-criminals. Some users have reported to cold-call the number and were asked to pay hundreds of dollars to fix the problem and give access to the caller on the other side, who posed as a Microsoft Employee. In addition to the scamming message, victims have also reported a pop-up with the following notification to appear and they could not close the pop-up as it automatically reopens:

** Windows Warning Alert **
Malicious Spyware/Riskware Detected
Error # 0x80072ee7

Please call us immediately at: 877-213-9242
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 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: 877-213-9242

System Support Alert – December 2018 Samples

In December 2018 we have been alerted of a new variant of the System Support Alert scam. The pop-ups show a different message which impersonates Microsoft and manipulates the users into thinking that they have been infected with a virus threat. A fake tech support number is quoted. The classic scenario is followed: the victim users will think that a genuine threat has been detected on their systems. The pop-up is similar to actions orchestrated by anti-virus software and operating system services which uses it as a notifications method. The number quoted will connect the victims to a fake tech support center from where the criminals will direct the users into paying the a large fee in order to “restore” their computers.

In reality the serious security issue is the presentation of the pop-up dialog, this might signal that the users have visited a malicious site or portal or that their system have been infected with another threat — browser hijackers for example.

Possible consequences of accessing this page can be any of the following:

  • User Tracking — The pop-ups and associated scam page can deploy tracking cookies that will harvest detailed information about the users and their machines.
  • Miner Infections — The fact that the pop-up messages are spawned from a main web page shows a possibility for cryptocurrency miners infections. They can be launched using simple JavaScript code. They will download complex mathematical tasks which will utilize the available system resources: CPU, GPU, memory and hard disk space. When one of them is reported to the servers the hacker operators will receive income directly into their digital wallets.
  • Further Redirects — Upon accessing the site or when interacting with certain elements the users can be redirected to other scams or hacker sites. This can lead to virus infections and other dangerous scenarios.

Remove System Support Alert Scam from Windows and Your Browser

If you want to remove the System Support Alert tech support scam from your computer, we strongly suggest that you follow the removal instructions posted underneath this article. They have been created with the main idea In mind to help you delete this virus either manually or automatically. Be advised that according to experts the best way to try and remove the software that is causing the System Support Alert scamming pop-ups is to use an advanced anti-malware software. Such program is created with the idea in mind to fully scan your computer and try to eliminate any traces of unwanted programs while protecting your computer against future infections as well.

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Ventsislav Krastev

Ventsislav is a cybersecurity expert at SensorsTechForum since 2015. He has been researching, covering, helping victims with the latest malware infections plus testing and reviewing software and the newest tech developments. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for learning new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management, Network Administration and Computer Administration of System Applications, he found his true calling within the cybersecrurity industry and is a strong believer in the education of every user towards online safety and security.

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Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

How to Remove System Support Alert from Windows.


Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove System Support Alert

OFFER

Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your PC with SpyHunter

Keep in mind, that SpyHunter’s scanner is only for malware detection. If SpyHunter detects malware on your PC, you will need to purchase SpyHunter's malware removal tool to remove the malware threats. Read our SpyHunter 5 review. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria

1. Hold Windows key() + R


2. The "Run" Window will appear. In it, type "msconfig" and click OK.


3. Go to the "Boot" tab. There select "Safe Boot" and then click "Apply" and "OK".
Tip: Make sure to reverse those changes by unticking Safe Boot after that, because your system will always boot in Safe Boot from now on.


4. When prompted, click on "Restart" to go into Safe Mode.


5. You can recognise Safe Mode by the words written on the corners of your screen.


Step 2: Uninstall System Support Alert 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. To do that:


1. Hold the Windows Logo Button and "R" on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear.


2. In the field type in "appwiz.cpl" and press ENTER.


3. This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC. Select the program that you want to remove, and press "Uninstall"
Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall most programs.


Step 3: Clean any registries, created by System Support Alert on your computer.

The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce

You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by System Support Alert there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:

1. Open the Run Window again, type "regedit" and click OK.


2. When you open it, you can freely navigate to the Run and RunOnce keys, whose locations are shown above.


3. You can remove the value of the virus by right-clicking on it and removing it.
Tip: To find a virus-created value, you can right-click on it and click "Modify" to see which file it is set to run. If this is the virus file location, remove the value.

IMPORTANT!
Before starting "Step 4", please boot back into Normal mode, in case you are currently in Safe Mode.
This will enable you to install and use SpyHunter 5 successfully.

Step 4: Scan for System Support Alert with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

1. Click on the "Download" button to proceed to SpyHunter's download page.


It is recommended to run a scan before purchasing the full version of the software to make sure that the current version of the malware can be detected by SpyHunter. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter's EULA, Privacy Policy and Threat Assessment Criteria.


2. After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to update automatically.

SpyHunter5-update-2018


3. After the update process has finished, click on the 'Malware/PC Scan' tab. A new window will appear. Click on 'Start Scan'.

SpyHunter5-Free-Scan-2018


4. After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any files of the associated threat and found them, you can try to get them removed automatically and permanently by clicking on the 'Next' button.

SpyHunter-5-Free-Scan-Next-2018

If any threats have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart your PC.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer

Get rid of System Support Alert from Mac OS X.


Step 1: Uninstall System Support Alert and remove related files and objects

OFFER
Manual Removal Usually Takes Time and You Risk Damaging Your Files If Not Careful!
We Recommend To Scan Your Mac with SpyHunter for Mac
Keep in mind, that SpyHunter for Mac needs to purchased to remove the malware threats. Click on the corresponding links to check SpyHunter’s EULA and Privacy Policy


1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:


2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:


3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to System Support Alert:

Tip: To quit a process completely, choose the “Force Quit” option.


4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.


5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to System Support Alert. If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.


6: Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to System Support Alert. Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.


7: Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:

  • 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 System Support Alert 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:

Disclaimer! If you are about to tamper with Library files on Mac, be sure to know the name of the virus file, because if you delete the wrong file, it may cause irreversible damage to your MacOS. Continue on your own responsibility!

1: Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:

2: Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:

3: Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as System Support Alert. If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.

You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:

→ ~/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons

Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.


Step 2: Scan for and remove System Support Alert files from your Mac

When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as System Support Alert, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.


Click the button below below to download SpyHunter for Mac and scan for System Support Alert:


Download

SpyHunter for Mac



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove System Support Alert 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.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Erase System Support Alert 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Uninstall System Support Alert 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.



Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Remove System Support Alert 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".

stf-safari preferences


Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.

stf-safari-extensions


Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.


Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.

stf-safari uninstall

A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the System Support Alert will be removed.


How to Reset Safari
IMPORTANT: Before resetting Safari make sure you back up all your saved passwords within the browser in case you forget them.

Start Safari and then click on the gear leaver icon.

Click the Reset Safari button and you will reset the browser.


Windows Mac OS X Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer


Eliminate System Support Alert 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.


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