The Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus has absolutely no connection to Microsoft or their security product, Microsoft Security Essentials. In fact, criminals have been producing malware that takes advantage of the real Microsoft Security Essentials in order to carry out online scams. For example, the Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Trojan is a common malware infection used to trick computer users to install rogue security software. Known as a ransomware infection it claims to be an alert from Microsoft Security Essentials and blocks access to your computer until you pay for support services.
If you cannot access your computer because it is blocked by a message supposedly displayed by Microsoft Security Essentials, it is a clear indication that your machine has become infected with the Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Malware.
Like most ransomware infections, the Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus may block access to the victim’s files, desktop, Windows services and applications, essentially holding the victim’s computer hostage. The Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus will refuse to return control of the infected computer unless money is paid. Like most ransomware threats, the Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus’ preferred methods of payment are money transfer services like Ukash or PaySafeCard. However, the Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus will display and then white out options like ‘Money Order’ and ‘Credit Card Payment’, claiming that these are blocked because of ‘security reasons.’ The Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus claims that the infected computer visited websites that illegal content, such as pirated software and child pornography, and that the victim must now pay for a ‘patch’ for their copy of Microsoft Security Essentials in order to regain control of their computer. This is almost always a lie designed to steal your money.
How does malicious software get onto a computer?
Rogue security software designers create legitimate looking pop-up windows that advertise services like security update software. These windows might appear on your screen while you surf the web.
The Warning Error pop-ups are caused by an ad-supported extension for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. The malicious browser extensions is added when you install some other free software such as; (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators). If an adware extension is installed on your computer, whenever you open a new tab within Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome,
an ad with the Warning Error will pop-up. The “updates” or “alerts” in the pop-up windows call for you to take some sort of action, such as clicking to install the software, accept recommended updates, or remove unwanted viruses or spyware. When you click, the rogue security software downloads to your computer. Rogue security software might also appear in the list of search results when you are searching for trustworthy anti-spyware software, so it is important to protect your computer.
The Warning Error pop-up is from a malicious website used by cyber criminals to promote their bogus remote support services. The bogus pop-up ad will state that you computer is infected and that you need to call their support service to remove the infection. This is a bogus claim, which attempts to make you pay money for their “services”.
Other common symptoms include:
- Advertising banners are injected into the web pages that you are visiting.
- Random web page text is turned into hyperlinks.
- Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
- Other unwanted adware programs might get installed without the user’s knowledge.
How to remove unwanted Bogus software
Most legitimate security programs can remove the Microsoft Security Essentials Alert Virus from an infected computer. However, the difficulty when dealing with this threat is actually gaining access to any security programs installed on the infected computer. The remedy will often involve removing the infected drive and scanning with anti Malware software, or performing a factory re-set.
In conclusion, you should always pay attention when installing software as often, a software installer includes optional software, such as the one that is causing the Fake Warning Error. Be very careful what you agree to install. Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust or know.
To help protect yourself from rogue security software:
- Install a firewall and keep it turned on.
- Use automatic updating to keep your operating system and software up to date.
- Install antivirus and anti-spyware software and keep it updated.
- Use caution when you click links in email or on social networking websites.
- Use a standard user account instead of an administrator account.
- Familiarize yourself with common phishing scams.