The '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups are fake technical support alerts that may lock your Web-browsing window, try to install threatening or unwanted software, or require you to contact a scam artist's phone number. Malware researchers are tracing these attacks to a variety of corrupted websites, which always will misrepresent themselves as being legitimate organizations (such as Microsoft). Use anti-malware products with Web-browsing features to protect yourself or remove the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups that reoccur while you browse the Web.
'Technical Support' with a Price in Passwords
Software exploits may make up an important pillar of the threat black market, but con artists often have more to benefit with less work by focusing on the most 'hackable' entity in a system: the user. Recent attacks within the last few weeks of June and July are making full use of this fact by deploying fake security alerts. Since malware experts are witnessing variable behavior from these '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups, their overall goals still are under confirmation.
The '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups are loading through obfuscated Web addresses leading Web surfers to several, corrupted websites, with an apparent emphasis on Australia-based traffic and mobile device users. Exposure to the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups can cause symptoms including:
- These pop-ups may use script-based exploits to lock the Web-browsing window and prevent you from closing it, minimizing it, resizing it, or shifting focus to a different window or tab.
- The '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups may request login data for third-party services, such as an account name and password combination.
- Some domains related to the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups also may pose as technical support help and claim that Microsoft is blocking your browser due to security issues. Usually, these sites imitate the formatting of Microsoft.com and provide their fake technical support hotlines for supposed assistance
- Malware analysts also can correlate some variants of the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups with drive-by-download attacks: exploits that try to install threatening software (such as a Trojan) or unwanted software (such as advertising add-ons) automatically.
The Only Assistance Needed against Fake Support Lines
Fortunately, the drive-by-downloads through the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups appear to be in the minority, although exposure to any misleading site always should be assumed to be capable of compromising your computer. More often, a user may give the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups or related entities their information. Doing this can allow the con artists to hijack their accounts, take money, or gain further access to the targeted system.
Updating your software regularly and having comprehensive anti-malware protection can block attempted downloading exploits through the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups. If necessary, change any passwords you believe the associated threat actors might have acquired. Perhaps most importantly, malware experts strongly recommend against paying or giving remote desktop access to any individuals claiming to be part of a technical support service through non-standard means, like a random website. Microsoft will never block your PC's browser due to security vulnerabilities or use it to ask you to contact a hotline.
If these pop-ups continue reappearing in your Web browser, restart the system in Safe Mode and conduct a full anti-malware scan. Most anti-malware and anti-adware products with browser-specific threat databases should remove the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups and erase all temporarily cached content associated with them. Momentarily, malware experts have yet to link the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups to any browser add-on or extension's campaign, which, for the most part, limits these threats to being tied to the victim's Web-browsing history.
The human brain isn't as easy to patch as a mobile phone or computer. Because of that simple flaw, the '61-1800-431-437' pop-ups and similar tactics are poignant hazards on the Internet for years to come.