The '844-576-0503' pop-ups are hoaxes that claim to be protecting your PC from attacks by high-level threats, including well-known Trojans, by providing remote technical support. Web surfers using the services offered in the '844-576-0503' pop-ups may provide financial aid or sensitive information to con artists with no background in PC security. Treat these pop-ups as being the same as any other unsafe browser content, and use anti-malware products to scan your PC after being exposed to the '844-576-0503' pop-ups.
When the Web is Warning You about Windows Sabotage
Burgeoning categories of Web threats like classical technical support hoaxes may use many, diverse methods of tricking their viewers into performing unsafe or self-harming acts. However, most of these campaigns are bound by common themes, such as exploiting the reputation of previously-established threats that have no relationship to them. Malware analysts firmly identified just such a campaign in June: the '844-576-0503' pop-ups that warn about a persistent W32.VRBAT infection.
W32.VRBAT is a real Trojan that hijacks the Windows NTLDR bootup process for the purpose of forcing the infected machine to load a customized version of MS-DOS. It further protects this version of DOS with a system-wide FREEZE LOCK command, which prevents any additional changes to current security states. W32.VRBAT is a high-level threat with no purpose beyond completely locking the users out of their personal computers.
However, the '844-576-0503' pop-ups don't correspond to real W32.VRBAT infections. Instead of providing any authentic system or security data, the '844-576-0503' pop-ups use warnings of the previous threat for promoting a 'Microsoft support technician' at the provided number. Just as with past tactics of the same style already noted by malware researchers, these pop-ups don't provide contact with a real Microsoft support team, and, instead, deliver any responders to con artists posing as technical supporters.
Taking the Financial Support out of a Technical Support Hoax
The potential damages resulting from contact with con artists are as flexible as the fraudsters, themselves. However, current attacks associated with the '844-576-0503' pop-ups may conclude with attempts to sell fake PC repair software or services in exchange for upfront payments. Taking these hoaxes at their word may lead to you giving credit card numbers, and equal data, to con artists who can exploit them in the future unless you take appropriate countermeasures. After you've secured the safety of your computer, contact your credit card company or bank for additional recommendations.
Although the '844-576-0503' pop-ups may deliver themselves through corrupted or hacked sites, malware experts more often see the '844-576-0503' pop-ups loading through threats with browser-hijacking capabilities. These browser hijackings may launch the '844-576-0503' pop-ups automatically and without any respect for which website addresses the Web surfer loads. Scan suspicious downloads and avoid often-compromised sources, such as P2P clients, that are commonly responsible for the installation of these threats.
If you see repeated warnings about W32.VRBAT through your Web browser, remove the '844-576-0503' pop-ups by scanning your PC with anti-malware tools able to detect and delete the underlying threat. Terminate all Web-browsing processes and use other security features, such as Safe Mode (available in Windows by default) if needed for guaranteeing complete disinfection. However, despite the continuing efficacy of traditional anti-malware methods, the '844-576-0503' pop-ups campaign clearly embodies the persistent potential for Web surfers without any knowledge of standard security practices to keep their PCs in trouble.
Use SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PC Threats
If you are concerned that malware or PC threats similar to '844-576-0503' Pop-Ups may have infected your computer, we recommend you start an in-depth system scan with SpyHunter. SpyHunter is an advanced malware protection and remediation application that offers subscribers a comprehensive method for protecting PCs from malware, in addition to providing one-on-one technical support service.
Why can't I open any program including SpyHunter? You may have a malware file running in memory that kills any programs that you try to launch on your PC. Tip: Download SpyHunter from a clean computer, copy it to a USB thumb drive, DVD or CD, then install it on the infected PC and run SpyHunter's malware scanner.