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Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert

    Question

  • I keep getting a popup alert that I'm convinced is a fake. It displays as a Microsoft Security Essentials Alert. The box/popup states Potential Threat and its displaying: Microsoft antivirus has found critical process activity and lists 3 threats and provides a tab to click on so that I may remove the threat (which I ignore). When I try closing the msg box, another pops up and says I need to click tab to clean computer immediately to prevent systems breakage. The only way of closing it is with Task Manager but it keeps returning and does not allow me to move forward. I have done a complete viral scan with the windows defender that finds no viruses but this obviously is something that got through and I can't seem to pin it to remove it. How can it be removed/stopped? I would appreciate that you keep in mind that I'm a complete novice and know next to nothing about technical computer issues. Heck I don't even know where in the forum my question lies!

    Sunday, February 02, 2014 4:30 PM

Answers

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  • Getting the exact same thing in IE when going to www gamefaqs com  and reading through some posts.

    I was 100% sure this was not really security essentials popping this up, so like TC, I ended task.

    Still comes up from time to time - but I'm not finding anything thru internet searches on what this bugger is.

    Saturday, February 08, 2014 3:48 AM
  • me too. It comes up as M Alert, not familiar with that. I think its IE related though. I'll be on a website and it will kick me off...daily anymore....I clicked on it once and it tries to download but hangs until i close it. I've performed a virus scan and its not being detected as a problem. Maybe the MICROSOFT folks can make a suggestion. Of the 3 alerts, 1 claims to be Trojan. I'll post the exact info next time it comes up.

    • Edited by rocknout4u Saturday, February 08, 2014 11:50 PM
    Saturday, February 08, 2014 11:44 PM
  • me too - any suggestions to get rid of it?
    Sunday, February 09, 2014 7:19 PM
  • Same thing here.  Happens when clicking on a link from within a site.  Get a popup about a compatibility problem that goes away after flashing up, then the screen popup shows:

    Message from Webpage

    Microsoft Antivirus has found critical process activity on your PC

    You need to clean your computer to prevent the system breakage.

    Then there is a window that lists the 3 problems:

    Trojan-PSW.Win32.launch

    HackTool:Win32/Welevate.A

    Adware.Win32.Fraud

    The broken English and lack of punctuation are a dead giveaway that this is a virus or some sort of malware.

    Also note that your browser (mine was IE 8) has been redirected to another web page that looks to be in the Netherlands.

    Http://aq343ref.proantivirusproject2014.nl/index.php?key=a0c983b032a4f048944d66202dea75ac

    Full scan with a real AV program did not find anything.  Does not look like Malwarebytes is going to find anything either.  Seems pretty new, but definately a virus.

    Killing the iexplore.exe process from task manager gets it off the screen, and it doesn't come up on all pages, just when you do certain things.  I was trying to enter Coke points, and as soon as I click on the link to enter mutliple codes, it pops the virus message.

    Hoping that the Microsoft folks have gotten wind of this and offer a resolution soon.

    Monday, February 10, 2014 12:02 AM
  •   go to control panel then programs and features, look for play now radio and uninstall

    Monday, February 10, 2014 3:02 AM
  • go to control panel

    then programs and features,

    look for play now radio

    and uninstall

    Monday, February 10, 2014 3:03 AM
  • I got the exact same thing tonight... Ran Microsoft Defender using Windows 8. Cannot get it off screen. I too did not trust it.

    Monday, February 10, 2014 5:01 AM
  • I am getting it too.

    however there is no program called "play now radio".  So what do we do?

    Monday, February 10, 2014 6:57 PM
  • MrBunky13 described my experience exactly, on Sunday, Feb. 9.  I had just downloaded Smart Defrag 3 from Cnet, and as the install began a second tab popped up in IE8 titled M.alert.  All details matched MrBunky13's description precisely.  I killed IE through Task Manager, and the exploit did not reappear.  A full scan of my C drive did not show any viruses.

    Has the Microsoft security team been able to research this very clever exploit?  I brought it to Cnet's attention, but except for an initial acknowledgement there's been no reply.

    I cannot find any mention of M.alert on the web except for this forum.  I'm most bothered by the fact that it seemed to tailgate the download from Cnet, and I understand they regularly scan their download files.  How did it get past my stateful hardware firewall?  I feel, perhaps simply through ignorance, that it had to have tailgated the download in order to pass through the firewall.

    However, I downloaded the same file ten minutes earlier that day on another XP system and a similar exploit behavior did not occur.  That system is protected by PCTools / Symantec Norton, but PCTools did not flag anything as detected during the download, either.

    Help, anyone?

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014 7:46 PM
  • I got same pop up a few nites ago. I was just surfing Summer 2014 movies and know better that most celebrity sites are great places to catch a virus. Saw it pop up and thought crap...didnt hit me right away that I didnt have Essentials on this machine AND SO I CLICKED OK TO CLEAN!

    Normally I always click nothing and task manager close out...but was too late. BUT, then another pop up said would you like to save or open a random file name and it hit me then and THEN I closed it all down.

    Ran my current out of date anti virus and found nothing then downloaded essentials and ran it and found nothing. Hopefully, it didnt install. Computer seems fine but who knows...maybe time to invest in Vipre Antivirus i've been putting off. Not happy to hear it got thru a hardware firewall either as I've thought about investing in one as well. 

    Anyone have any symptoms of this Virus?

    I figure I'll just keep checking essentials every couple days for another update and wait for the Feb 2014 Windows malware removal tool.....I know it's a known virus because my buddy in the computer field said he's already cleaned it off a couple machines but couldn't give me the symptoms or what they used off the top of his head.

    • Proposed as answer by cpblizzard Monday, February 17, 2014 4:09 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by cpblizzard Monday, February 17, 2014 4:09 PM
    Tuesday, February 11, 2014 8:42 PM
  • Same issue on surface rt.  Message reads:

    "Message from webpage

    Microsoft Antivirus has found critical process activity on your pc.  You need to clean your computer to prevent system breakage."

    Why would i get this message from a webpage?  

    you need to click "ok" rid of it (if you dare)

    behind message is a "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert" identifying he same three problems listed in one of the prior messages:

    Trojan-PSW.Win32.launch

    HackTool:Win32/Welevate.A

    Adware.Win32.Fraud

    there is a box to click to "clean" the computer

    don't know how to get this off the rt surface

    just powered it down and turned it back on - gone for the moment.  Any comments / solutions appreciated

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014 8:36 PM
  • I did post about Defender not doing a good job. I suggested to disable all MS protection and go with Norton. I am not sure about 360 it has lots of stuff to load and I''m not sure that is the best way to go. I can say Norton internet security works ok with Windows 8.1. Norton stopped over 10 downloads, and even more sites, and defender did not.

    I'd also like to mention that Avast,I know works with windows 8.1 leaving the windows firewall active. I run both, Norton, Avast and defender and defender. 3 windows 8.1 systems, and defender has caused infection of malware leading exposed data to cache servers.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:45 PM
  • On Wed, 19 Feb 2014 20:36:57 +0000, a55z66 wrote:
     
    >Same issue on surface rt.  Message reads:
    >
    >"Message from webpage
    >
    >Microsoft Antivirus has found critical process activity on your pc.  You need to clean your computer to prevent system breakage."
    >
    >
    >don't know how to get this off the rt surface
    >
    >just powered it down and turned it back on - gone for the moment.  Any comments / solutions appreciated
     
     
    system breakage is NOT a term that Microsoft uses and MSE would not give this
    kind of alert on a web page. AND you are using RT.
     
    it's some kind of scam from the web page you visited. suggest not visiting it
    again ;-)
     

    -- Barb Bowman
    Thursday, February 20, 2014 11:29 AM
  • I was just at rottentomatoes looking for movies and the same ad popped up. I didn't shut down my PC immediately. I think I clicked the X to close the pop-up. Then it appeared again, but in the sidebar of the webpage. Someone mentioned rt. I don't know what that is, but I had been on RT's website tonight.

    I'll run my anti-virus. I wish I could find more info about this pop-up. Worries me.

    EDIT: I ran a full AVG scan & nothing.

    >"I got same pop up a few nites ago. I was just surfing Summer 2014 movies and know better that most celebrity >sites are great places to catch a virus. Saw it pop up and thought crap...didnt hit me right away that I didnt have >Essentials on this machine AND SO I CLICKED OK TO CLEAN! "

    • Edited by ellen618 Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:56 PM
    Thursday, February 20, 2014 12:02 PM
  • On Thu, 20 Feb 2014 12:02:30 +0000, ellen618 wrote:
     
    >I'll run my anti-virus. I wish I could find more info about this pop-up. Worries me.
     
     
    has details on this.
     

    -- Barb Bowman
    Friday, February 21, 2014 11:21 AM
  • Hi all.

    The world of computing and the risks associated with computer use, especially on the web, have changed dramatically. In general, the only way to be reasonably sure that you have cleaned your PC of malware is to destroy all partitions on the hard drives and re-install.

    By the time you realize that you are infected with something, you probably have additional malware problems that you are not yet aware of. The only reason to attempt to get rid of an infection is to get your PC stable enough to rescue your data prior to reinstallation.

    Surf safely!

    Hope this helps.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 4:26 PM
  • Hi all.

    The world of computing and the risks associated with computer use, especially on the web, have changed dramatically. In general, the only way to be reasonably sure that you have cleaned your PC of malware is to destroy all partitions on the hard drives and re-install.

    By the time you realize that you are infected with something, you probably have additional malware problems that you are not yet aware of. The only reason to attempt to get rid of an infection is to get your PC stable enough to rescue your data prior to reinstallation.

    Surf safely!

    Hope this helps.


    Not true, create a full image. Virus problem solved. Tested with a downloaded program with a knowing virus. Restoring the Image from my usb recovery drive worked great.
    Monday, February 24, 2014 4:51 PM
  • I am receiving this same error but it says nothing about Security Essentials.  Just a statement from the webpage and 'Microsoft antivirus has found critical process error...' with just a OK tab.  Microsoft nor Norton finds anything.  Task manager can't close IE8 nor can a file dump be made from task manager.  Rebooting doesn't get rid of it either.  Norton blocks a 'serious attack'.  I can open ie8 from the desktop.  I will try to reboot in safe mode, but I'm not sure what to do after that.  Any assistance would be appreciated. 

    Monday, March 03, 2014 1:49 PM
  • carins99,

    IE8 is not part of windows 8.1, no if, buts, about it. Please go to the proper windows forums to post this.

    Monday, March 03, 2014 3:24 PM
  • OMG man I feel like such an idiot because I fell for it all hook line and sinker and knew better too.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014 3:07 AM
  • It happens, trigger happy. You know your, up-to-your looking sockets when you run a malwarebyte scan to find, there are over 1000 PUPS loaded in a single click.
    • Edited by colakid Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:47 PM
    Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:46 PM
  • I have had 2 instances this week of the "critical process" with MS Security Essentials fake page showing 3 viruses detected behind on the IE screen. I am running Norton 360. 1st time I clicked tab on critical process screen and then tried to close IE, got box asking if sure I want to leave page, yes. Rebooted then tried to run Norton scan, got hung up a few times. When I finally got it running NAV downloaded 199M when checking for updates. Sounds like the whole program. Scan ran and found nothing as did Malwarebytes. Today I used Task Manager to close IE and run NAV. Same download of 199M when updates checked but ran without hangups. IT friend said run MS Malicious Software Removal Tool , mrt in command prompt. Nothing found.

     

      
    Friday, April 04, 2014 4:26 AM