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Remove Win Erx03 warning message virus

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Popup alerts titled Win Erx03 in a web browser are elements of an ongoing support scam that distributes unwanted software, so here’s how to remove the virus.

Win Erx03 is a cybercriminals-coined term that designates a massive tech support scam campaign targeting numerous Windows users around the world. The idea is to scare a victim into believing their operating system is damaged and system files are risk. This deception, in its turn, is supposed to encourage the user to apply a software “update” that’s nothing but malware in disguise. Such a technique isn’t new – as a matter of fact, there are numerous concurrent frauds in the wild that simply use a different wording and intimidation tactics but are all based on a similar underlying principle. It all comes down to a virus that hijacks one’s web browser and iteratively triggers a redirect script. As a result, the victim’s web traffic will be repeatedly forwarded to a fake alert page titled “Win Erx03”, which imitates the Microsoft Windows logo and is programmed to display intrusive popups until the nefarious goal is achieved.

Win Erx03 popup scam recommending a booby-trapped update
Win Erx03 popup scam recommending a booby-trapped ‘update’

One of the common ways of getting infected with the Win Erx03 pop-up virus is to visit a malicious or compromised web page that appears to be harmless on the outside but hosts a malicious drive-by download doing its job behind the user’s back. Another contamination method has to do with software bundling, where the wicked entity sneaks into the computer as part of a compound installation logic. One way or another, once the e-pest finds itself inside a new host it instantly skews browser settings. Be advised that it supports Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Edge alike, so there is no such thing as an immune browser when it comes to this attack.

Having prepped a basement for the scam behind the scenes, the Win Erx03 virus gets to the active phase where its activity becomes more than conspicuous. It constantly redirects the victim’s preferred browser to a malicious landing page whose URL may vary in compliance with what’s called the fast flux DNS abuse mechanism. A lot of the reported scam domains are hosted at cloudfront.net and smart-screen.host. The address is always going to be appended or prepended with multiple alphanumeric characters that are most likely identifiers of a particular wrongdoing affiliate in the deep web underground. The destination page first generates a popup alert that says:

Windows Firewall has detected that your Windows is damaged and irrelevant.
As a result, your system files are automatically deleted.
Please follow the instructions to fix the problem immediately. This way you will ensure that your system is always protected.

Meanwhile, the contents of the main page in the background of said warning dialog add more brainwashing to the mix, basically stating the same but in a slightly different manner:

Your Windows system is damaged.
Please, pay attention: Your version of software is damaged and obsolete. As a result, all system files are automatically deleted.
Important: Click on the “Update” button to install the newest software to scan and protect your files from being deleted.

One of the most annoying things about this predicament is that no matter how hard you may try to close the nag screens, new ones will pop up that keep pressuring you to run the pseudo update. To add insult to injury, the Win Erx03 virus will play a high pitch noise while you are on that page. It really gets on victims’ nerves and pretty much coerces some of them to follow the crooks’ recommendations. What’s the whole point of this, though? Contrary to many other scams, there is no phone number here to call “toll free”, only to be duped into paying for a remote “fix”. The adversaries’ objective is different in this scenario. They are pushing a PUP (potentially unwanted program) known as OneSafe PC Cleaner this way. Although the payload may be different, this is a totally disgusting promotion technique whatsoever.

In summary, if you are experiencing browser redirects to the Win Erx03 page that says your Windows isn’t working right and important data is being deleted, do not fall for the scam and refrain from downloading anything there. The misbehaving item is actually a low-severity browser infection that can be removed using the steps below. Keep in mind that reverting to normal browser settings is required after the Win Erx03 virus has been eradicated.

Automated removal of the Win Erx03 virus

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download Win Erx03 virus remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

Use Control Panel to get rid of the Win Erx03 popup virus

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows and select Uninstall a program
Access program uninstall screen on Windows
• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find a suspicious or clearly malicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.
Uninstall unwanted program

Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages, etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by this virus.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings
Go to Settings in Chrome
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Advanced down at the bottom
Advanced settings in Chrome
• Move on to the Reset and clean up sub-section and select the option that says Restore settings to their original defaults
Restore Chrome settings to their original default
• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset settings on the warning message
Reset Chrome settings
• Restart Chrome.

Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter. Alternatively, you can click on the Open menu icon in the top right-hand part of the browser window, then select the Help option and proceed to Troubleshooting Information
Access Troubleshooting Information page in Firefox
• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it
Refresh Firefox button
• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings
Complete refreshing Firefox
• Restart the browser.

Reset Internet Explorer

• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools (Alt+X)
Open up Internet options in Internet Explorer
• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset
Locate and click the Reset button in IE
• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled
IE reset confirmation
• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.

Reset Safari

• Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences
Go to Safari Preferences
• When on the Preferences screen, select the Privacy tab and hit the Remove All Website Data button if you are up to erasing all website data stored on your Mac. Otherwise, you can use a site-specific removal option described below
Remove All Website Data button
• A dialog will appear, asking you to validate your choice. Click the Remove Now button if you are sure. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc.
Confirm website data removal
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, click the Details button under Privacy tab
Details button under Privacy tab
• Select the websites for which you would like to erase data and click the Remove button
Removing data for selected sites in Safari
• Click the Done button to confirm and exit. You can also select the Remove All option to remove all data stored by the listed websites.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download Win Erx03 popup virus removal tool

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