Mom called. She had done an Internet search using Internet Explorer 11 and wound up with this in her browser:
This is another fake anti-virus screen, usually trying to get the user to click something to allow downloading a real virus. The unique thing was that it was accompanied by an annoying computer-generated voice playing this “Important security message” in an endless loop:
Important security message. Please call the number provided as soon as possible. You will be guided for the removal of the adware spyware virus on your computer. Seeing these popups means that you have a virus installed on your computer which puts the security of your personal data at a serious risk. It’s strongly advised that you call the number provided and get your computer fixed before you do any shopping online.
Hence my nickname “the Noisy Virus.” Here’s the screen again with the popup message moved to the side:
Getting Rid of the Noisy Virus Screen
Well, it’s not a virus per se, but I’m quite sure that if she clicked on OK, it would download something nefarious and/or connect her with someone who would remotely “fix” her computer and perhaps install a virus in the process.
It’s a bit tricky to close the browser here because the popup window means the red X won’t work. You can try right-clicking on the browser in the taskbar and selecting Close window. If that doesn’t work, just log off (Start menu, Log off), then log back on.
Once the browser is closed, start Internet Explorer in “safe” mode (without extensions) by running
iexplore.exe –extoff. See details here on the Dell site.
In safe mode, click Ctrl-H to open the browsing history. Under “Today”, the site hosting the noisy virus should be easily visible (in this case systemerror.xyz). Right-click on that site in the history and chose Delete. That prevents accidentally going back to that site, and it prevents Internet Explorer from re-opening the site if it it set to re-open previous tabs when you start.
Close Internet Explorer and re-start it in normal mode to make sure that the noisy virus screen does not not re-appear.
Finally, run a full system scan (e.g. with Malwarebytes) to make sure that no virus was installed.