This fake BSOD error message with the 1-888-991-9974 phone number that appeared on your computer screen was installed by a Potentially Unwanted Software or adware. It most likely came with a software download from a sketchy website. I've read some reports saying that users got it after installing a driver for a printer. So what actually is a PUP and how do you defend yourself against attack? PUP is an acronym for Potentially Unwanted Program which, as the name suggests, is a piece of software that you probably don't want to have installed on your PC. But how do you know if you have been 'bitten' by a PUP - what does one look like and how does it behave?
PUPs and similar malware are normally associated with rogue tool bars, although they sometimes appear as search engines or home pages. But whatever they look like, they normally have one end goal in common, which is to redirect the searches you make on the internet so that you are unable to visit the websites you want to go to, instead being sent directly to one of their own choice. In this case, it hijacks your web browser, creates a proxy server but instead of redirecting you to dodgy websites or displaying advertisements, it displays this fake BSOD error message and says that you need to call 1-888-991-9974 for technical support.
The blue screen says:
A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.
If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If a driver is identified in the stop message, disable the driver or check with the manufacturer for driver updates. Try changing video adapters.
Check with your hardware vendor for any bios updates. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select Safe Mode.
For technical support to this problem, call Windows helpline: +1-888-991-9974.
*** STOP: 0x0000001E (0xFFFFFFFFC00000094,0xFFFFFF8000C074D1E,0x000000000,0xFFFFFFFFFFD)
And while you could argue this is not dangerous and won't do you any harm. The fact it is, it is not only incredibly annoying but it is a real waste of your time too. Imagine being infected by a PUP at work – how much would your (or your employees') productivity drop if you spent half your day trying get rid of it? It's not always easy, trust me.
So now let's take a look at how you defend yourself from such fake Blue Screens Of Death. It's a good idea, as with any malware, to know a little bit more about how they operate so that you can be better prepared to face them. First of all, it will install itself on your PC surreptitiously. This is usually by being bundled with another software download. It will piggyback on an installation so that when you download an app or software program, the it will sneakily install itself along with it.
So that begs the question, how do you make sure you are not also installing it alongside your definitely wanted program? The good news is that because malware programmers don't consider their product to be malware, they will mention that they are packaged with the main program in the End User License Agreement that belongs to that download.
Therefore the trick to NOT installing this malware too is to make sure that you read this license agreement carefully and double check whether any additional programs are mentioned. If you spot wording related to an add-on either abort the installation or make sure the check boxes are configured so that you don't also install the malware that will display fake error messages in your computer.
To remove fake BSOD caused by malware and other threats that may have been installed on your computer, please follow the removal guide below. If you have questions, leave a down comment below. I will be more than happy to help you. Good luck and be safe online!
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
Fake BSOD 1-888-991-9974 Removal Guide:
1. First of all, download recommended anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer.
NOTE: If you can't download it, the problem can be resolved by finding the associated malware program in the Task Manager. Open Properties tab, end the process (windows.exe or similar) and delete the program. Or restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking and download anti-malware software.
2. Download and run TDSSKiller. Press the button Start scan for the utility to start scanning.
3. Wait for the scan and disinfection process to be over. Then click Continue. Please reboot your computer after the disinfection is over.