The IDP.alexa.51(aka Alexa) Virus: What It Is & How to Remove It

Is this a false positive or the real thing?

A conceptual illustration of the IDP.Alexa.51 virus destroying a computer.

 Theresa Chiechi / Lifewire

If your antivirus software is telling you that you have the IDP.alexa.51 virus, don't take the warning lightly. While this is known to sometimes be a false positive detection gamers, in particular, are seeing this malware that's causing slowed systems and even repeated crashes, along with other odd behaviors including browser hijacking and misuse of system resources.

AVG and other antivirus programs are even interrupting PC startup processes to warn users of the virus. If you see this warning, take it seriously: You might indeed have a nasty infection that can do some substantial damage to your system.

The IDP.alexa.51 virus is also known as the Alexa virus. It has nothing to do with Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant and cannot be 'caught' by using her.

What Is the IDP.alexa.51 Virus?

While this file used to be classified as a simple false positive warning generated by antivirus software, there is continuing information that indicates it is indeed quite a malicious program similar to a Trojan that can cause quite a lot of damage to a computer.

A false positive means that your antivirus software didn't recognize the file so it classified it as a virus even though it really isn't one. A malicious program like a Trojan, on the other hand, is specifically designed to enter your computer to destroy or take control of your system. Some Trojans can also house spyware, which is designed to steal your personal information and send it to hackers.

The Alexa virus first appeared in 2016 and is thought to be related to some online games. However, it can be set loose on computers in other ways.

How Does the Alexa Virus Work?

This virus is tricky for researchers to classify. Some call it a Trojan because it acts in a similar way to known Trojans that perform very specific and malicious tasks on infected systems. However, it can also act like spyware and send personal information from your computer to hackers who use it for nefarious reasons. This can include browser hijacking, deletion of files, and other problems.

It's safe to say, however, that the IDP.alexa.51 virus is a threat that should be taken seriously, even if you might think your antivirus software might be giving you a false positive result during scans.

The Alexa virus is found most often on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 systems. However, it can be found on other Windows systems as well.

How Do I Know If I Have This Virus?

Since this virus can often act like spyware, you might not notice anything. That's by design: Spyware is specifically created to act stealthily in the background and avoid detection. However, most people notice the following types of issues with their computers:

  • Significant slowdown of the PC
  • Loss of important data, including crucial Windows files
  • Unwanted installation of unauthorized software
  • Blue screen of death on a computer
  • Excessive use of random access memory when you have no programs open

You might also see a suspicious detection message that is displayed when the system starts or restarts. Then, two different executable files are detected with the following names:

  • Seamonkey.exe
  • Ammsetup.tmp

Additionally, IDP.alexa.51 can show up with other suspicious detection names such as FileRepMalware or TrojanWin32/Tiggre!rfn.

Antivirus software typically identifies the Alexa virus as originating from .exe and .tmp files located in Windows folders like WindowsPowershell, %appdata% and %temp%.

How Did I Get the IDP.alexa.51 Virus?

This virus is most often associated with the download of online games and apps, including but not limited to SeaMonkey and Plants vs. Zombies. The original games themselves aren't the problem; it's the fact that hackers have secretly added the IDP.alexa.51 program to the software when it's downloaded from some freeware sites. That's not the only way you can get it, though.

If you use peer-to-peer networks (torrents, eMule, or similar tools), free file hosting sites, etc. you are at high risk for this or other Trojans infiltrating your system.

The infection can also be delivered via a malicious executable through a spam email. Perhaps you clicked an email attachment accidentally but the bottom line is that regardless of how the virus entered your system, your own actions likely let it loose.

How Do I Get Rid of This Virus?

The easiest and, often, the most effective way to remove suspicious software on a computer is to install a strong antivirus software program that can tackle all kinds of threats. A good antivirus can remove the IDP.alexa.51 virus although it can take several hours to do so. There are other options to try as well.

  1. Because of the possibility that the IDP.alexa.51 virus is simply a false positive from an outdated antivirus or another program, immediately update the antivirus program that alerted you to the issue. Then run the scan or program again. If you receive the warning again, you should assume it is not a false positive result and take additional steps to clear your system of the actual virus.

  2. It might be possible to manually remove the IDP.alexa.51 virus by uninstalling specific apps relating to it. Both Windows and MacOS have clear ways to uninstall apps you no longer want to use.

    However, this virus can sometimes attach itself to core files on your computer, which means this approach should be handled carefully and checked multiple times. Once the suspected program is removed, run your antivirus software again to see if the warning still appears.

    This step is not always easy to perform since you might not know exactly which program triggered the warning. Trojans can infect multiple programs, too, so the removal of a single program might not eliminate the problem.

  3. If you're still receiving the detection warning, you might have a persistent malware infection. This means the virus will keep coming back over and over again. To handle that, you can try removing the virus without using an antivirus application. Most of the time, however, both antivirus and anti-malware will be needed to remove these types of infections.

  4. If you've reached this step, then it might be time to try System Restore to return to an earlier point on your computer before you picked up the IDP.alexa.51 virus. Be sure to select a period of time where you know you definitely didn't already have the virus on your computer. 

Performing this step means you will lose any files and documents you have created or updated since you acquired the virus. However, if nothing else is working, this could be your only remaining choice.

How Can I Avoid Getting the Alexa Virus Again?

There are several different ways in which you can lower your chances of being re-infected with Alexa virus.

  • Always keep your antivirus software and malware protection up-to-date. New viruses pop up all the time and antivirus software providers continually release new virus definitions regularly. Only current protection can keep your PC informed on what to watch for viruses or other threats like the IDP.alexa.51 virus are released by hackers.
  • Turn off PUPs in your antivirus software. Most antivirus programs give you the option to detect Potentially Unwanted Programs but you might have to specifically select the option to turn it on. This will help stop unwanted programs like IDP.alexa.51 that are trying to sneak by when you download otherwise reliable programs.
  • Think twice before you download new programs. Be sure you know the reliability of the source of the programs and apps you download. Some sites include add-ons that you don't need; that's often where adware such as the Alexa virus can lurk. 
  • Never use websites suggested by pop-up ads. Static ads on a web page are typically fine; it's the pop-ups that suddenly appear that you should worry about. Those can harbor dangerous programs and infect your computer through the suspicious websites you might accidentally enter when you innocently click a pop up ad. Try these tips to stop pop ups in your browser.
  • Resist the urge to click on banner ads. When a banner ad suddenly appears as you browse a website, don't click on it. If a website you visit throws a large amount of pop-up advertisements at you, leave the site immediately.