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Remove Antispyware Soft (Uninstall Guide)

By on April 25, 2010 @ 07:26 PM | Read 126,868 times.
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Antispyware Soft is a rogue from the same family as Antivirus Soft and Antivirus Suite. This rogue is promoted through malware that will install the program on to your computer without your permission or knowledge. In fact, when the program is installed it will stay running in the background and perform no actions until some later date when it then starts to display its warnings and program screen. This program is also configured to start automatically when Windows loads, and once running, will scan your computer and state that your computer has numerous infections. If you try to remove any of these infections, though, the program will not allow it until you purchase the program. This is a scam, as the infections this program displays do not actually exist on your computer. Instead they are being showed to scare you into purchasing it.

 

Antispyware Soft screen shot
Antispyware Soft screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 5 images you can view.

 

While Antispyware Soft is running it will also block the majority of programs from running on your computer. When you attempt to run them, it will display a warning stating that the program is infected and then terminate it. The message you would see is:

Windows Security Alert
Application cannot be executed. The file cmd.exe is infected. Do you want to active your antivirus software now?

It blocks programs in order to protect itself from being removed.

While running it will also display fake security alerts stating that active infections have been found or that a remote computer is attacking yours. The text of these alerts are:

Windows Security alert
Windows reports that computer is infected. Antivirus software helps to protect your computer against viruses and other security threats. Click here for the scan you computer. Your system might be at risk now.

Antivirus software alert
Infiltration Alert
Your computer is being attacked by an internet virus. It could be a password-stealing attack, a trojan - dropper or similar.
Details
Attack from: IP Address, port 39096
Attacked Port: 30516
Threat: Win32/Nuqel.E

Last, but not least, the program will also configure your computer to use a proxy server for its Internet connection. This proxy server will not allow you connect to any sites, but will instead display a warning stating that the site is malicious and that you should purchase Antispyware Soft to protect yourself. All of these warnings and infections messages should be ignored as they are false and just being shown to scare you into purchasing the software.

Without a doubt, Antispyware Soft was created to scam you out of your money by trying to convince you that you are infected. It goes without saying that you should not purchase this software, and if you already have, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. To remove Antispyware Soft and any associated malware, please follow the removal guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Antispyware Soft files.
View Antispyware Soft Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [<random>] %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\<random>tssd.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [<random>] %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\<random>tssd.exe

 

Guide Updates:

04/25/10 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Antispyware Soft using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow you to download files on the infected computer. If you run into this problem when following the steps in this guide you will need to download the files requested in this guide on another computer and then transfer them to the infected computer. You can transfer the files via a CD/DVD, external drive, or USB flash drive.

  3. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking using the instructions for your version of Windows found in the following tutorial:
    How to start Windows in Safe Mode
    When following the steps in the above tutorial, select Safe Mode with Networking rather than just Safe Mode. When the computer reboots into Safe Mode with Networking make sure you login with the username you normally use. When you are at your Windows desktop, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  4. This infection changes your Windows settings to use a proxy server that will not allow you to browse any pages on the Internet with Internet Explorer or update security software. Regardless of the web browser you use, for these instructions we will first need need to fix this problem so that we can download the utilities we need to remove this infection.

    Please start Internet Explorer, and when the program is open, click on the Tools menu and then select Internet Options as shown in the image below.



    Internet Explorer Tools Menu


  5. You should now be in the Internet Options screen as shown in the image below.



    Internet Options screen



    Now click on the Connections tab as designated by the blue arrow above.

  6. You will now be at the Connections tab as shown by the image below.


    Internet Options connections tab



    Now click on the Lan Settings button as designated by the blue arrow above.

  7. You will now be at the Local Area Network (LAN) settings screen as shown by the image below.



    Proxy Settings screen



    Under the Proxy Server section, please uncheck the checkbox labeled Use a proxy server for your LAN. Then press the OK button to close this screen. Then press the OK button to close the Internet Options screen. Now that you have disabled the proxy server you will be able to browse the web again with Internet Explorer.

  8. Now we must end the processes that belong to Antispyware Soft so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe download link. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

    If you are unable to connect to the site to download RKill, please go back and do steps 3-6 again and make sure the infection has not reenabled the proxy settings. You may have to do this quite a few times before you can get RKill downloaded. If you still cannot download the RKill program on the infected computer, you should download it to a clean computer and copy it to the infected one via a USB flash drive or CDROM.

  9. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Antispyware Soft and other Rogue programs. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and you can continue with the next step. If you get a message that RKill is an infection, do not be concerned. This message is just a fake warning given by Antispyware Soft when it terminates programs that may potentially remove it. If you run into these infections warnings that close RKill, a trick is to leave the warning on the screen and then run RKill again. By not closing the warning, this typically will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so that RKill can terminate Antispyware Soft . So, please try running RKill until the malware is no longer running. You will then be able to proceed with the rest of the guide. Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

    If you continue having problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the RKill download page. Both of these files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.


  10. Now you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)

    If you are unable to connect to the site to download Malwarebytes', please go back and do steps 3-6 again and make sure the infection has not reenabled the proxy settings.


  11. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

  12. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  13. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  14. MBAM will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program before performing a scan. As MBAM will automatically update itself after the install, you can press the OK button to close that box and you will now be at the main program as shown below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

  15. On the Scanner tab, make sure the the Perform full scan option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Antispyware Soft related files.

  16. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan. When MBAM is scanning it will look like the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scanning Screen

  17. When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scan Finished Screen

    You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the Antispyware Soft removal process.

  18. You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

  19. A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown as seen in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  20. When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad window.

  21. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  22. As many rogues and other malware are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

    How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

 

Your computer should now be free of the Antispyware Soft program. You may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, as if you had the real-time protection component, that comes with the paid for version, activated it would not have allowed this infection to install.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

 


 

Associated Antispyware Soft Files:

%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>
%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\<random>tssd.exe

File Location Notes:

%UserProfile% refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> for Windows 2000/XP, C:\Users\<Current User> for Windows Vista/7/8, and c:\winnt\profiles\<Current User> for Windows NT.

 

Associated Antispyware Soft Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\avsoft
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\avsuite
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\avsoft
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\avsuite
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download "RunInvalidSignatures" ="1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyOverride" = "<local>"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyServer" = "http=127.0.0.1:5555"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Associations "LowRiskFileTypes" = ".exe"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Attachments "SaveZoneInformation" = "1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>"

 


 

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.


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