Antivirus Protection is a rogue anti-spyware program from
the same family as Antivirus
Soft and AV
Security Suite. This family of rogues is installed through the use of malware
and exploit kits that download and install Antivirus Protection onto your computer
without your permission. When this program is installed it will be configured
to start automatically when Windows starts, and once started, will perform a
scan of your computer and state that it has found numerous infections. It will
not, though, tell you the files that are supposedly infected and will also state
that you cannot remove anything until you first purchase the program. This is
a complete scam, as the program is scripted to display infections every time
it is run. That means if you reinstalled Windows and ran Antivirus Protection
it would still say that you are infected. It does this to scare you into thinking
that your computer has a security problem so that you will then purchase the
program. When you purchase the program, though, all you do is waste your money
as the program has no useful function for your computer.
Antivirus Protection screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 4 images you can view.
When Antivirus Protection is running it will state that most programs are infected
when you attempt to run them. The text of this fake infection alert is:
Application can't be started. The file notepad.exe
is damaged. Do you want to active your antivirus software now?
It does this for two reasons. The first is to make you think that your legitimate,
and clean, programs are infected so that you will then purchase the rogue. The
second reason is to block you from running any legitimate security programs
that may help you remove this infection.
While Antivirus Protection is running it will also show you fake security alerts
that attempt to further scare you into thinking you have a infection on your
computer. These alerts will state that active malware has been detected or that
your computer is under attack. The text of these alerts is:
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 your computer. Your system might be at risk now.
Antivirus Software Alert
Your computer is being attacked by an internet virus. It could be a password-stealing
attack, a trojan - dropper or similar.
Just like the other false infections alerts, these warnings are all fake and
should be ignored. Last, but not least, Antivirus Protection will also configure
your computer to use a proxy server at 127.0.0.1:47392, which is actually the
Antivirus Protection program itself. This makes it that when you browse the
web using Internet Explorer, the rogue will intercept all your web browser requests
and instead display a page that shows a security warning about the site you
are visiting. This warning states:
Internet Explorer warning - visiting this site
may harm your computer!
Most likely causes:
- The website contains exploits that can launch a
malicious code on your computer
- Suspicious network activity
- There might be an active spyware running on your
These warnings should be ignored as they are false. If you use a browser other
than Internet Explorer you will not see the warnings at all and can browse the
Internet like normal.
Without a doubt, Antivirus Protection Trial was created solely to trick you into
purchasing the program by convincing you that your computer has a security problem.
Now that you know what this program does, it goes without saying that you should
not purchase this program for any reason. If you already have purchased it,
then we suggest you contact your credit card company and dispute the charges.
To remove Antivirus Protection and any related malware, please follow the steps
in the removal guide below.
View Antivirus Protection files.
View Antivirus Protection Registry Information.
Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:
Antivirus Protection 3.3.0
Tools Needed for this fix:
Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = http=127.0.0.1:47392
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [<random>] %Temp%\<random>\<random>.exe
09/18/08 - Initial guide creation.
04/20/11 - Updated for new rogue using the same name.
Automated Removal Instructions for Antivirus Protection using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is
open later in the fix.
- Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. To
do this, turn your computer off and then back on and immediately when you
see anything on the screen, start tapping the F8 key on your
keyboard. Eventually you will be brought to a menu similar to the one below:
Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select Safe Mode with Networking
and press Enter on your keyboard. If you are having trouble
entering safe mode, then please use the following tutorial: How
to start Windows in Safe Mode
Windows will now boot into safe mode with networking and prompt you to login
as a user. Please login as the same user you were previously logged in with
in the normal Windows mode. Then proceed with the rest of the steps.
- It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow
you to download files on the infected computer. If this is the case, then
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.
- Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to
so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please
download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
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.
- Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe
icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with
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
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
. 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.
- At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any any infections or adware that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following
location and save it to your desktop:
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)
- Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including
- Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe.
This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.
- 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 Launch
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.
- MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.
Please click on the Scan Now button to start the scan. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.
- MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can
take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically
check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
- When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware that it has detected. Please note that the infections found may be different
than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.
You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove
all the seleted 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
- You can now exit the MBAM program. If Malwarebytes did not prompt you to reboot your computer, please do so that you are back in normal mode.
- 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:
detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector
Your computer should now be free of the
Antivirus Protection Trial
program. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through,
you may want to consider purchasing the
PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types
of threats in the future.
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
View Associated Antivirus Protection Files
%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\
%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\<random>.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.
View Associated Antivirus Protection Windows Registry Information
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\PhishingFilter "Enabled" = "0"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyOverride" = "<local>"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyServer" = "http=127.0.0.1:5643"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyEnable" = "1"
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\Internet Explorer\Download "CheckExeSignatures" = 'no'
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.