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Remove Antivirus Protection and Antivirus Protection Trial (Uninstall Guide)

By on September 18, 2008 @ 11:09 PM | Last Updated: April 20, 2011 | Read 33,014 times.
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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
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:

Virus Alert!
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
Infiltration 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 computer

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.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

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

 

Guide Updates:

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:

 

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

  2. 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:


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to Antivirus Protection 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.

  5. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Antivirus Protection 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 Antivirus Protection 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 Antivirus Protection . 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.

  6. 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)


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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 Antivirus Protection related files.

  12. 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

  13. 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 Antivirus Protection Trial removal process.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  18. 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 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

 


 

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.

 

Associated Antivirus Protection Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\<random>
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\Run "<random>"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>"
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.


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