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How to remove Antivirus Protection 2012

By on February 21, 2012 @ 09:57 PM | Read 21,742 times.
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Antivirus Protection 2012 is a rogue anti-spyware program from the Rogue.Contra family. This rogue displays fake scan results and alerts in order to scare you into thinking your computer is infected. This program is installed through Trojans that download and install the program on to your computer without your permission. When installed, the rogue will also create numerous harmless files in your Windows Temp folder that will then be detected as malware when Antivirus Protection 2012 attempts to scan your computer. If you attempt to use the program to remove any of the files it detects as infections, it will state that you need to purchase the program before you can do so. As all of the files it detects as infections are harmless or legitimate Windows files, please disregard the scan results and do not purchase the program.

 

Antivirus Protection 2012 screen shot
Antivirus Protection 2012 screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 7 images you can view.

 

While running, Antivirus Protection 2012 will also display fake security alerts on your computer. These alerts are designed to make you think that you have a severe computer infection or that your computer is sending private data to a remote location. The text of these alerts include:

Security Center
Unauthorized remote connection!
Your system is making an unauthorized personal data transfer to a remote computer!
Warning! Unauthorized personal data transfer is detected! It may be your personal credit card details, logins and passwords, browsing habits or information about files you have downloaded.
To protect your private data, please click "Prevent Connection" button below.

You have been infected by a proxy-relay trojan server with new and danger "SpamBots".
You have a computer with a virus that sends spam.
This is a mass-mailing worm with backdoor thus allowing un-authorized access to the infected system.
It spreads by mass-mailing itself to e-mail addresses harvested from the local computer or by querying on-line search engines such as google.com.
The IP <ip address> address that YOU are getting from Internet Service Provider (ISP) for YOU personal computer is on some major blacklist.
Your computer has been used to send a huge amount of junk e-mail messages during the last days.
You IP <ip address> will be marked in the Police log file as mass-mailing spam assist.
Upgrading to the full version Antivirus Protection 2012 it will eliminate the majority of Spam attempts.

Antivirus Protection 2012
Your computer is being used as spamming machine. You can get sued for spam. Your computer WIL BE DISCONNECTED FORM <sic> INTERNET BECAUSE SPAMMING OTHER PCs.

Security Center Alert
To help protect your computer, Security Center has blocked some features of this program.
Do you want to block this suspicious software?
Name: Sft.Dez.Wien
Risk: High

Last, but not least, when you attempt to run the wordpad.exe, mspaint.exe, winword.exe, excel.exe, msaccess.exe, powerpnt.exe, firefox.exe, opera.exe, or wmplayer.exe executables, this infection will close the program and display a fake message stating that the program is infected:

Antivirus Protection 2012
The application excel.exe was launched successfully but it was forced to shut down due to security reasons. This application infected by a malicious software program which might present damage for the PC. It is highly recommended to make a full scan of your computer to exterminate the malicious programs from it.

Just like the fake scan results, all of these alerts and the browser hijacking are fake and are only being shown to scare you into purchasing the program.

Without a doubt, this program was developed to scare you into thinking that your computer has a serious computer security problem so that you will then purchase it. Therefore, do not purchase Antivirus Protection 2012 for any reason, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and state that the program is a computer virus and a scam and that you would like to dispute the charge. To remove this infection and related malware, please follow the steps in the guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Antivirus Protection 2012 files.
View Antivirus Protection 2012 Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Antivirus Protection] "%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\AntivirusProtection2012.exe" /STARTUP
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Antivirus Protection 2012 SM] %AppData%\Antivirus Protection\securitymanager.exe

 

Guide Updates:

02/21/12 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Antivirus Protection 2012 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 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.

  3. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to Antivirus Protection 2012 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.

  4. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Antivirus Protection 2012 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 2012 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 2012 . 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. If you continue having problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the 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.

    Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.


  5. 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)


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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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 2012 related files.

  11. 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

  12. 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 removal process.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  17. 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 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 2012 Files:

%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\
%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\AntivirusProtection2012.exe
%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\IcoActivate.ico
%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\IcoHelp.ico
%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\IcoUninstall.ico
%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\securityhelper.exe
%AppData%\Antivirus Protection\securitymanager.exe
%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Antivirus Protection.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\Antivirus Protection.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\Antivirus Protection\
%StartMenu%\Programs\Antivirus Protection\Activate Antivirus Protection.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\Antivirus Protection\Antivirus Protection.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\Antivirus Protection\Help Antivirus Protection.lnk
%StartMenu%\Programs\Antivirus Protection\How to Activate Antivirus Protection.lnk
%Temp%\2010yo.exe
%Temp%\472a10e2ebxd9.exe
%Temp%\56493.exe
%Temp%\cosock.exe
%Temp%\cowceb.exe
%Temp%\d20mes.exe
%Temp%\dc_3.exe
%Temp%\ddoll3342.exe
%Temp%\destroyer.exe
%Temp%\exppdf_w.exe
%Temp%\hhbboll_2.exe
%Temp%\jofcdks.exe
%Temp%\lols.exe
%Temp%\puzpup.exe
%Temp%\sycre.exe
%Temp%\winifi.exe
%Temp%\wwwsssgen.exe
... and many more fake infection files.

File Location Notes:

%Temp% refers to the Windows Temp folder. By default, this is C:\Windows\Temp for Windows 95/98/ME, C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\<Current User>\LOCAL SETTINGS\Temp for Windows 2000/XP, and C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Local\Temp in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%AppData% refers to the current users Application Data folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming.

%StartMenu% refers to the Windows Start Menu. For Windows 95/98/ME it refers to C:\windows\start menu\, for Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Start Menu\, and for Windows Vista/7/8 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.

 

Associated Antivirus Protection 2012 Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Antivirus Protection
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Antivirus Protection"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Antivirus Protection 2012 SM"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Antivirus Protection

 


 

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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