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How to remove the AP Manager or Copyright violation alert Ransomware (Uninstall Guide)

By on April 27, 2010 @ 01:21 PM | Last Updated: May 1, 2010 | Read 25,227 times.
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AP Manager is a variant of the I-Q Manager ransomware program. This version has the Trojan masquerading as a download manager for copyrighted games, movies, and music. If you visit certain sites that are affiliated with this malware and attempt to download copyrighted media, it will be added to the AP Manager download list and it will pretend to download the file to your computer. When downloading, The AP Manager will show information such as how much time is left, the speed of the download, the amount of KB transferred etc, but in reality this information is all fake as nothing is actually being downloaded to your computer.

 

AP Manager screen shot
AP Manager screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 6 images you can view.

 

Once the file has supposedly been downloaded, a new window will appear with a title of Copyright Violation Alert. This window will pretend to be the I-Q Manager Antipiracy foundation scanner created by icpp-online.com, which is a fake law firm that states it represents different copyright associations. This window will state that copyrighted material has been detected on your computer and that you need to pay a fine of around $54 dollars, which is much lower than their previous ransom of $400 dollars. If you choose not to pay the fine then the software will issue a scare alert stating that the authorities have been notified and that your case will be handled in a court. It will then once again ask if you wish to pay the fine or continue with going to court. If you decide to pay the random, the program will be terminated and uninstalled from your computer. The text of this Copyright Violation Alert is:

Copyright violation alert

Copyright violation: copyrighted content detected
Windows has detected that you are using content that was downloaded in violation of the copyright of its respective owners. Please read the following bulletin and try solving the problem in one of the recommended ways.

What has happened?
During the system scan Antipiracy Foundation scanner has detected copyright issues. Please take a look at the list and choose an action: pass the case to a court or settle it in pre-trail order by paying a fine.

How could it happen?
You may have using file-sharing clients, torrents or downloaded the content in question straight from the website. In any of the cases you have violated the copyright of respective owners. In most countries this kind of action is prosecuted and serious penalties are imposed. Maxmimum penalties can be five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Choose an action:

If you are sure that you can't have download the content to your PC or there was nothing you could do to avoid it, press "Pass the case to court" button and pass the case to court

If these files belong to you, but you would rather avoid all the expenses associated with settling the issue in court, you can settle your case in pre-trial order by pressing "Solve..." button.

While AP Manager is running you will also occasionally see a scare alert stating that copyrighted material has been found. The text of this alert is:

Warning!
This computer is being used for illegal activity associated with copyright violation. Records about this computer's owner are about to be sent to court. If you saw this message by accident, please report any information about a possible owner of this comp.

As said previously, all of these alerts are just an attempt by the malware writers to scare you into paying the fine/ransom. As all of these messages are fake, they should be ignored.

As you can see, the AP Manager Trojan was created to scare you into paying money for so-called copyright violations. These violations are actually not real and you should definitely not pay the fine that this malware tries to ransom. If you have already paid the ransom, then please contact your credit card provider and dispute the charges as this program is a scam. To remove this infection and any related malware, please use the removal guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View AP Manager files.
View AP Manager Registry Information.

 

Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:

AP Manager

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [apmanager.exe] %UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\apmanager.exe silent

 

Guide Updates:

04/27/10 - Initial guide creation
05/01/10 - Updated removal instructions

 


Automated Removal Instructions for AP Manager using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions from a clean computer so you can follow them on the infected one.

  2. If you are infected with this malware, when you login to Windows you will see the Copyright Violation Alert rather than your normal Desktop as shown in the image below. If you do see your Windows Desktop already, then you can skip to Step 6.


    Copyright Violation Alert

    When you see the above image, press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys on your keyboard at the same time. If in Windows XP, this will bring up the taskmanager. If in Windows Vista or Windows 7 it will bring up a screen where should will select Start Task Manager.

  3. When the Windows Task Manager starts you will see a screen similar to the one below.


    Windows Task Manager

    If you are not already at the Processes tab, click on the Processes tab to select it. Now scroll through the list of processes till you find the apmanager.exe process. Once you find this process, left click on it to select it and then click on the End Process button as designated by the blue arrow above.

  4. When you end the process, Windows will ask if you are sure that you would like to end it. You should click on the Yes button to close the apmanager.exe process.

  5. The Copyright Violation Screen will now disappear from your screen. Now, from within Task Manager, click on the File menu and select New Task (Run...). You will now see a screen similar to the below.


    Create New Task

    In the Open: field type explorer.exe and then click on the OK button as designated by the blue arrow above. Once you press OK, your Windows Desktop should now appear.

  6. Now that we are at our Windows Desktop again, we first need to terminate this process and then start the Windows desktop manually. 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.

  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 AP Manager 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 AP Manager 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.

Your computer should now be free of the AP Manager 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 AP Manager Files:

%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\apmanager.exe
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\settings.ini
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\uninstall.exe
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\wallpaper.jpg
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\files\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\iplog\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\ispinfo\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Czech.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Danish.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Dutch.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\English.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\French.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\German.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Italian.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Portuguese.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Slovak.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\Spanish.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\languages\template.lng
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\metafiles\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\metafiles\6118105874ba58b303121337299673e7.torrent
%UserProfile%\Desktop\AP Manager.lnk

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 AP Manager Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\APManager
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "apmanager.exe"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon "Shell" = "%UserProfile%\Application Data\APManager\apmanager.exe"

 


 

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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