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
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:
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.
View AP Manager files.
View AP Manager Registry Information.
Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:
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
04/27/10 - Initial guide creation
05/01/10 - Updated removal instructions
Automated Removal Instructions for AP Manager using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions from a clean computer so you can follow them
on the infected one.
- 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.
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.
- When the Windows Task Manager starts you will see a screen similar to the
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
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.
- 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 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
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.
- 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:
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 both the
Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image
You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with
- You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should
click on the Show Results button.
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
View Associated AP Manager Files
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 AP Manager Windows Registry Information
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.