AV Security Suite is a scareware and ransomware program from the same family as Antivirus Soft and AntiSpyware Soft. The developers of this program are distributing AV Security Suite through the use of hacked sites, spam, and Trojans that install it onto your computer without your permission. Once installed AV Security Suite will be configured to start automatically when your computer starts. Once started it will scan your computer and state that there are numerous infections, but will not let you remove any of them until you purchase the program. All of these scan results are fake and are only being shown to trick you into purchasing the program, which you should obviously not do.
If you are running older software, and not updating Windows, you may find that you will be able to remove this program, but then become infected again within a short period of time. This is because the malware developers are hacking legitimate sites or inserting malware ads that use vulnerabilities in common programs such as Adobe Reader, Flash, and Windows to install the malware onto your computer. If you do not update your programs to remove these security holes then the next time you visit a hacked site distributing this rogue, AV Security Suite will be installed on to your computer. A great tool that can be used to scan your computer for outdated and vulnerable programs is the free Secunia Personal Software Inspector program. When you scan your computer with this program it will display a report showing all programs and Windows updates that should be installed in order to fix security holes and vulnerabilities. It is advised that all users scan their computer with this program in order to prevent your computer from being infected again after you clean it. A guide on how to install and use this program can be found here:
When AV Security Suite is running it will also block you from running normal tasks in order to make it harder to remove the program from your computer. First, it configures Windows to use a proxy server that points back 127.0.0.1:1041. A proxy server is a program that listens to requests from your web browser and then handles the request itself rather than your browser talking directly to a site. As AV Security Suite is set to be your proxy server, any time you browse the web using Internet Explorer it will intercept the request and display a fake security warning that states that the site you are visiting is infected. The message it will display is:
This website has been reported as unsafe
We recommend that you do not continue to this website. This website has been reported to Microsoft for containing threats to your computer that might reveal personal or financial information.
Once you disable the proxy server all web requests will go directly to the site you wish to go to and you will see the legitimate content. Please note, though, that the next time AV Security Suite is started it will configure your computer to use the proxy server again.
The second method that AV Security Suite protects itself is to block applications from running while stating that they are infected. It does this to stop you from running anti-virus programs that can be used to remove this malware. When you attempt to run a program you will instead see the following message:
Windows Security alert
Application cannot be executed. The file mbam.exe is infected.
Do you want to active your antivirus software now?
Application infected! The file rundll32.exe is infected. Do you want to ALLOW this application now?
When you see these infection alerts do not be concerned as your programs are not infected. It is only showing this to further scare you into thinking you have a computer security problem.
While started, AV Security Suite will also display fake security alerts that contain warnings that malware has been detected or that malware is attacking your computer. These messages are all fake as well and only being shown to further convince you that your computer is infected. The text of these messages are:
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.
Last, but not least the rogue will also display a fake Windows Security Center. This fake Security Center will look exactly like the original one except that it states that you should purchase AV Security Suite to protect yourself.
As you can see, AV Security Suite was created for one reason only; to scare you into thinking your computer has numerous infections so that you will then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase this program, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating the program is a scam. Finally, to remove this infection please use the removal guide below to remove it for free.
Self Help Guide
- Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is
open later in the fix.
- It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow
you to download files on the infected computer. If you run into this problem
when following the steps in this guide 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.
- Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking using
the instructions for your version of Windows found in the following tutorial:
- This infection changes your Windows settings to use a proxy server that
will not allow you to browse any pages on the Internet with Internet Explorer
or update security software. Regardless of the web browser you use, for these
instructions we will first need need to fix this problem so that we can download
the utilities we need to remove this infection.
Please start Internet Explorer, and when the program is open, click on the Tools menu and then select Internet Options as shown in the image below.
- You should now be in the Internet Options screen as shown in the image below.
Now click on the Connections tab as designated by the blue arrow above.
- You will now be at the Connections tab as shown by the image below.
Now click on the Lan Settings button as designated by the blue arrow above.
- You will now be at the Local Area Network (LAN) settings screen as shown
by the image below.
Under the Proxy Server section, please uncheck the checkbox labeled Use a proxy server for your LAN. Then press the OK button to close this screen. Then press the OK button to close the Internet Options screen. Now that you have disabled the proxy server you will be able to browse the web again with Internet Explorer.
- Now we must end the processes that belong to
AV Security Suite
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.
If you are unable to connect to the site to download RKill, please go back and do steps 3-6 again and make sure the infection has not reenabled the proxy settings. You may have to do this quite a few times before you can get RKill downloaded. If you still cannot download the RKill program on the infected computer, you should download it to a clean computer and copy it to the infected one via a USB flash drive or CDROM.
- Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe
icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with
AV Security Suite
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
AV Security Suite
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
AV Security Suite
. 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 steps.
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
- 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 AV Security Suite program. You may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, as if you had the real-time protection component, that comes with the paid for version, activated it would not have allowed this infection to install.