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 A great tool that can be used to scan your computer for outdated and vulnerable programs is the free Secunia Personal Software Inspector program.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
How to remove AV Security Suite:
- Step 1: Print out instructions before we begin.
- Step 2: Reboot into Safe Mode with Networking
- Step 3: Remove proxy servers from installed web browsers.
- Step 4: Use Rkill to terminate suspicious programs.
- Step 5: Use Malwarebytes AntiMalware to clean infections.
- Step 6: Use HitmanPro to scan your computer for badware
- Step 7: Run Secunia PSI to find outdated and vulnerable programs.
This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.
Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking using the instructions for your version of Windows found in the following tutorial:
When following the steps in the above tutorial, select Safe Mode with Networking rather than just Safe Mode. When the computer reboots into Safe Mode with Networking make sure you login with the username you normally use. When you are at your Windows desktop, please continue with the rest of the steps.
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.
To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
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 malware. 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 a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have 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.
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:
Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.
Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup-bc.1878-188.8.131.523.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.
We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings section at the top of the MalwareBytes application and you wil be brought to the general settings section.
Now click on the Detection and Protection settings category on the left sidebar. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.
At this screen, please put a checkmark in the option labaled Scan for rootkits. If you do not see this option, please make sure you are using the latest version of MalwareBytes.
Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.
Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. 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.
If your computer is still in Safe Mode with Networking, you can reboot your computer back to normal mode. Once your computer is rebooted and you are back at the desktop, you can proceed with the rest of the instructions.
Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:
When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.
Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.
Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown 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 Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected infections. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various infections that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.
Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.
As many malware and unwanted programs 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:
Your computer should now be free of the AV Security Suite program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured 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 link ed below:
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!