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How to remove AV Security Suite (Uninstall Guide)

By on June 3, 2010 @ 10:44 AM | Last Updated: August 26, 2010 | Read 719,925 times.
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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 A great tool that can be used to scan your computer for outdated and vulnerable programs is the free Secunia Personal Software Inspector program.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:

How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

 

AV Security Suite scren shot
AV Security Suite scren shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 9 images you can view.

 

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?

Spyware Alert
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
Infiltration 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.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View AV Security Suite files.
View AV Security Suite Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = http=127.0.0.1:1041
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [<random>] %UserProfile%\local settings\application data\<random>\<random>.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [<random>] %UserProfile%\local settings\application data\<random>\<random>.exe

 

Guide Updates:

06/03/10 - Initial guide creation.
06/12/10 - Added information about how it gets installed and to use Secunia to scan your computer. Also updated information about proxy servers.
08/26/10 - Added info about the Secunia PSI tutorial

 


Automated Removal Instructions for AV Security Suite 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 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.

  3. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking using the instructions for your version of Windows found in the following tutorial:
    How to start Windows in Safe Mode
    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.

  4. 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.



    Internet Explorer Tools Menu


  5. You should now be in the Internet Options screen as shown in the image below.



    Internet Options screen



    Now click on the Connections tab as designated by the blue arrow above.

  6. You will now be at the Connections tab as shown by the image below.


    Internet Options connections tab



    Now click on the Lan Settings button as designated by the blue arrow above.

  7. You will now be at the Local Area Network (LAN) settings screen as shown by the image below.



    Proxy Settings screen



    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 can terminate 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.


  10. 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)

    If you are unable to connect to the site to download Malwarebytes', please go back and do steps 3-6 again and make sure the infection has not reenabled the proxy settings.


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

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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 AV Security Suite related files.

  16. 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

  17. 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 AV Security Suite removal process.

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  22. 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.

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 AV Security Suite Files:

%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\
%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\<random>\<random>.exe

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 AV Security Suite Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\avsoft
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\avsuite
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\avsoft
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\avsuite
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download "RunInvalidSignatures" = "1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\PhishingFilter "Enabled" = "0"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyOverride" = "<local>"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyServer" = "http=127.0.0.1:1041"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Associations "LowRiskFileTypes" = ".exe"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Attachments "SaveZoneInformation" = "1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "<random>"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyEnable" = "1"

 


 

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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