The Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool is a program that was released by Microsoft on January 2005, which is updated monthly and can be used to remove various types of infections on a Windows computer. A Trojan has been discovered by Bharath that impersonates the legitimate Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool, but instead of removing infections, it tries to sell you various anti-malware programs. When the program is installed it will create a file called c:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval\MalwareRemoval.exe, which will be launched every time you log into Windows. Once running, you will be presented with a screen that impersonates the legitimate MSRT program except that when it scans your computer it will state that the following malware were infecting your computer:
This program will then state that it was able to remove some of these infections. Then when you press the Finish button it will open a a windows titled OEM Purchase Center where it tries to sell you various software such as Norton 360 and McAfee Total Protection. If you then click on the purchase button it will bring you to a site called oem-micro-store.com where it tries to sell you further software. It is important to note, though, that none of the infections it states are on your computer actually in exist. In reality, the fake MSRT program is the actual infection.
This infection will also install a file called c:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval\Security Center.exe, that when run opens a fake Windows Security Center that contains a box stating there was no antivirus software found on the computer. When you click on the Recommendations button on this screen it will open the oem-micro-store.com and try to sell you software. Last but not least, you will occassionally see a security alert from your Windows taskbar stating that the following:
Your computer is infected with malicious software. You should use antivirus product to remove it. Click this message to purchase recommended antivirus software.
If you click on this message you will once again be prompted to purchase anti-malware software.
If you find that you are infected with this malware, please do not purchase any software from this Trojan. Instead, please use the guide below to remove the fake MSRT from your computer for free.
Self Help Guide
How to remove Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and Fake MSRT:
- Step 1: Print out instructions before we begin.
- Step 2: Use Rkill to terminate suspicious programs.
- Step 3: Use Malwarebytes AntiMalware to clean infections.
- Step 4: 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.
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 Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool 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.1878-184.108.40.2063.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 ScanStart 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.
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 Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool 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!