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
Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 7 images you can view.
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
If you click on this message you will once again be prompted to purchase anti-malware
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.
View Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool files.
View Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Registry Information.
Tools Needed for this fix:
Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MalwareRemoval] C:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval\MalwareRemoval.exe
07/13/09 - Initial guide creation.
Automated Removal Instructions for Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that
is open later in the fix.
- 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 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
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
Your computer should now be free of the Fake MSRT 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 Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Files
c:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval\Security Center.exe
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\MalwareRemoval
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.
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.