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How to remove the fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

By on July 13, 2009 @ 12:12 PM | Read 75,058 times.
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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:

Keylogger.Stawin
Spyware.ActivityKey
VBS.Lisa.A@MM
W32.HLLW.Oror.AI@mm
Trojan.Qhosts.C

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.

 

Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
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:

Security Warning
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.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

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

 

Guide Updates:

07/13/09 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. 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)


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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool related files.

  8. 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

  9. 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 Fake MSRT removal process.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

 


 

Associated Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Files:

c:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval
c:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval\MalwareRemoval.exe
c:\Program Files\MalwareRemoval\Security Center.exe
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\MalwareRemoval
%UserProfile%\Application Data\MalwareRemoval
%UserProfile%\Application Data\MalwareRemoval\MalwareRemoval.ini
%UserProfile%\Application Data\SetupMalwareRemoval
%UserProfile%\Application Data\SetupMalwareRemoval\spl.ini

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 Fake Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "MalwareRemoval"

 


 

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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