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Remove Personal Security (Uninstall Guide)

By on December 1, 2009 @ 01:08 PM | Last Updated: March 16, 2010 | Read 522,850 times.
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Personal Security is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Cyber Security. This program is promoted through the use of malware that will install it on your computer without your permission. In order to protect itself, this program will automatically attempt to terminate security programs that may help to remove it. When installed, Personal Security will be configured to start automatically when Windows starts. Once started, it will scan your computer and display a variety of infections, but will state that it will not remove them unless you first purchase the program. In reality, the infections it finds are either fake or legitimate programs that if deleted could cause problems with the proper operation of Windows. Therefore, please do not act upon any of the files it states are infections.

 

Personal Security screen shot
Personal Security screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 6 images you can view.

 

Personal Security also employs numerous methods where it tries to trick you into thinking you are infected. The first method is the display of a Window that impersonates the legitimate Windows Security Center. The difference is that this fake version suggests you purchase Personal Security to protect yourself. The program will also display numerous security warnings on your computer stating that there is a security problem on the infected computer. The text of these warnings are:

Privacy violation alert!
Personal Security has detected numerous privacy violations. Some programs may send your private data to an untrusted internet host. Click here to permanently block this activity and remove the possible threat (Recommended)

System files modification alert!
Important system files of your computer may be modified by malicious program. It may cause system instability and data loss. Click here to block unauthorized modification and remove potential threats (Recommended).

Internal conflict alert!
Personal Security has detected internal software conflict. Some application endeavors to access system kernel (such behavior is typical for spyware/malware). Click here to prevent system crash and remove potential threats (Recommended)

Spyware activity alert!
Spyware.IEMonster is a popular spyware that attempts to steal passwords from Web browsers, e-mail clients and other programs, including login information from online banking sessions, billing pages, CC transactions, etc. It may also create special tracking files to log your activity and compromise your Internet privacy. It is strongly recommended to prevent this threat immediately. Click here to get protection against Spyware.IEMonster.

Privacy Violation alert!
Personal Security detected a Privacy Violation. A program is secretly sending your private data to an untrusted internet host. Click here to block this activity by removing the threat (Recommended).

System files modification alert!
Some critical system files of your computer were modified by malicious program. It may cause system instability and data loss. Click here to block unauthorized modification by removing threats (Recommended).

System files modification alert!
Personal Security detected internal software conflict. Some application tries to get access to system kernel (such behavior is typical to Spyware/Malware). It may cause crash of your computer. Click here to prevent system crash by removing threats (Recommended).

Spyware activity alert!
Spyware.IEMonster activity detected. It is spyware that attempts to steal passwords from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Outlook and other programs, including logins and passwords from online banking sessions, eBay, PayPal. It may also create special tracking files to log your activity and compromise your Internet privacy. It's strongly recommended to remove this threat as soon as possible. Click here to remove Spyware.IEMonster.

This program may also display a screen saver that pretends to be a Windows crash, or Blue Screen of Death, that states your computer is infected with the SPYWARE.MONSTER.FX_WILD_0x00000000 malware and that it crashed your computer. It then pretends to reboot your computer. Please remember that this is a screen saver and the crash and subsequent reboot are not real. Last, but not least, this program will hijack Internet Explorer so that it randomly displays a warning message when browsing the web. This warning message is:

This website has been reported as unsafe.
We strongly recommend to discontinue the use of this website.

This website has been report to Microsoft for containing threats that might steal personal or financial information from your computer.

Just like the scan results, all of these warnings messages are fake and are only being shown to scare you into thinking that there is a security problem on your computer. Therefore, please ignore these warnings.

As you can see Personal Security was created for the sole purpose of scaring you into thinking that you are infected so that you will then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase this program, and if you have, please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that this program is a scam. Finally, to remove Personal Security for free you should follow the steps in the removal guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Personal Security files.
View Personal Security Registry Information.

 

Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:

Personal Security

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O2 - BHO: &Security Update - {35A5B43B-CB8A-49CA-A9F4-D3B308D2E3CC} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\win32extension.dll
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PSecurity] C:\Program Files\PSecurity\psecurity.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PersonalSec] C:\Program Files\PersonalSec\psecurity.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PersSecurity] C:\Program Files\PersSecurity\psecurity.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PersSecurity] C:\Program Files\PersSecurity\personalsecurity.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [PersonSecurity] C:\Program Files\PersonSecurity\psecurity.exe

 

Guide Updates:

12/01/09 - Initial guide creation.
12/22/09 - Updated for new variant.
02/23/10 - Updated for new variant.
03/10/10 - Updated for new variant.
03/16/10 - Updated for new variant.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Personal Security 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 this is the case, then 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. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to Personal Security 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.

  4. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Personal Security 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 Personal Security 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 Personal Security . 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. If you continue having 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.


  5. 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)


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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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 Personal Security related files.

  11. 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

  12. 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 Personal Security removal process.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  17. 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 Personal Security 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 Personal Security Files:

c:\Program Files\PSecurity\
c:\Program Files\PSecurity\psecurity.exe
C:\Program Files\PersonalSec\
C:\Program Files\PersonalSec\psecurity.exe
C:\program files\PersSecurity\
C:\program files\PersSecurity\psecurity.exe
C:\program files\PersSecurity\personalsecurity.exe
C:\program files\PersSecurity\system.dat
C:\Program Files\PersonSecurity\
C:\Program Files\PersonSecurity\psecurity.exe
c:\Program Files\Common Files\PSecurityUninstall\
c:\Program Files\Common Files\PSecurityUninstall\Uninstall.lnk
c:\WINDOWS\system32\win32extension.dll
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Computer Scan.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Help.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Personal Security.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Registration.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Security Center.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Settings.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\PSecurity\Update.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\PSecurity.lnk
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Personal Security.lnk

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 Personal Security Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{35A5B43B-CB8A-49CA-A9F4-D3B308D2E3CC}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\5FFB10D58FFCF482208906E6A889FD56
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "PSecurity"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "PersonalSec"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "PersSecurity"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "PersonSecurity"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\post platform "WinTSI 01.12.2009"

 


 

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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