SafetyKeeper is a classified as a rogue anti-spyware program
because it utilizes Trojans to display fake alerts, creates fake malware files,
and detects these files as malware in order to trick you into thinking you are
infected. SafetyKeeper is installed through the use of Trojans that automatically
download and install the program onto your computer. These same Trojans will
also display fake security alerts labeled Security Center Alerts or Infiltration
Alerts that state that your computer is either under attack or infected with
malware. The Trojan will also display a window that pretends to be the legitimate
Windows Microsoft Security Center. The difference between this window and the
legitimate one is that the fake security center promotes SafetyKeeper and suggests
you purchase it.
SafetyKeeper screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 8 images you can view.
When SafetyKeeper is installed on a computer it will be configured to start
automatically when a user logs into Windows. The installer will also create
numerous harmless files with random names in the C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32
folders. These files are then detected as malware when SafetyKeeper scans your
computer, but SafetyKeeper will not let you remove them until you purchase the
program. SafetyKeeper makes these fake malware files in order to validate the
scan results it shows you in the hopes that it will help trick you into thinking
you are infected.
As you can see, SafetyKeeper is designed to make you think your computer has
some sort of security problem so that you get scared enough to purchase the
program. It goes without saying that you should not purchase this program for
any reason. If you find that you have SafetyKeeper and the related Trojan installed
on your computer, then please use the guide below to remove it from your computer.
View SafetyKeeper files.
View SafetyKeeper Registry Information.
Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:
Tools Needed for this fix:
Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:
Note: The entry for gbn976rl.exe is named after the randomly named file it points to.
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [gbn976rl.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\gbn976rl.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [SafetyKeeper] C:\Program Files\SafetyKeeper Software\SafetyKeeper\SafetyKeeper.exe -min
O23 - Service: SafetyKeeper Security Service (SafetyKeeperSvc) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\SafetyKeeper Software\SafetyKeeper\SafetyKeeperSvc.exe (file missing)
09/09/09 - Initial guide creation.
Automated Removal Instructions for SafetyKeeper using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that
is open later in the fix.
- 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)
- 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 both the
Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image
You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with
the SafetyKeeper removal process.
- You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should
click on the Show Results button.
- 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.
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
- 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
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
Your computer should now be free of the SafetyKeeper 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 SafetyKeeper Files:
<b>Note: The files listed under C:\Windows and C:\Windows\System32 have random names.</b>
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\SafetyKeeper.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SafetyKeeper
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SafetyKeeper\1 SafetyKeeper.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SafetyKeeper\2 Homepage.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SafetyKeeper\3 Uninstall.lnk
c:\Program Files\SafetyKeeper Software
c:\Program Files\SafetyKeeper Software\SafetyKeeper
c:\Program Files\SafetyKeeper Software\SafetyKeeper\SafetyKeeper.exe
c:\Program Files\SafetyKeeper Software\SafetyKeeper\uninstall.exe
c:\Documents and Settings\Bleeping\Local Settings\Temp\gbn976rl.exe
Associated SafetyKeeper Windows Registry Information:
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.