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Remove Smart Engine (Uninstall Guide)

By on October 9, 2010 @ 06:42 PM | Read 143,073 times.
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Smart Engine is a rogue anti-spyware from the VirusDoctor family. This rogue is installed through the use of Trojans that impersonate video codecs or software updates required to watch videos online. When you run the program, though, it does not install any legitimate software but instead downloads and installs Smart Engine onto your computer without your permission of knowledge. While installing, Smart Engine will also create numerous harmless files that are meant to impersonate virus infections on your computer. The names of these files include:

%UserProfile%\Recent\ANTIGEN.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\ANTIGEN.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\cid.tmp
%UserProfile%\Recent\CLSV.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\CLSV.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\DBOLE.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\delfile.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\eb.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\energy.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\exec.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\fan.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\kernel32.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\pal.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\PE.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\ppal.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\tempdoc.tmp

Smart Engine will then be configured to start automatically when you login to Windows. Once running, the program will scan your computer and list the files listed above, which it created in the first place, as infections. Smart Engine, though, allow you to remove anything until you first purchase the program. The fact that Smart Engine detects the files it created in the first place as infection shows that this program is nothing more than a scam and should be ignored.

 

Smart Engine screen shot
Smart Engine screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 7 images you can view.

 

While Smart Engine is running it will also display numerous fake security warnings that contain messages that attempt to make you think your computer has a serious security problem. The text of these messages include:

System Alert
malicious applications, which may contain Trojans, were found on your computer and are to be removed immediately. Click here to remove these potentially harmful items using Smart Engine.

System Alert
Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet.
Internet Explorer
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Iexplore.exe
Lsas.Trojan-Spy.DOS.Keycopy is suspected to have infected your PC. This type of virus intercepts entered data and transmits it to a remote server. Data interception was detected while visiting a website.

Warning
Warning! Virus detected

Threat Detected: Trojan-PSW.Win32.Delf.d

Just like the fake scan results, these fake security messages are all fake should be ignored.

Without a doubt, Smart Engine was created to scam you into purchasing the program by making you think your computer is infected. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase Smart Engine, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and state that the program is a computer infection and a scam and that you would like to dispute the charge. To remove this infection and any related malware, please follow the steps in the guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Smart Engine files.
View Smart Engine Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = http=127.0.0.1:25437
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 4-open-davinci.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 securitysoftwarepayments.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 privatesecuredpayments.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 secure.privatesecuredpayments.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 getantivirusplusnow.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 secure-plus-payments.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 www.getantivirusplusnow.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 www.secure-plus-payments.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 www.getavplusnow.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 safebrowsing-cache.google.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 urs.microsoft.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 www.securesoftwarebill.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 secure.paysecuresystem.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 paysoftbillsolution.com
O1 - Hosts: 74.125.45.100 protected.maxisoftwaremart.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 www.google.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 google.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 www.google-analytics.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 www.bing.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 search.yahoo.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 www.search.yahoo.com
O1 - Hosts: 98.142.243.60 www.youtube.com
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Smart Engine] "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMae0_2129.exe" /s /d

 

Guide Updates:

10/09/10 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Smart Engine 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 Smart Engine 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 Smart Engine 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 Smart Engine 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 Smart Engine . 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. Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

    If you continue having problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the RKill download page. Both of these 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.

  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 Smart Engine 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 Smart Engine 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 this infection also changes your Windows HOSTS file, we want to replace this file with the default version for your operating system. Please note that if you or your company has added custom entries to your HOSTS file then you will need to add them again after restoring the default HOSTS file. In order to protect itself, Smart Engine changes the permissions of the HOSTS file so you can't edit or delete it. To fix these permissions please download the following batch file and save it to your desktop:
    hosts-perm.bat Download Link
    When the file has finished downloading, double-click on the hosts-perm.bat file that is now on your desktop. If Windows asks if you if you are sure you want to run it, please allow it to run. Once it starts you will see a small black window that opens and then quickly goes away. This is normal and is nothing to be worried about. You should now be able to access your HOSTS file.

  18. We now need to delete the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\HOSTS file. Once it is deleted, download the following HOSTS file that corresponds to your version of Windows and save it in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc folder. If the contents of the HOSTS file opens in your browser when you click on a link below then right-click on the appropriate link and select Save Target As..., if in Internet Explorer, or Save Link As.., if in Firefox, to download the file.
    Windows XP HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows Vista HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 2003 Server HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 2008 Server HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 7 HOSTS File Download Link
    Your Windows HOSTS file should now be back to the default one from when Windows was first installed.

  19. Now reboot your computer.

  20. 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 Smart Engine 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 Smart Engine Files:

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMESys
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SMIFGKMPDQE
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\61.mof
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\ae01cc42668ec8a22e4d0493aabb97d8.ocx
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\mozcrt19.dll
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMae0_2129.exe
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SME.ico
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\sqlite3.dll
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\Quarantine Items\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SMIFGKMPDQE\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SMIFGKMPDQE\SMTKWKE.cfg
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Smart Engine.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Engine
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Engine\cookies.sqlite
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Smart Engine.lnk
%UserProfile%\Recent\ANTIGEN.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\ANTIGEN.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\cid.tmp
%UserProfile%\Recent\CLSV.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\CLSV.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\DBOLE.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\delfile.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\eb.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\energy.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\exec.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\fan.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\kernel32.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\pal.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\PE.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\ppal.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\tempdoc.tmp
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Smart Engine.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Smart Engine.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 Smart Engine Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\3
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF}
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SMae0_2129.DocHostUIHandler
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes "URL" = "http://findgala.com/?&uid=2129&q={searchTerms}"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes "URL" = "http://findgala.com/?&uid=2129&q={searchTerms}"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer "PRS" = "http://127.0.0.1:27777/?inj=%ORIGINAL%"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download "RunInvalidSignatures = "1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyServer" = "http=127.0.0.1:25437"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform "Version/10.02129"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer "DisallowRun" = "1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Smart Engine"
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes "URL" = "http://findgala.com/?&uid=2129&q={searchTerms}"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download "CheckExeSignatures" = "no"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyEnable" = "1"

 


 

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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