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Remove Smart Fortress 2012 (Uninstall Guide)

By on February 27, 2012 @ 08:27 PM | Last Updated: March 8, 2012 | Read 158,953 times.
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Smart Fortress 2012 is a rogue anti-spyware program from the Rogue.WinWebSec family. This program is categorized as a rogue anti-spyware program because it pretends to be a legitimate security program, but is actually a program that purposely display false scan results, fake security alerts, and hijacks your computer so that you are not able to run your normal applications. Smart Fortress 2012 is installed onto a computer through other viruses, hacked websites that exploit vulnerable programs on your computer, or through fake online anti-malware scanners that prompt you to install the program. When Smart Protection is installed it will create a malware file in a random named folder in c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\, in XP, or C:\ProgramData, in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It will then be configured to start automatically when you login to your computer.

 

Smart Fortress 2012 screen shot
Smart Fortress 2012 screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 6 images you can view.

 

Once this rogue is started it will automatically pretend to scan your computer for viruses. When it has finished it will state that there are numerous infections on your computer, but will not allow you to remove any of them until you first purchase the program. The scan results for this program will not include any actual file names of the supposed infections, but rather just descriptions of the threat. It is important to understand that Smart Fortress 2012 was created for one reason; to scare you into thinking that your computer is severely infected so that you will then purchase the program. With that said, you should not be alarmed by any of the scan results that this program displays.

As a protection mechanism, Smart Fortress 2012 will change your Windows Registry so that any time you execute an application, it will terminate the application, state it is an infection, and then start the Smart Fortress 2012 program again. This makes it very hard to terminate the rogue as any time you start a program to assist you in removing it, the infection will just start again and terminate anything you are running. The message that you will see when it terminates a program is:

Warning!
Application cannot be executed. The file notepad.exe is infected.
Please activate your antivirus software.

This infection will also start when you run a program in the Window Safe Mode. This makes it even more difficult to remove this infection.

While Smart Fortress 2012 is running it will also display fake security alerts and warnings from your Windows taskbar. These alerts are designed to scare you into thinking that your computer is infected and that you should purchase the program to protect yourself. The text of these messages include:

Warning: Your computer is infected
Detected spyware infection!
Click this message to install the last update of security software...

Security Monitor: WARNING!
Attention! System detected a potential hazard (TrojanSPM/LX) on your computer that may infect executable files. Your private information and PC safety is at risk.
To get rid of unwanted spyware and keep your computer safe you need to update your current security software.
Click Yes to download official intrusion detection system (IDS software).

Smart Fortress 2012 Warning
Intercepting programs that may compromise your privacy and harm your system have been detected on your PC.
Click here to remove them immediately with Smart Fortress 2012

Just like the fake scan results, these security alerts are all false and should be ignored.

Without a doubt, this rogue was created for one reason; to scare you into thinking you are infected so that you will then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not buy Smart Fortress 2012, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that the program is a scam and a computer virus. To remove Smart Fortress 2012 and other related malware, please use the free removal guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Smart Fortress 2012 files.
View Smart Fortress 2012 Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

%StartMenu%\Programs\Smart Fortress 2012.lnk

 

Guide Updates:

02/27/12 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Smart Fortress 2012 using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to reboot your computer and you may not have access to your web browser for part of this process.

  2. As this infection can start before your normal Windows desktop appears, we first need to reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. To do this, turn your computer off and then back on and when you see anything on the screen, immediately start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Eventually you will be brought to a menu similar to the one below:


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

    Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter on your keyboard. If you are having trouble entering safe mode, then please use the following tutorial: How to start Windows in Safe Mode

    Windows will now boot into safe mode with networking and prompt you to login as a user.

  3. Please login as the user that is infected with Smart Fortress 2012. When your Windows desktop appears, start right-click on the Internet Explorer, or your other browser of choice, and select Run As or Run as Administrator. If Windows prompts you for the Administrator password, please enter it and then Internet Explorer should launch. Now go to the follow page:

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/fixexec/

    When you get to the above page, click on the Download Renamed Version button and save the file to your C:\ drive.

    Please note: If you are unable to login as Administrator, then you will need to download the file onto a USB flash drive or CDROM from a clean computer. Then in a later step we will copy them to the infected computer. Then proceed to Step 5.

  4. Once FixExec has been downloaded to your computer or is stored on a flash drive/CDROM, log off from the Administrator account, but stay in Safe Mode.

  5. You should now be at the Safe Mode logon prompt again. This time logon as your normal, but now infected, user.

  6. If you were not able to logon as Administrator and download the files, please copy the FixExec.com file that you stored on your USB flash drive and store them on your Windows desktop.

    At this point, whether you downloaded them as Administrator or used a flash drive to copy them over, you should have the FixExec.com file located in your C:\ folder.

  7. If Smart Fortress 2012 is running, just minimize it and any other programs so that you can see your desktop. Navigate to the C:\ folder and double-click on the FixExec.com program. Allow the program to run and when its done, Smart Fortress 2012 should no longer be running and you can now launch your executables again. If you would like more information on what FixExec did on your computer, please read the FixExec.txt log on your desktop.

    Note: If you received a message that FixExec was not able to extract a file, then please move the FixExec.com file to your Windows desktop and try again.

  8. This infection may change your Windows settings to use a proxy server that will not allow you to browse any pages on the Internet with Internet Explorer or update security software. Regardless of the web browser you use, for these instructions we will first need need to fix this problem so that we can download the utilities we need to remove this infection.

    Please start Internet Explorer, and when the program is open, click on the Tools menu and then select Internet Options as shown in the image below.



    Internet Explorer Tools Menu


  9. You should now be in the Internet Options screen as shown in the image below.



    Internet Options screen



    Now click on the Connections tab as designated by the blue arrow above.

  10. You will now be at the Connections tab as shown by the image below.


    Internet Options connections tab



    Now click on the Lan Settings button as designated by the blue arrow above.

  11. You will now be at the Local Area Network (LAN) settings screen as shown by the image below.



    Proxy Settings screen



    Under the Proxy Server section, please uncheck the checkbox labeled Use a proxy server for your LAN. Then press the OK button to close this screen. Then press the OK button to close the Internet Options screen. Now that you have disabled the proxy server you will be able to browse the web again with Internet Explorer.

  12. Now you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, using your browser from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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 Fortress 2012 related files.

  18. 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

  19. 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 Fortress 2012 removal process.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  24. Now reboot your computer back to normal mode.

  25. After rebooting if you are still unable to access the Internet, please confirm that your browser is not configured to use a proxy by following the instructions in steps 4-7. It is not required to perform these steps in Windows Safe Mode.

  26. 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 Fortress 2012 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 Fortress 2012 Files:

%CommonAppData%\<random 33 characters>
%CommonAppData%\<random 33 characters>\<random 33 characters>
%CommonAppData%\<random 33 characters>\<random 33 characters>.exe

File Location Notes:

%CommonAppData% refers to the Application Data folder for the All Users Profile. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP and C:\ProgramData\ in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%CommonAppData% refers to the Application Data folder in the All Users profile. For Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\, and for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 it is C:\ProgramData.

 

Associated Smart Fortress 2012 Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce "<random>"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\<random 4 characters>
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\{a2a9545d-a0c2-42b4-9708-a0b2badd77c8}
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\<random 4 characters>
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-861567501-152049171-1708537768-1003_Classes\%s "(Default)" = "<random 4 characters>"
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-861567501-152049171-1708537768-1003_Classes\<random 4 characters>\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "%CommonAppData%\<random 33 characters>\<random 33 characters>.exe" -s "%1" %*
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe "(Default)" = "<random 4 characters>"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\<random 4 characters>\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "%CommonAppData%\<random 33 characters>\<random 33 characters>.exe" -s "%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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