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Remove Smart Security (Uninstall Guide)

By on March 10, 2010 @ 12:58 PM | Last Updated: September 29, 2010 | Read 58,668 times.
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Smart Security, otherwise known as SmartSecurity, is the name of two separate rogue anti-spyware programs. The first one, which is a Security Tool variant that was released around March 10th, 2010, and a newer one, which is a My Security Shield variant that was released around September 29th, 2010. Both of these programs are installed on your computer through the use of Trojans or by manually downloading it from sites that pretend to be online anti-malware scanners or video codecs requires to watch a video online. Once installed, Smart Security will be configured to start automatically when you log into Windows. Once started it will scan your computer and then state that your computer is infected with a variety of infections. In reality, though, none of these infections actually exist on your computer and are only being shown to scare you into purchasing the program.

 

Smart Security screen shot
Smart 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.

 

While Smart Security is running, you will also see numerous security alerts and warnings appear on your desktop. These warnings will state that you are being hacked by a remote computer, sending personal information to a remote location, or that a password stealing Trojan was detected on your computer. The text of some of the alerts you may see are:

Smart Security Warning
Spyware.IEMonster activity detected. This is spyware that attempts to steal passwords from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Outlook and other programs.
Click here to remove it immediately with SecurityTool.

Smart Security Warning
Some critical system files of your computer were modified by malicious program. It may cause system instability and data loss.
Click here to block unauthorised modification by removing threats (Recommended)

Warning! Identity theft attempt detected!
Hidden Connection IP: <random IP address>
Target: Microsoft Corporation Keys

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: http://www.google.com

Just like the scan results, these security warnings are all fake and should be ignored as they are just trying to scare you into thinking you have a security problem on your computer. Smart Security will also configure Internet Explorer to act as a proxy server so that when you browse the web, you will randomly be greeted with a message that states "The document has moved, redirecting... ". The browser will then be redirected to another page that benefits the malware developer instead of going to the page you actually requested.

As you can see, Smart Security was created to scare you into purchasing the program. Therefore, please do not purchase the program for any reason. If you have already purchased it, then we suggest you contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that this program is a computer infection. Last, but not least, if you are infected with Smart Security please use the removal guide below to remove it for free.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Smart Security files.
View Smart Security Registry Information.

 

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

Smart Security 1.2.1

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

<b>Current Smart Security</b>:

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = http=127.0.0.1:25567
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: 173.232.149.92 www.google.com
O1 - Hosts: 173.232.149.92 www.bing.com
O1 - Hosts: 173.232.149.92 search.yahoo.com
O1 - Hosts: 173.232.149.92 www.youtube.com
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Smart Security] "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMae0_289.exe" /s /d

<b>Old Smart Security</b>:

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SmartSecurity] C:\Program Files\Smart Security\SmartSecurity.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [SmartSecurity] C:\Program Files\Smart Security\SmartSecurity.exe

 

Guide Updates:

03/10/10 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Smart 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. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. To do this, turn your computer off and then back on and immediately when you see anything on the screen, 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. Please login as the same user you were previously logged in with in the normal Windows mode. Then proceed with the rest of the steps.

  3. 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.

  4. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to Smart 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.

  5. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Smart 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 Smart 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 Smart 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. 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.

  6. 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)


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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 Security related files.

  12. 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

  13. 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 Security removal process.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  18. 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 Security 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Now reboot your computer.

  21. 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 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 Smart Security Files:

<b>Current Smart Security</b>:

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\537.mof
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\axjzexzeexul.ini
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\mozcrt19.dll
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMae0_289.exe
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMS.ico
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\sqlite3.dll
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\BackUp\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\Quarantine Items\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMSSys\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ae01cc\SMSSys\vd952342.bd
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SMUVZICOS\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SMUVZICOS\SMSYYTICS.cfg
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Smart Security.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Security\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Security\cookies.sqlite
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Smart Security\Instructions.ini
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Smart Security.lnk
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Smart_Security\ae01cc42668ec8a22e4d0493aabb97d8.ocx
%UserProfile%\My Documents\hijackthis.log
%UserProfile%\Recent\ANTIGEN.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\CLSV.tmp
%UserProfile%\Recent\eb.dll
%UserProfile%\Recent\eb.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\eb.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\fan.drv
%UserProfile%\Recent\fan.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\fix.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\kernel32.exe
%UserProfile%\Recent\kernel32.tmp
%UserProfile%\Recent\PE.sys
%UserProfile%\Recent\PE.tmp
%UserProfile%\Recent\sld.drv
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Smart Security.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Smart Security.lnk

<b>Old Smart Security</b>:

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\Smart Security.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Smart Security
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Smart Security\Uninstall Smart Security.lnk
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Smart Security\Smart Security.lnk
c:\Program Files\Smart Security
c:\Program Files\Smart Security\SmartSecurity.exe
c:\Program Files\Smart Security\unins000.dat
c:\Program Files\Smart Security\unins000.exe

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 Security Windows Registry Information:

<b>Current Smart Security</b>:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\3
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF}
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SMae0_289.DocHostUIHandler
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes "URL" = "http://findgala.com/?&uid=289&q={searchTerms}"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes "URL" = "http://findgala.com/?&uid=289&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=127.0.0.1:25567"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer "DisallowRun" ="1"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Smart Security"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download "CheckExeSignatures" = "no"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "ProxyEnable" = "1"

<b>Old Smart Security</b>:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Smart Security_is1
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "SmartSecurity"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "SmartSecurity"

 


 

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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