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How to remove Total Security (Uninstall Guide)

By on March 19, 2009 @ 10:04 PM | Last Updated: September 15, 2009 | Read 396,763 times.
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Total Security is a rogue anti-spyware program that is a clone of Antivirus 360. This program is installed via Trojans that display fake security alerts about threats to your computer and then installs Total Security without your permission on to your computer. Once installed, Total Security will scan your computer and display a variety of infections that cannot be removed until you purchase the program. These infections, though, do not really exist and are being shown to scare you into purchasing the program. While running, Total Security will constantly barrage you with nag screens and fake security warnings about problems on your computer. Just like the fake infection results, these alerts are just a tactic being used to scare you into purchasing the program. Last, but not least, you will see a window labeled Total Security Protection Center that impersonates the legitimate Windows Security Center. This protection center states that your computer has no protection and recommends that you purchase Total Security. It goes without saying that you should not purchase anything from this company.

 

Total Security Screen shot
Total Security Screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 12 images you can view.

 

This incarnation of AV 360 also uses more powerful techniques in order to keep it from being uninstalled. First, it will terminate popular anti-malware programs such as MalwareBytes' Anti-malware so that you cannot use them to remove this program. Therefore, in order to remove the program you must first terminate it's running process before you can use many anti-malware applications. Total Security also hijacks your Internet Explorer browser so that you cannot visit well known anti-malware sites such as BleepingComputer.com. It does this by automatically redirecting you when you visit one of these blacklisted sites to a warning page saying that the site you are visiting will be harmful. This technique is easily overcome by using a different browser such as Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Chrome.

If you are infected with Total Security, then please use the instructions below in order to remove this malware and its related Trojans.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Total Security files.
View Total Security Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O2 - BHO: &Research - {D263FA6D-84CC-48A8-9AF6-C664362B7A5B} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\winsource.dll
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [1FD92E3F7C34799BFB075C41DA05D1FE] C:\Program Files\TSC\tsc.exe

 

Guide Updates:

03-19-09 - Initial guide creation.
08-19-09 - Updated instructions to include the renaming of procexp.exe

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Total Security using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix. Due to this malware infecting Internet Explorer, it is suggested that you use Firefox or another browser when following these instructions.

  2. Before we can do anything we must first end the Total Security process so that it does not interfere with the cleaning process. To do this we must first download and install a Microsoft program called Process Explorer. Normally, we would have you use the Windows Task Manager, but this rogue will disable the ability to run it. Please download Process Explorer from the following link and save it to your desktop:

    Process Explorer Download Link

  3. You should now have the Procexp.exe file on your desktop. You now need to rename that file to iexplore.exe. To do this, right-click on the Procexp.exe and select Rename. You can now edit the name of the file and should name it to iexplore.exe. Once it is renamed you should double-click on the file to launch it.

  4. Once the program is running, you should be presented with a screen similar to the one below.


    Process Explorer

  5. Scroll through the list of running programs until you see a process named tsc.exe. When you see this process, select the tsc.exe process by left-clicking on it once so it becomes highlighted. Then click on the red X button as shown in the image below. Newer versions of this executable may be using names consisting of random numbers or characters. If you see a process that is composed of random numbers or characters and has a shield icon or a padlock icon next to it, then you have found the process you need to terminate.


    TSC Process

  6. When you click on the red X to kill the process, Process Explorer will ask you to confirm if you are sure you want to terminate it as shown in the image below.


    Confirm the closing of the TSC process

    At this point you should press the Yes button in order to kill the process.

  7. 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)


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

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. On the Scanner tab, make sure the the Perform quick scan option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Total Security related files.

  13. 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

  14. 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 TotalSecurity removal process.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. You can now exit the MBAM program.

Your computer should now be free of the TotalSecurity 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 Total Security Files:

c:\Program Files\TSC
c:\Program Files\TSC\tsc.exe
c:\Program Files\TSC\Sc2C21UvvM.exe
c:\WINDOWS\system32\winsource.dll
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\TSC.lnk
%UserProfile%\Desktop\TSC.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\TSC
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\TSC\Help.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\TSC\Registration.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\TSC\TSC.lnk
c:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Uninstall
c:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Uninstall\Uninstall TSC.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 Total Security Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\1FD92E3F7C34799BFB075C41DA05D1FE
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{D263FA6D-84CC-48A8-9AF6-C664362B7A5B}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{D263FA6D-84CC-48A8-9AF6-C664362B7A5B}
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "1FD92E3F7C34799BFB075C41DA05D1FE"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center "AntiVirusOverride" = "1"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center "FirewallOverride" = "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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