Windows Secure Workstation Removal Guide

  • August 13, 2012
  • 08:55 AM
  • Read 20,330 times

What is Windows Secure Workstation?

Windows Secure Workstation is a rogue anti-spyware program from the Rogue.FakeVimes family. This program is classified as a rogue because it displays fake security alerts and false scan results in order to trick you into purchasing the program. This particular variant is spread via three methods. The first method is the use of hacked web sites that exploit visitor's vulnerable programs in order to install the rogue without your permission. The second method uses web sites that display fake online anti-malware scanners that pretend to scan your computer, state that it is infected, and then prompt you to download and install Windows Secure Workstation in order to clean it. Finally, this infection is also spread through Trojans that pretend to be software required to view an online video.

  • Windows Secure Workstation screen shot
  • Scan Results
  • Startup screen

When the program is first installed it will create hundreds of Image File Execution Options Registry entries that make it so that you not able to run many legitimate security applications or Windows utilities. When you try to run one of these program, these changes will instead cause the Windows Secure Workstation program to execute instead. This allows the rogue to take full control of your computer until you purchase it or remove it. When started, the rogue will perform a fake scan of your computer and then state that there are numerous infections present. If you attempt to remove any of these infections, though, it will require you to purchase the program before being allowed to do so. As the scan results are all fake, please ignore this prompt and do not purchase the program.

While running, Windows Secure Workstation will also display fake security alerts that are designed to make you think that your computer has a severe security problem. These warnings may state that your computer is at risk or that your programs are infected. Examples of some of these warnings include:

Software without a digital signature detected.
Your system files are at risk. We strongly advise you to activate your protection.

Trojan activity detected. System data security is at risk.
It is recommended to activate protection and run a full system scan.

Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet
C:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe
is suspected to have infected your PC. This type of virus intercepts entered data and transmits them to a remote server.

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

Without a doubt, Windows Secure Workstation is a scam that was created to trick you into thinking your computer was severely infected so that you will then purchase it. For no reason should you purchase this program, and if you have, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charge stating that the program is a scam and a computer virus. To remove Windows Secure Workstation and related malware, please follow the steps in the removal guide below.

Windows Secure Workstation Removal Options

Self Help Guide

This guide is intended for advanced computer users only. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding. If you’re uncomfortable making changes to your computer, consider having a professional help clean your computer or ask in the forums.
  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 you run into this problem when following the steps in this guide 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. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking using the instructions for your version of Windows found in the following tutorial:
    How to start Windows in Safe Mode
    When following the steps in the above tutorial, select Safe Mode with Networking rather than just Safe Mode. When the computer reboots into Safe Mode with Networking make sure you login with the username you normally use. When you are at your Windows desktop, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  4. This infection changes 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Now we must end the processes that belong to Windows Secure Workstation 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.

    If you are unable to connect to the site to download RKill, please go back and do steps 3-6 again and make sure the infection has not reenabled the proxy settings. You may have to do this quite a few times before you can get RKill downloaded. If you still cannot download the RKill program on the infected computer, you should download it to a clean computer and copy it to the infected one via a USB flash drive or CDROM.

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

  10. At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any any infections or adware that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

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

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

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

  13. 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 Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  14. MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

    Please click on the Scan Now button to start the scan. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

  15. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

  16. When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware that it has detected. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.

    MalwareBytes Scan Results

    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the seleted 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. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  18. 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 Windows Secure Workstation program. You may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, as if you had the real-time protection component, that comes with the paid for version, activated it would not have allowed this infection to install.

View Associated Windows Secure Workstation Files

%AppData%\NPSWF32.dll %AppData%\Protector-<random 3 chars>.exe %AppData%\Protector-<random 4 chars>.exe %AppData%\result.db

View Associated Windows Secure Workstation Registry Information

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnOnHTTPSToHTTPRedirect" = 0 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableRegedit" = 0 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableRegistryTools" = 0 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableTaskMgr" = 0 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system "ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin" = 0 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system "ConsentPromptBehaviorUser" = 0 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system "EnableLUA" = 0 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Inspector" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Settings "net" = "2012-8-13_3" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Settings "UID" = "wrburxlvox" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ASProtect HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\~2.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AVENGINE.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\brasil.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\ent.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\iedriver.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\mmod.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\nvc95.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\PsCtrls.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\spoolcv.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\vpfw30s.exe HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\winrecon.exe ... and many more Image File Execution Options entries.

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk. 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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