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Remove Windows Security System (Removal Guide)

By on July 20, 2012 @ 06:03 PM | Read 25,055 times.
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Windows Security System is a rogue anti-spyware program from the Rogue.Contra family. This rogue displays fake scan results and warnings in order to scare you into thinking your computer is infected. This program is installed via two methods. The first method is Trojans that download and install the program on to your computer without your permission. The second are fake online scanners that state your computer is infected and then prompt you to download and install the program.

When installed, the rogue will also create numerous harmless files in your Windows Temp folder that will then be detected as malware when Windows Security System attempts to scan your computer. If you attempt to use the program to remove any of the files it detects as infections, it will state that you need to purchase the program before you can do so. As all of the files it detects as infections are harmless or legitimate Windows files, please disregard the scan results and do not purchase the program.

 

Windows Security System screen shot
Windows Security System screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 4 images you can view.

 

While running, Windows Security System will also display fake security alerts on your computer. These alerts are designed to make you think that you have a severe computer infection or that your computer is sending private data to a remote location. The text of these alerts include:

Warning! System Under Attack
Threat detected: Worm

Possible loss of data!
Your online guard helps to stop unauthorized changes to your computer.
Details: Too many privacy violation attempts on your computer!
The details about your credit card, post address, phone numbers from the submitted forms can be lost.

As you can see, this program was developed to scare you into thinking that your computer has a serious computer security problem so that you will then purchase it. Therefore, do not purchase Windows Security System for any reason, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and state that the program is a computer virus and a scam and that you would like to dispute the charge. To remove this infection and related malware, please follow the steps in the guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Windows Security System files.
View Windows Security System Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Windows Security System] C:\Program Files\wss\Windows Security System.exe

 

Guide Updates:

07/20/12 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Windows Security System 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 Windows Security System 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 Windows Security System 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 Security System 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 Security System . 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 Windows Security System 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 Windows Security System 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 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 Security System 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 Windows Security System Files:

%ProgramFiles%\wss\
%ProgramFiles%\wss\Windows Security System.exe
%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Windows Security System.lnk
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Windows Security System.lnk
%StartMenu%\Windows Security System
%StartMenu%\Windows Security System\Windows Security System.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.

%ProgramFiles% refers to the Program Files folder. The path to this folder is C:\Program Files\ or C:\Program Files (X86)\ depending on whether the version of Windows or the program being installed is 32-bit or 64-bit.

%AppData% refers to the current users Application Data folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming.

%StartMenu% refers to the Windows Start Menu. For Windows 95/98/ME it refers to C:\windows\start menu\, for Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Start Menu\, and for Windows Vista/7/8 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.

 

Associated Windows Security System Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\<random characters>
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Windows Security System"

 


 

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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