XP Antispyware 2012 is a variant of the 2012 name-changing rogue program that changes its name randomly depending on the version of Windows it is installed on. This guide will cover the variant of the 2012 name changing rogue called XP Antispyware 2012. This rogue is promoted in two ways. The first is through the use of fake online antivirus scanners that state that your computer is infected and then prompt you to download a file that will install the infection. The other method are hacked web sites that attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in programs that you are running on your computer to install the infection without your knowledge or permission.
When installed, this rogue pretends to be a security update for Windows installed
via Automatic Updates. It will then install itself as a single executable that has a random name consisting of three characters, such as hml.exe, that uses very aggressive techniques to make it so that
you cannot remove it. First, it makes it so that if you launch any executable
it will instead start the XP Antispyware 2012 rogue and state that the executable you initially wanted to run is infected. It will also modify certain keys so that
when you launch FireFox or Internet Explorer from the Window Start Menu it will
launch the rogue instead and display a fake firewall warning stating that the program is infected.
XP Antispyware 2012 screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 5 images you can view.
Once started, the rogue itself, like all other rogues, will scan your computer
and state that there are numerous infections on it. If you attempt to use the
program to remove any of these infections, though, it will state that you need
to purchase the program first. In reality, though, the infections that the rogues
states are on your computer are all legitimate files that if deleted could cause
Windows to not operate correctly. Therefore, please do not manually delete any
files based upon the results from this rogue's scan.
While running, XP Antispyware 2012 will also display fake security alerts on the infected computer. The text
of some of these alerts are:
XP Antispyware 2012 Firewall Alert
XP Antispyware 2012 has blocked a program from accessing the internet
Internet Explorer is infected with Trojan-BNK.Win32.Keylogger.gen
Private data can be stolen by third parties, including credit card details
Sensitive areas of your system were found to be under attack. Spy software attack or virus infection possible. Prevent further damage or your private data will get stolen. Run an anti-spyware scan now. Click here to start.
Your system security is in danger. Privacy threats detected. Spyware,
keyloggers or Trojans may be working the background right now. Perform an
in-depth scan and removal now, click here.
System security threat was detected. Viruses and/or spyware may be
damaging your system now. Prevent infection and data loss or stealing by running
a free security scan.
Spyware intrusion detected. Your system is infected. System integrity
is at risk. Private data can be stolen by third parties, including credit
card details and passwords. Click here to perform a security repair.
Infection detected in the background. Your computer is now attacked
by spyware and rogue software. Eliminate the infection safely, perform a security
scan and deletion now.
XP Antispyware 2012 Alert
Security Hole Detected!
A program is trying to exploit Windows security holes! Passwords and sensitive data may be stolen. Do you want to block this attack?
Just like the scan results, these security warnings and alerts are all fake
and should be ignored.
While running, XP Antispyware 2012 will
also hijack Internet Explorer and Firefox so that you cannot visit certain sites. It does
this so that you cannot receive help or information at sites like BleepingComputer.com
on how to remove this infection. When you attempt to visit these sites you will
instead be shown a fake alert stating that the site you are visiting is dangerous
and that the rogue is blocking it for your protection. The message that you
will see is:
XP Antispyware 2012 Alert
Internet Explorer alert. Visiting this site
may pose a security threat to your system!
Possible reasons include:
- Dangerous code found in this site's pages which installed unwanted software
into your system.
- Suspicious and potentially unsafe network activity detected.
- Spyware infections in your system
- Complaints from other users about this site.
- Port and system scans performed by the site being visited.
Things you can do:
- Get a copy of XP Antispyware 2012 to safeguard your PC while surfing
the web (RECOMMENDED)
- Run a spyware, virus and malware scan
- Continue surfing without any security measures (DANGEROUS)
Just like the fake security alerts, the browser hijack is just another attempt
to make you think that your computer has a security problem so that you will
then purchase the program.
Without a doubt, this rogue is designed to scam you out of your money by hijacking
your computer and trying to trick you into thinking you are infected. Therefore,
please do not purchase this program , and if you have, please contact your credit
card company and dispute the charges stating that the program is a computer
infection. Finally, to remove XP Antispyware 2012 please use the guide below, which only contains programs that are free
View XP Antispyware 2012 files.
View XP Antispyware 2012 Registry Information.
Tools Needed for this fix:
12/05/11 - Initial guide creation.
Automated Removal Instructions for XP Antispyware 2012 using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is
open later in the fix.
- 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:
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.
- 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.
- Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to
XP Antispyware 2012
so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please
download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
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 Rkill.com. When you are prompted
where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
- Once it is downloaded, double-click on the Rkill.com
icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with
XP Antispyware 2012
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
XP Antispyware 2012
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
XP Antispyware 2012
. 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. All 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.
- As this infection is known to be bundled with the TDSS/Necurs rootkit infection, you should also run a program that can be used to scan for this infection. Please follow the steps in the following guide:
How to remove Google Redirects or the TDSS, TDL3, or Alureon rootkit using TDSSKiller
If after running TDSSKiller, you are unable to update Malwarebytes' Anti-malware or continue to have Google search result redirects, then you should post a virus removal request using the steps in the following topic rather than continuing with this guide:
If TDSSKiller requires you to reboot, please allow it to do so. After you reboot, reboot back into Safe Mode with Networking again.
Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help Topic
- 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)
- Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including
- Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe.
This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.
- 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.
- MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- You can now exit the MBAM program. If Malwarebytes did not prompt you to reboot your computer, please do so that you are back in normal mode.
- 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:
detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector
Your computer should now be free of the
XP Antispyware 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
View Associated XP Antispyware 2012 Files
%LocalAppData%\<random 3 chars>.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.
%Temp% refers to the Windows Temp folder. By default, this is C:\Windows\Temp for Windows 95/98/ME, C:\DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS\<Current User>\LOCAL SETTINGS\Temp for Windows 2000/XP, and C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Local\Temp in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
%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.
%LocalAppData% refers to the current users Local settings Application Data folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User>\Local Settings\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP. For Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 it is C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Local.
%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.
View Associated XP Antispyware 2012 Windows Registry Information
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe "(Default)" = 'ah'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "%LocalAppData%\<random 3 chars>.exe" -a "%1" %*
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ah "(Default)" = 'Application'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ah "Content Type" = 'application/x-msdownload'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ah\DefaultIcon "(Default)" = '%1'
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ah\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "%LocalAppData%\<random 3 chars>.exe" -a "%1" %*
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "%LocalAppData%\<random 3 chars>.exe" -a "%1" %*
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ah\shell\open\command "(Default)" = "%LocalAppData%\<random 3 chars>.exe" -a "%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.