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How to uninstall and remove Antivirus Master (Av Master)

By on July 16, 2008 @ 07:54 AM | Read 28,851 times.
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Antivirus Master is a new rogue anti-spyware program from the same family of rogues as Advanced Antivirus, Vista Antivirus 2008, and Ultimate Antivirus 2008. Antivirus Master is advertised through misleading web sites that create popups stating that you are infected and that you should run a scan. A new Internet Explorer screen will then be shown that pretends to scan your computer, and when done, states that you have a variety of infections on your computer. It then prompts you to download and install the software. These popups are advertisements only and have no way of actually scanning your computer and should be ignored.

If you decide to download and install Antivirus Master, the program will automatically start and scan your computer. When done, it will find a variety of files and Windows Registry entries that it states are malware. These results, though, cannot be removed unless you first purchase the software. In reality, though, these results are all fake and are only being shown to scare you into purchasing the software. This rogue will also occasionally display a fake alert stating that you are infected with some sort of malware. For example, an alert we saw has the following text:

WARNING! Attack Detected.

Antivirus Master has detected possible harmful actions from remote computer on the network. Blaster/Sasser.variant worm behaviour detected. You have to register your copy to get full protection feature set and an ability to defeat upcoming threats. To begin online registration, please click "Activate now" button below.

Another side effect of this infection is that is can slow down your computer. This is because it loads automatically when you start your computer and then constantly prompts you to purchase the software. These annoying alerts and the running program can cause your computer to become slower.

 

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

 

This guide will walk you through removing the Antivirus Master program and any associated malware for free.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Antivirus Master files.
View Antivirus Master Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Antivirus] C:\Program Files\AVM\avm.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Antivirus] C:\Program Files\AVM\avm.exe

 

Guide Updates:

07/16/08 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Antivirus Master using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. 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)


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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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 Antivirus Master related files.

  8. 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

  9. 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 AV Master removal process.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. You can now exit the MBAM program.

Your computer should now be free of the AV Master 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 Antivirus Master Files:

c:\Program Files\AVM
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm.cpl
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm.exe
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm0.dat
c:\Program Files\AVM\avm1.dat
c:\WINDOWS\system32\avm.cpl
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Antivirus Master.lnk
%UserProfile%\Recent\antivirus-master.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 Antivirus Master Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AntiVirus
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AVM
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Antivirus"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Antivirus"

 


 

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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