Anti-virus-1 is a new rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Antivirus 2010 and Antivirus 360. This program is promoted primarily through two methods. The first is through the use of advertisements that pretend to be online anti-malware scanners. These advertisements go through what appears to be a scan of your machine and then when finished, state that your computer is infected and that you should download Anti-virus-1 to protect yourself. Remember, though, that this is just an advertisement and it has no way of knowing what is running on your computer. The second method that is used to promote this rogue is through the use of Trojans. When certain Trojans are installed on your computer they will display security alerts stating that your computer is infected or that you have some other security risk. When you click on these alerts, it will download and install Anti-virus-1 onto your computer.
When Anti-virus-1 is installed it will configure itself to start automatically when Windows starts. It will also modify your C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts file so that when you visit certain sites you will be go to a site under the malware developer's control rather than the legitimate site you were expecting to go to. This allows them to show you information that further promotes the Anti-virus-1 program. When the program is started it will automatically scan your computer and then display a list of infections that cannot be removed unless you first purchase the program. The infections that it will show include Spyware.IEMonster.d, Zlob.PornAdvertiser.ba, Spyware.IMMonitor, Infostealer.Banker.E, and Dialer.Xpehbam.biz_dialer among many others. All of these infections do not actually exist on your computer, but are only being shown to scam you into thinking that you have infections on your computer.
While the program is running you will also see security alerts in the form of a balloon appearing from the Windows taskbar. These alerts will have messages like:
Spyware activity alert!
Spyware.IEMonster activity detected. It is spyware that attempts to steal passwords from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Outlook and other programs, including logins and passwords from online banking sessions, eBay, PayPal.
Internal conflict alert.
Anti-virus-1 detected internal software conflict. Some applicztion <sic> tries to get access to system kernel (such behavior is typical to Spyware/Malware). It may cause crash of your computer.
You may also encounter what appears to be a crash screen, or Blue Screen of Death, that states SPYWARE.MONSTER.FX_WILD has been detected. Your computer will then pretend to reboot and in the fake Windows boot screen you will see the following message under the Windows logo:
Your Anti-virus-1 copy is unregistered. Microsoft Security recommends you to activate your antivirus protection software.
When you see these fake taskbar alerts, blue screen crashes, and reboots, please do not be alarmed as they are all fake. In fact the blue screen crash, and the subsequent reboot, are just a screen saver run by the c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AV1\svchost.exe file. In reality your computer never crashed or rebooted.
Though Anti-virus-1 may look like a legitimate anti-malware program it is important to remember that these programs are scripted to always show that you have infections. This program, when run will always show you the same infections, the same alerts, and the same warnings. It does this for one reason and only one reason. To scare you into thinking you are infected and thus you purchase their software. Instead of doing so, please use the free removal guide outlined below to remove Anti-virus-1 and the malware that was installed with it.
Self Help Guide
How to remove Anti-virus-1:
- Step 1: Print out instructions before we begin.
- Step 2: Use Rkill to terminate suspicious programs.
- Step 3: Use Malwarebytes AntiMalware to clean infections.
- Step 4: Use HitmanPro to scan your computer for badware
- Step 5: Run Secunia PSI to find outdated and vulnerable programs.
This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.
To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Anti-virus-1 and other malware. 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 a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the 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.
Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
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:
Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.
Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-126.96.36.1999.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.
We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings section at the top of the MalwareBytes application and you wil be brought to the general settings section.
Now click on the Detection and Protection settings category on the left sidebar. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.
At this screen, please put a checkmark in the option labaled Scan for rootkits. If you do not see this option, please make sure you are using the latest version of MalwareBytes.
Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.
Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. 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 steps.
You can now exit the MBAM program.
Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:
When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.
Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.
Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected infections. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various infections that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.
Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.
As many malware and unwanted programs 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:
Your computer should now be free of the Anti-virus-1 program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured 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 link ed below:
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!