Remove Anti-Malware Lab (Uninstall Guide)

  • July 6, 2011

Anti-Malware Lab is a rogue anti-spyware program from the Rogue.VirusDoctor family. This rogue is installed and promoted through the use of Trojans and fake online anti-malware scanners. When the program is installed by the Trojans, it will be configured to start automatically when you login into Windows. The installer will also create numerous files that will be detected as malware when Anti-Malware Lab scans your computer. The list of fake malware files that it may create are:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ANTIGEN.dll
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\PE.exe
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\PE.tmp
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\cid.drv
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\cid.sys
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\eb.dll
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\eb.tmp
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\energy.dll
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\exec.dll
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\exec.drv
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\fan.tmp
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\pal.drv
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ppal.dll
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\std.drv
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\tjd.sys

When the program finishes scanning your computer it will state that the above files are infections, but will not allow you to remove them until you first purchase the program. In reality, though, the above files are harmless and can cause no harm to your computer. They are only being created to try and convince you that your computer is infected and that you should purchase Anti-Malware Lab to protect it. As these infections are all fake, please do not purchase the program based upon anything that this program displays.

  • Anti-Malware Lab screen shot
  • Installer

While the program is running it will also display numerous security warnings and alerts. These alerts will state that your computer is under attack, sending SPAM, or that your personal data is at risk. Some of the alerts that you may see are:

An unauthorized program has been prevented from accessing your PC remotely. #Port:433 from 92.11.127.10
An unauthorized software C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Iexplore.exe which is potentially malicious and able to modify system files has been prevented from being installed on your PC.

Anti-Malware Lab has detected potentially harmful software in your system. It is strongly recommended that you register Anti-Malware Lab to remove all found threats immediately.

Notepad.exe cannot be executed. The file is infected. Please activate your antivirus software.

Just like the scan results, these fake warnings should be ignored as they are just another attempt by the program to make you think your computer is infected. This infection will also change your web browser's default search engine and set it to findgala.com. Last, but not least, this infection will add entries to your HOSTS file so that when you visit certain sites such as Google or Bing, you will be redirected to a site under the control of the malware developers.

Without a doubt, Anti-Malware Lab was created to scare you into thinking your computer is infected so that you will then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should not purchase this program, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. Last, but not least, please use the guide below to remove this infection and any related malware for free.

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking 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 Anti-Malware Lab 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 Anti-Malware Lab 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 Anti-Malware Lab 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 Anti-Malware Lab . 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 mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.0.6.1469.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 this infection also changes your Windows HOSTS file, we want to replace this file with the default version for your operating system. Please note that if you or your company has added custom entries to your HOSTS file then you will need to add them again after restoring the default HOSTS file. In order to protect itself, Anti-Malware Lab changes the permissions of the HOSTS file so you can't edit or delete it. To fix these permissions please download the following batch file and save it to your desktop:
    hosts-perm.bat Download Link
    When the file has finished downloading, double-click on the hosts-perm.bat file that is now on your desktop. If Windows asks if you if you are sure you want to run it, please allow it to run. Once it starts you will see a small black window that opens and then quickly goes away. This is normal and is nothing to be worried about. You should now be able to access your HOSTS file.

  19. We now need to delete the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\HOSTS file. Once it is deleted, download the following HOSTS file that corresponds to your version of Windows and save it in the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc folder. If the contents of the HOSTS file opens in your browser when you click on a link below then right-click on the appropriate link and select Save Target As..., if in Internet Explorer, or Save Link As.., if in Firefox, to download the file.
    Windows XP HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows Vista HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 2003 Server HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 2008 Server HOSTS File Download Link
    Windows 7 HOSTS File Download Link
    Your Windows HOSTS file should now be back to the default one from when Windows was first installed.

  20. Now reboot your computer.

  21. 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 Anti-Malware Lab 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 Anti-Malware Lab Files

%AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\ %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\041705.reg %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\1884.mof %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\582.mof %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\AM2d7_2363.exe %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\AML.ico %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\AMLSys\ %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\Quarantine Items\ %AllUsersProfile%\2d764c\mcp.ico %AllUsersProfile%\AMCHBAL\ %AllUsersProfile%\AMCHBAL\AMCGWYSUL.cfg %AppData%\Anti-Malware Lab\ %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Anti-Malware Lab.lnk %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ANTIGEN.dll %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\PE.exe %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\PE.tmp %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\cid.drv %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\cid.sys %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\eb.dll %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\eb.tmp %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\energy.dll %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\exec.dll %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\exec.drv %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\fan.tmp %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\pal.drv %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\ppal.dll %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\std.drv %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent\tjd.sys %StartMenu%\Programs\Anti-Malware Lab.lnk %StartMenu%\Anti-Malware Lab.lnk %UserProfile%\Desktop\Anti-Malware Lab.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.

%AllUsersProfile% refers to the All Users Profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users for Windows 2000/XP and C:\ProgramData\ for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%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.

View Associated Anti-Malware Lab Registry Information

HKCU\Software\Classes\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL http://findgala.com/?&uid=2363&q={searchTerms} HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download\RunInvalidSignatures 1 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\PRS http://127.0.0.1:27777/?inj=%ORIGINAL% HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\URL http://findgala.com/?&uid=2363&q={searchTerms} HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform\6969000903 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent\Post Platform\lib/7.02363 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\UID 2363 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\0 msseces.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\1 MSASCui.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\10 avgscanx.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\11 avgcfgex.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\12 avgemc.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\13 avgchsvx.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\14 avgcmgr.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\15 avgwdsvc.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\2 ekrn.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\3 egui.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\4 avgnt.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\5 avcenter.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\6 avscan.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\7 avgfrw.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\8 avgui.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun\9 avgtray.exe HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\DisallowRun 1 HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Anti-Malware Lab HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AM2d7_231.DocHostUIHandler HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\AM2d7_2363.DocHostUIHandler HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{3F2BBC05-40DF-11D2-9455-00104BC936FF} HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Download\CheckExeSignatures "no" HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\ConsentPromptBehaviorAdmin "2" HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\ConsentPromptBehaviorUser "2" HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\EnableLUA "1" HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AAWTray.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AVCare.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AVENGINE.EXE HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AVWEBGRD.EXE HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\About.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Ad-Aware.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AdwarePrj.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AlphaAV HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AlphaAV.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AluSchedulerSvc.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\Anti-Virus Professional.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AntiVirus_Pro.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AntispywarXP2009.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AntivirusPlus HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AntivirusPlus.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AntivirusPro_2010.exe HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\AntivirusXP ... and many more Image File Execution Options entries.

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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