Cleanup Antivirus is a rogue from the same family as Virus Doctor. This rogue is promoted through the use of Trojans and fake online anti-malware scanners. When installed Cleanup Antivirus will be configured to start automatically when you log into Windows. When Cleanup Antivirus is installed it will also create numerous fake malware that will be detected as malware when the program scans your computer. The list of fake malware files that it installs include:
When Cleanup Antivirus scans your computer it will find the above files it created in the first place and state that they are infections. It will not, though, allow you to remove any of them until you first purchase the program. In reality, the above files are harmless and can cause no harm to your computer. They are only being created to try and convince you that the Cleanup Antivirus scan results are legitimate. As these infections are all fake, please do not purchase the program based upon anything that this program displays.
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 184.108.40.206
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.
Cleanup Antivirus has detected potentially harmful software in your system. It is strongly recommended that you register Cleanup Antivirus to remove all found threats immediately.
Potentially harmful programs have been detected in your system and need to be dealt with immediately. Click here to remove them using Cleanup Antivirus.
Your PC may still be infected with dangerous viruses. Cleanup Antivirus protection is needed to prevent data loss and avoid theft of your personal data and credit card details. Click here to activate protection.
Suspicious software which may be malicious has been detected on your PC. Click here to remove this threat immediately using Cleanup Antivirus.
Click here to remove all potentially harmful programs found immediately using Cleanup Antivirus.
Malicious applications, which may contain Trojans, were found on your computer and are to be removed immediately. Click here to remove these potentially harmful items using Cleanup Antivirus.
No real-time malware, spyware and virus protection was found. Click here to activate.
Just like the scan results, these fake warnings should be ignored as they are just another attempt to make you think your computer has a security problem. This infection will also hijack 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.
As you can see, you should not purchase this program regardless of what it may state. If you have already purchased the program, then please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. Finally, please use the guide below to remove this infection and any related malware for free.
Self Help Guide
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.
- Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is
open later in the fix.
- 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
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.
- Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon
in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with
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
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
. 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.
- 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 mb3-setup-1878.1878-220.127.116.119.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 steps.
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
- 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,
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:
- 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 LinkYour Windows HOSTS file should now be back to the default one from when Windows was first installed.
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
- Now reboot your computer.
- 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 Cleanup Antivirus 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.