Microsoft Office Activation Wizard Tech Support Scam Removal Guide

  • December 26, 2016

What is Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam?

Skip this and learn how to remove Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam!

The Microsoft Office Activation Wizard Tech Support Scam is a Trojan from the Trojan.Tech-Support-Scam family that displays a fake Microsoft Office activation wizard that states that office is not properly activated and then prompts you to do so. This activation wizard will overlay and stay on top of any running appications, which makes it difficult to properly use the computer. This is done to try and trick the user into calling the listed remote tech support number in order to sell them unnecessary software and services.

  • Fake Microsoft Activation Wizard Screen #1
  • Fake Microsoft Activation Wizard Screen #2
  • Fake Microsoft Activation Wizard Screen #3

The text of this fake Microsoft Office Activation Wizard is:

Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016
Activation Wizard
Thank you for installing Microsoft Office Home and Student 2016. Activation is required to
authenticate this copy of Microsoft Office. This wizard will guide you through the
Activation process.
How do you want to activate your software?
* I want to activate the software over the Internet. (recommended)
* I want to activate the software by telephone.
Toll-Free : 1 800 935 6918
If you choose not to activate at this time, you may run the software for 29 more days before
the product becames unlicensed. Click Help for more information.

When you try and activation the program you will be shown another screen that prompts you to enter a product key. The text of this screen is:

Enter your product key
Your product key is 25 characters and is typically found in your
product packaging . Toll-Free : 1 800 935 6918
See product key examples

Sign in with an active account instead
Attempt to automatically activate my product online.

The good news is that this tech support scam comes with a build in passcode that you can enter to close the screen and scan your computer with a an anti-malware program. To close the screen you can enter THTY4-89LK6-RTI23-XZTOP-05ERY as the product key. Once the screen is closed you can then scan your computer to remove the infection.

How did the fake Microsoft Office Activation Wizard get on my computer?

It is important to note that this Trojan is installed by other programs that did not adequately disclose that other software would be installed along with it. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to the license agreements and installation screens when installing anything off of the Internet. If an installation screen offers you Custom or Advanced installation options, it is a good idea to select these as they will typically disclose what other 3rd party software will also be installed. Furthermore, If the license agreement or installation screens state that they are going to install a toolbar or other unwanted adware, it is advised that you cancel the install and not use the free software.

Without a doubt, this scam was created to trick you into calling the listed number so that the developers can try and convince you into purchasing unnecessary services or software. For no reason should you call this number, and if you have already have purchased services, I advise you to dispute the charges with your credit card company. To remove this Trojan and any related software for free, please use the removal guide below.

Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam Removal Options

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.

To remove Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam, follow these steps:

1

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.

2

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.

3

The Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam Trojan includes a built in backdoor for the remote support company to close the Window when a victim pays them for services. To get to this screen, simply keep clicking click on the Sign InNext buttons till you get to the screen below.

Tech Support Scam Screen

At this screen, type the following code into the product key field: THTY4-89LK6-RTI23-XZTOP-05ERY and then press the Install button.

Once you enter the above key, the fake activation wizard will close and be uninstalled from your computer. You can then continue with the rest of the steps to search for and remove any associated malware.

4

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.

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Rkill

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.

5

Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam 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.

6

At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

logo
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
7

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

8

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.3.1.2183.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

9

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.

10

MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.

Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Detection and Protection Settings Page

At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.

11

Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 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.

12

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 Scanning

13

When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items 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 selected items. 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.

14

You can now exit the MBAM program.

15

Now please download AdwCleaner and save it to your desktop. AdwCleaner will scan your computer for adware programs that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. You can download AdwCleaner from the following URL:

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AdwCleaner
16

When AdwCleaner has finished downloading, please double-click on the AdwCleaner.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon the AdwCleaner program will open and you will be presented with the program's license agreement. After you read it, click on the I agree button if you wish to continue. Otherwise, click on the I disagree button to close the program. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.

If you selected to continue, you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.

AdwCleaner Start Screen

17

Now click on the Scan button in AdwCleaner. The program will now start to search for known adware programs that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display all of the items it has found in Results section of the screen above. Please look through the results and try to determine if the programs that are listed contain ones that you do not want installed. If you find programs that you need to keep, then uncheck the entries associated with them.

For many people, the contents of the Results section may appear confusing. Unless you see a program name that you know should not be removed,please continue with the next step.

18

To remove the adware programs that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button on the AdwCleaner screen. AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to close any open programs before it starts to clean.

Please save your work and then click on the OK button. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are. Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.

AdwCleaner Reboot Prompt

Please click on the OK button to let AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

19

When your computer reboots and you are logged in, AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer.

AdwCleaner Log

Please review this log file and then close the Notepad Window.

20

If your computer is still in Safe Mode with Networking, you can reboot your computer back to normal mode. Once your computer is rebooted and you are back at the desktop, you can proceed with the rest of the instructions.

21

Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:

img
HitmanPro

When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.

22

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.

HitmanPro Start Screen

Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.

23

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.

Kickstart Setup Options

Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.

24

HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs 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.

25

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:

How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Your computer should now be free of the Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam 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 linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

Are Your Protected?

While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

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!


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HitmanPro

Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!

Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.

View Associated Microsoft Office Activation Tech Support Scam Registry Information

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\ "MS Office Activation" = "MS Office Activation.exe"

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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