Remove the MSSecTeam Tech Support Scam (Removal Guide)

  • February 12, 2017

The MSSecTeam Tech Support Scam is a Trojan.Tech-Support-Scam that displays a lock screen pretending to be from Microsoft's Security Team that states that your files have been encrypted and your computer locked because of detected illegal behavior. It then proceeds to state that the files on the computer have been encrypted using ZhuangZi encryption, which is a fake encryption method. In order to unlock the computer, the Trojan states that you must send .5 bitcoins to the mssecteam@sigaint.org address.

  • MSSecTeam Tech Support Scam
  • License Information
  • Payment Instructions
  • Closing the Program Alert

Furthermore, while this infection is running it will terminate the Windows Explorer, which is your desktop, and the Task Manager screen to make it more difficult to remove. This obviously a scam and nothing more than a computer infection locking your computer. For no reason should you send any money to unlock your computer from this infection.

The text of the MSSecTeam Tech Support Scam is:

Have A Key?
Files Locked: Complete/Yes
Case No: 43278
System Status: Locked
Contact Us: mssecteam@sigaint.org

Notice from Microsoft Corporation
All activities of this computer have been recorded.All your files are encrypted as our government order.We used ZhuangZi encryption method to encrypt your files.
Your computer has been blocked due to violation of Copyright and Related rights law and illegally using and distributing copyrighted contents.Your documents,database and all files have encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key,generated for this computer.Your decryption key is stored on a Internet server.No third party softwares can decrypt your files until you pay and obtain the private key.If you don't send money to our Microsoft address within the week,your all files will be parmanently crypted and no one will be able to recover them.(Article 1,Section 8; Article 202; Article 210 of the criminal code of U.S.A. provides for a deprivation of liberty for 4-12 years)

This computer lock is aimed to stop below illegal activity
Your IP was used to:
Working on illegal copy of Windows
Sending Spam messages using Botnets
Distributing copyrighted contents via Torrents
Visiting harmful websites for download malware infected software

The lock screen will also contain two buttons called License and Payment that display additional information when you click on them. The License button will display the following text:

SCOPE OF LICENSE.
The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the features included in the software edition you licensed.
Microsoft reserves all other rights. Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement.
In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways.
You may not
1·work around any technical limitations in the software;
2·reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software, except and only to the extent that applicable law expressly permits, despite this limitation;
3·use components of the software to run applications not running on the software;
4·make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation;
5·publish the software for others to copy;
6·rent, lease or lend the software; or
7·use the software for commercial software hosting services.

The payment button will display:

Install Tor Browser in another PC.
Your all files are locked.Pay 0.5 Bitcoins to our unique address to get back your files.
For address mail me with your Name,Institute name along with your E-mail ID and Case no:
for more information about how to pay? Leave a mail
mssecteam@sigaint.org

Last, but not least, when you try to close the program it will display an alert with the following message:

Please contact msssecteam@sigaint.org with your Institute Name.

As you can see, this scam was created to trick you into emailing the listed address so that the developers can try and convince you into making a payment. For no reason should you contact these developers and should instead remove this Trojan and any related software for free by using the removal guide below.

MSSecTeam 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 MSSecTeam 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

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.

4

Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with MSSecTeam 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.

5

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:

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
6

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

7

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.

8

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.

9

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.

10

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.

11

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

12

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.

13

You can now exit the MBAM program.

14

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
15

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

16

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.

17

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.

18

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.

19

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.

20

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

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HitmanPro

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

21

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.

22

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.

23

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.

24

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 MSSecTeam 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.

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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