Smart Fortress 2012
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: High
Smart Fortress 2012 removal guide
Smart Fortress 2012 is a fake security scanner distributed by Internet criminals using fake online security scanner pop-ups. This rogue program is derived from the same family of misleading software as Security Sphere 2012 and Smart Protection 2012. Previous versions of Smart Fortress 2012 were proliferated by hijacking ad networks and displaying ads within legitimate websites - this in turn infected unsuspecting users' computers. The recent and most common method of spreading Smart Fortress 2012 was found to be via fake online security scans. When installed on your PC, Smart Fortress 2012 changes the registry files, enabling a fake security scanner to start automatically each time you start your computer.
Smart Fortress 2012 is a rogue anti-spyware program, which attempts to scare you into buying a license. To intimidate you into believing that your computer is infected with various security threats, Smart Fortress 2012 performs 'security scans', displays security warning pop-ups, and generates a large list of 'detected' security issues. Do not trust anything displayed by this program - Smart Fortress 2012 merely imitates a security scan and then generates a list of non existent infections. If you click the 'Remove' button after a fake security scan, you are asked to purchase a license for Smart Fortress 2012 in order to remove the 'detected' threats. Do not buy this program - it is useless and designed with the sole purpose of selling you a fake license. As mentioned above, this bogus program is distributed via online security scanners, and in order to prevent problems in the future, do not trust online security scanner pop-ups. Internet criminals use various misleading methods to trick computer users into installing fake programs on their computers, the most common being spam campaigns, website hacking, malware networks, and online security scanners. To prevent Smart Fortress 2012 and similar rogue programs from infiltrating your computer, you should use a legitimate security program with Internet security features to protect you. Use the information below to remove Smart Fortress 2012 from your computer.
Update: Distribution of Smart Fortress 2012 rogue antivirus was discontinued. Now, however, the creators of this malware distribute slightly modified versions of the program called Live Security Platinum, System Care Antivirus.
The following fake security warning messages are generated by Smart Fortress 2012:
"Warning: Your computer is infected. Detected spyware infection! Click this message to install the last update of security software..."
"Smart Fortress 2012 Warning. Intercepting programs that may compromise your privacy and harm your system have been detected on your PC. Click here to remove them immediately with Smart Fortress 2012."
These security warning pop-ups are fake and only generated to scare you. If you notice that your PC is infected with Smart Fortress 2012, remove it immediately.
Automatic Smart Fortress 2012 virus removal:
Before downloading the automatic remover, you need to enter the fake license key in the registration window of this program. Click the 'registration' button at the top of the main window of Smart Fortress 2012 and enter this key: AA39754E-715219CE
This will not remove the infection, but will help the removal process. Note that if you copy this key to clipboard and click the 'registration' button, Smart Fortress 2012 may automatically detect your copied key and will thank you for registration. It will then imitate the removal of fake infections and ask you to restart your computer. Before restarting or entering the key, you can download the remover (Step 2), so that there will not be a need to return to this site. After restarting, you may notice that the Smart Fortress 2012 icon remains in the Task Bar. This icon and other files associated with this rogue program will be removed after running the spyware remover program. Bear in mind that by registering fake security programs, you do not break any copyright laws.
Download and install the spyware remover. Note that when you scan your computer, Smart Fortress 2012 may continue to generate fake warnings. You can ignore these warnings.
If you cannot download or run the default installation file, you can try to download an alternate installer (it is renamed to iexplore.exe, since most spyware does not block the execution of files with this name).
If you cannot use the Internet or your browser (Internet explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome)
Depending on the version of this infection, Smart Fortress 2012 sometimes disables Internet browsing capabilities and you are unable to use your browser to download removal software, or the browser does not work at all. If you have this problem, you may try the following:
Click Start then click Run. (Windows logo button on Win7/Vista)
In Windows XP, When the Run dialog appears, enter this text: www.pcrisk.com/download-spyware-remover and then press ENTER. In Windows 7 and Vista you can just type this text directly into the search field and press ENTER (when pressed Windows logo button)
After pressing enter, download file dialogue will appear. Click Run and follow the on-screen instructions to scan your computer. If you cannot run the downloaded file, try renaming it to iexplore.exe
By renaming this file, you will trick Smart Fortress 2012 and it behave as though you are attempting to run Internet Explorer.
Smart Fortress 2012 virus manual removal (experienced users):
1. Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Here is a video demonstrating how to start Windows in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows XP users:
Windows Vista / 7 users:
Windows 8 users:
2. Open Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Internet Options. Select "Connections".
3.Click LAN settings, if 'Use a proxy server for your LAN' is checked, uncheck it and press OK.
4. Download HijackThis and save it to your desktop. Some malicious programs are able to block HijackThis, so when you click the download link, in the Save dialog, rename HijackThis.exe to iexplore.exe and only then click the Save button. After saving the file to your desktop, double click it. In the main HijackThis window click the “Do a system scan only” button. Select the following entry (place a tick at the left of the entry):
%StartMenu%\Programs\Smart Fortress 2012.lnk
After selecting the required entry, click "Fix Checked". The Hosts file is used to resolve canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, the user may be redirected to malicious websites, despite observing legitimate URLs in address bar. It is difficult to determine if a website is genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft FixIt tool that restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:
6. Download and install Anti-spyware software to completely remove the infection.
Before downloading automatic remover, enter a fake license key in registration window of this program. Click the 'registration' button at the top of the main window of Smart Fortress 2012 and enter this key: AA39754E-715219CE
It will not remove the infection, but will help removal process. Note that if you copy this key to clipboard and click the 'registration' button, Smart Fortress 2012 may automatically detect your copied key and will thank you for registration.
NOTE: Some spyware can block the downloading of spyware removers. If you cannot download it using the default location, try one of the alternative download locations below:
- Location 1 (the file is renamed to "iexplore.exe", since most spyware does not block this file)
- Location 2
Other tools, known to remove Smart Fortress 2012:
You can also try this registration code: AA39754E-715219CE. After entering this code, Smart Fortress 2012 should stop displaying security warnings. This might help you in the removal process. This code disables Smart Fortress 2012 only temporarily, and so after entering this code, scan your computer with a legitimate anti-spyware program.
Smart Fortress 2012 is a very aggressive rogue program, and when installed on your computer, it blocks the execution of legitimate Windows programs. You will be unable to use your Task Manager, etc. This fake security scanner also starts when you boot your computer in Safe Mode - this makes it very difficult to remove, thus the easiest way is to enter a retrieved registration code. Do not trust this program - it merely imitates the functions of a genuine security program. When Smart Fortress 2012 first self-installs on your PC, it generates random files and then 'detects' them as being infected. This scheme is used to trick unsuspecting computer users into buying a license. Ignore the fake security scans and warning messages and remove Smart Fortress 2012 using the removal guide provided.
The fake antivirus programs (also known as "rogue antivirus programs" or "scareware") are applications that tries to lure computer users into paying for their non-existent full versions to remove the supposedly detected security infections (although the computer is actually clean). These bogus programs are created by cyber criminals who design them to look as legitimate antivirus software. Most commonly rogue antivirus programs infiltrate user's computer using poop-up windows or alerts which appear when users surf the Internet. These deceptive messages trick users into downloading a rogue antivirus program on their computers. Other known tactics used to spread scareware include exploit kits, infected email messages, online ad networks, drive-by downloads, or even direct calls to user's offering free support.
A computer that is infected with a fake antivirus program might also have other malware installed on it as rogue antivirus programs often are bundled with Trojans and exploit kits. Noteworthy that additional malware that infiltrates user's operating system remains on victim's computer regardless of whether a payment for a non-existent full version of a fake antivirus program is made. Here are some examples of fake security warning messages that are used in Smart Fortress 2012 distribution:
Computer users who are dealing with a rogue security software shouldn't buy it's full version. By paying for a license key of a fake antivirus program users would send their money and banking information to cyber criminals. Users who have already entered their credit card number (or other sensitive information) when asked by such bogus software should inform their credit card company that they have been tricked into buying a rogue security software. Screenshot of a web page used to lure computer users into paying for a non-existent full version of Smart Fortress 2012 and other rogue antivirus programs:
To protect your computer from Smart Fortress 2012 and other rogue antivirus programs users should:
- Keep their operating system and all of the installed programs up-to-date.
- Use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
- Use caution when clicking on links in social networking websites and email messages.
- Don't trust online pop-up messages which state that your computer is infected and offers you to download security software.
Symptoms indicating that your operating system is infected with a fake antivirus program:
- Intrusive security warning pop-up messages.
- Alerts asking to upgrade to a paid version of a program to remove the supposedly detected malware.
- Slow computer performance.
- Disabled Windows updates.
- Blocked Task Manager.
- Blocked Internet browsers or inability to visit legitimate antivirus vendor websites.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove Smart Fortress 2012 from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
If you have additional information on Smart Fortress 2012 or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.