Windows Safety Master
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: High
Windows Safety Master removal instructions
What is Safety Master?
Windows Safety Master is a rogue antivirus program, which generates fake security warning messages and indicates fake security infections in order to scare PC users into purchasing the 'full version'. This program is created by cyber criminals who use infected email messages, malicious websites, and fake online security scanners to distribute this bogus software. After successful infiltration, Windows Safety Master modifies the registry entries of an infected operating system by setting itself to start automatically on each system startup. Furthermore, it blocks execution of installed software (including antivirus programs and Internet browsers) and disables the Windows Task Manager. This program holds no virus definition database or virus scan engine and indicates identical security infections on all PCs infiltrated.
Immediately following the fake security scan, Windows Safety Master prompts users to activate 'ultimate protection' (buying the 'full version' of this program) to remove the supposedly 'detected' security infections. PC users should be aware that paying for the license key of this program is equivalent to sending their money to cyber criminals - they will lose their money and their computers will remain infected with fake antivirus software. Users who have already purchased this program should contact their credit card company and dispute the charges, explaining that they have been tricked into buying a fake antivirus program. This rogue antivirus program originates from a family of fake security scanners called FakeVimes. Do not trust this program - it is a scam.
Windows Safety Master is identical to previous variants named Windows Ultimate Booster, Windows Efficiency Kit, and Windows Prime Accelerator. Cyber criminals retain the same appearance and functionality of these programs and simply change the names. Commonly, cyber criminals responsible for releasing these rogue antivirus programs use fake online security scanners to trick unsuspecting PC users into downloading their bogus software. Internet users should be aware that pop-up messages such as these are part of a scam used in the distribution of fake antivirus software. Computer users who observe Windows Safety Master scanning their computers for security infections should ignore this program and use the removal guide provided to eliminate it.
Windows Safety Master blocking execution of Internet browsers:
- What is Safety Master?
- STEP 1. Safety Master removal - deleting svc-[random letters].exe file.
- STEP 2. Remove Safety Master using a registration key.
- STEP 3. Remove Safety Master using Safe Mode with Networking.
Windows Safety Master removal:
Complete these steps to access your desktop:
1. Wait until Windows Safety Master completes the fake security scan and click "Settings" (at the top of the main window).
2. Select "Allow unprotected Startup".
3. After selecting "Allow unprotected Startup", close Windows Safety Master.
4. Access "My Computer" - double click the "My Computer" icon.
5. Navigate to C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Roaming
6. Locate a file named "svc-[random letters].exe" and click your right mouse button over this file.
7. In the opened menu select "Rename". Change the filename of "svc-[random letters].exe" to "fake.exe".
8. After renaming the "svc-[random letters].exe" file, restart your computer. Next time the operating system boots, Windows Safety Master will be inactive and will not block access to the Internet.
6. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this rogue antivirus program from your computer.
If you cannot download or run the spyware remover, try running the registry fix (link below). It enables execution of programs. Download the registryfix.reg file, double click it, click YES and then OK.
Windows Safety Master removal using a registry key:
1. Click the question mark icon (at the top of the main window of Windows Safety Master) and select "Register".
2. In the opened window enter this registry key: 0W000-000B0-00T00-E0001
3. After entering this registry key, Windows Safety Master will mimic the removal of previously 'detected' security threats and allow execution of installed programs. Note that entering this registration key will not remove this rogue antivirus program - it simply makes the removal process less complicated.
4. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove Windows Safety Master from your computer.
Windows Safety Master removal using Safe Mode with Networking:
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Video showing how to start Windows XP in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Remove proxy settings from Internet Explorer. This rogue antivirus adds a proxy to the user's Internet connection settings in order to display various errors when users attempt to access the Internet. To remove proxy settings: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. In the opened menu select "Internet Options".
In the opened window select the "Connections" tab.
In the "Connections" tab, click on "LAN settings".
If "Use a proxy server for your LAN" is checked, uncheck it and click OK.
Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this fake antivirus program from your computer.
After removing this rogue software, reset your Hosts file. Do not skip this step since Windows Safety Master modifies your Hosts file and you will encounter browser redirect problems if malicious entries are not eliminated.
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 sites, despite seeing legitimate URLs in address bar. It is difficult to determine sites are genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft Fix It tool, that restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:
Other tools known to remove Windows Safety Master:
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 Windows Safety Master 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 Windows Safety Master and other rogue antivirus programs:
To protect your computer from Windows Safety Master 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 Windows Safety Master from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
If you have additional information on Windows Safety Master or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.