What is Hacktool:Win32/Keygen?
Hacktool:Win32/Keygen is the codename of a rogue tool that is capable of generating fake activation keys and licenses for various software.
The tool itself is not harmful, but Hacktool:Win32/Keygen is often delivered together with malware. Therefore, users who have installed Hacktool:Win32/Keygen (or it has infiltrated without their consent) are very likely to have infected computers.
As mentioned above, the Hacktool:Win32/Keygen tool allows users to "crack" (illegally register) various software. It simply forges activation keys/license files to trick programs into believing that they are activated. This tool itself is not harmful (other than it diminishes the revenue of software developers), but is often distributed together with viruses.
According to a Microsoft report, over half of computers that use the Hacktool:Win32/Keygen tool are infected. The type of infections vary as does the behavior of these tools. Some encrypt data and make ransom demands (ransomware), whilst others stealthily mine cryptocurrencies (cryptominers), record personal information (trojans), etc.
Ultimately, the presence of these viruses can lead to serious consequences: data might be lost, personal accounts might be hacked, identity and savings might be stolen, etc.
Note that the Hacktool:Win32/Keygen tool appearance can differ. There are a number of different "cracks" that use Hacktool:Win32/Keygen source code. Therefore, if you have recently used any tools to illegally activate software, you should scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all threats.
|Threat Type||Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware|
|Detection Names (KMSSS.exe)||Avast (Win32:Malware-gen), AVG (Win32:Malware-gen), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Win32/HackKMS.W Potentially Unsafe), Microsoft (HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS), Full List (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.|
|Distribution methods||Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.|
|Damage||Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
IMPORTANT NOTE! Using "keygens", "cracks", or other third party tools to bypass software activation is illegal and should not be considered. Software piracy is a serious crime and can lead to prosecution.
There are hundreds of viruses available on the Internet (including, for example, GANDCRAB V5.0, Qinynore, Adwind, Emotet, Hancitor, etc.). The behavior of these rogue software tool might differ, but all pose a direct threat to your privacy and computer safety. Therefore, eliminating these potential threats is important.
How did Hacktool:Win32/Keygen infiltrate my computer?
In most cases, software "cracks" can be downloaded from dubious sources, such as free file hosting websites, freeware download websites, and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. In some cases, these tools are proliferated together with chosen software installation setups.
Therefore, users might activate their programs immediately after installation, but these sources are also used to distribute malware, since there is no control over distributed content. Cyber criminals often present malicious executables as legitimate software.
Therefore, users are tricked into downloading and installing viruses. As mentioned above, many Hacktool:Win32/Keygen users have their computers infected with other viruses.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Lack of knowledge and careless behavior are the main reasons for computer infections. Caution is the key to safety. Therefore, pay close attention when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each download/installation step and decline offers to download/install third party programs.
We recommend that you download applications from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers often include rogue apps, and thus these tools should never be used. Furthermore, use only legitimate software and never use unofficial activation/update tools.
Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount, since these tools can detect and eliminate malware before it does any damage. If you believe that your computer is already infected, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Hacktool:Win32/Keygen as Adobe software crack:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Hacktool:Win32/Keygen?
- STEP 1. Manual removal of Hacktool:Win32/Keygen malware.
- STEP 2. Check if your computer is clean.
How to remove malware manually?
Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically.
To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:
If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious you should continue with these steps:
Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:
Restart your computer into Safe Mode:
Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button.
Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options".
In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.
In the Autoruns application click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.
Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.
You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".
After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, remove it.
Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.
These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.
To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Hacktool:Win32/Keygen? Is it malicious?
Hacktool:Win32/Keygen is an illegal tool designed to generate activation keys for various licensed programs. The tool itself is not malicious, but it is commonly bundled with trojans, ransomware, and other malware.
My computer is infected with malware that was bundled with Hacktool:Win32/Keygen, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?
Formatting is most likely unnecessary. Most malicious programs can be removed without resorting to such drastic measures.
What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?
The threats posed by malware depend on its capabilities and the cyber criminals' aims. Generally, malware infections can lead to decreased system performance or failure, permanent data loss, hardware damage, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
What is the purpose of malware?
Cyber criminals primarily use malware to generate revenue. However, these attacks can also be motivated by the attackers seeking entertainment, process disruption (e.g., websites, services, companies, etc.), personal grudges, political/geopolitical reasons, and so on.
How did Hacktool:Win32/Keygen bundled with malware infiltrate my computer?
Since Hacktool:Win32/Keygen is an illegal software activation ("cracking") tool, its most likely source is an attempt to install a licensed program. "Cracked" software is typically promoted on pirated content download websites, free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks (e.g., Torrent clients, eMule, etc.), and other untrustworthy download channels. Overall, the most commonly used malware proliferation techniques include: program "cracking" tools, dubious download sources, spam emails and messages, drive-by downloads, online scams, and fake updates. Furthermore, some malicious programs are capable of self-proliferating via local networks and removable storage devices (e.g., external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc.).
Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate nearly all known malware infections. However, it must be stressed that performing a full system scan is essential - as high-end malicious programs tend to hide deep within systems.