AV Protection 2012 virus

Also Known As: Antivirus Protection 2012
Damage level: High

What is AV Protection 2012?

AV Protection 2012 is a fake computer security scanner. Internet criminals distribute this rogue program using misleading methods including Trojans, online security scanners, and fake program updates.

This program is a clone of its previous versions: AV Protection 2011, Cloud AV 2012, and others. These fake security scanners share the same interface and scare tactics.

AV Protection 2012 self-installs on your computer by exploiting security vulnerabilities in order to start its rogue processes. Firstly, it modifies the operating system's registry so that AV Protection 2012 starts each time you boot your computer.

AV Secure 2012

You will then observe various fake security warning messages, which will constantly interrupt normal work on your PC. Like its predecessors, AV Protection 2012 attempts to coerce you into buying a fake license to remove the 'detected' security issues.

You should not be impressed by the professional appearance of this program - it is a cleverly designed scam aimed to steal money from unsuspecting computer users. If you notice AV Protection 2012 on your computer, you should remove it.

If you have already bought a license for this bogus program, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charges, explaining that you have been tricked into buying a fake computer security program. Use this removal guide to completely remove AV Protection 2012 from your computer.

The following fake security warning pop-ups are displayed on a computer infected with AV Protection 2012:

"Windows Security Alert. To help protect your computer, Windows Firewall has blocked some features of this program. Do you want to keep blocking this program? Name: Zeus Trojan Publisher: Unauthorized."

"Warning! Infection found. Unwanted software (malware) or tracking cookies have been found during last scan. It is highly recommended to remove it from your computer. Keylogger Zeus was detected and put in quarantine. Keylogger Zeus is very dangerous software used by criminals to steal personal data such as credit card information, access to banking accounts, passwords to social networks and e-mails."

These pop-ups are fake. If you notice that your computer is infected with AV Protection 2012, you should remove it immediately.

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Quick menu:

AV Protection 2012 virus removal:

Step 1
Enter any one of these AV Protection 2012 activation keys in the registration window. Click the 'Enter Activation key' button, located at the bottom-left corner of the main program window and paste only one of these keys (each key is on a separate line):


When the registration key is entered, AV Protection 2012 will behave as if you have purchased it and will stop generating fake warnings. It will also enable some previously disabled Windows features.

Note that registering this program will not remove it from your PC. It will simply disable the fake warnings.

Step 2
This infection is known to modify your proxy settings. It intercepts your connection to the Internet and you may be unable to access some Internet resources.

To fix this, download and run the proxy removal tool. This tool runs automatically - simply double click it and it will do the job.

The download link is below:

After fixing the proxy settings, you will be able to download spyware remover

Step 3
Download, install and run the spyware removal tool. It will scan your computer for AV Protection 2012 and other malware infections.

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.

If installation fails, try downloading the customized installer developed by our technicians to bypass the AV Protection 2012 spyware infection. Your browser may report that this file is unsafe.

Please ignore these warnings. Download customized installer

AV Protection 2012 removal instructions (on infected computer):

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.


2. Open Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Internet Options. Select "Connections".

internet-explorer-options internet explorer internet connections

internet options lan settings internet explorer proxy settings

3.Click LAN settings, if a 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 entries (place a tick at the left of the entries):

O1 - Hosts: bing.com
O1 - Hosts: facebook.com
O1 - Hosts: google.com
O1 - Hosts: yahoo.com
O1 - Hosts: bing.com
O1 - Hosts: facebook.com
O1 - Hosts: yahoo.com
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [] C:\WINDOWS\system32\AV Protection 2012.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [] C:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\dwme.exe

After selecting the required entries, click "Fix Checked". After this procedure, you can close HijackThis and proceed to the next removal step.

5. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to fully remove AV Protection 2012 from your computer.

Other tools known to remove AV Protection 2012:


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 fake antivirus distribution:

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 1

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 2

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 antivirus protection 2012 and other rogue antivirus programs:

example of a webpage used to collect payments for fake antivirus programs

To protect your computer from antivirus protection 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 have additional information on antivirus protection 2012 or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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