Antivirus Protection 2012

Also Known As: Antivirus Protection 2012 Rogue
Damage level: High

What is Antivirus Protection 2012?

Antivirus protection is a misleading program that attempts to mimic a legitimate computer security program. This rogue program self-installs on your computer without permission, and then creates random files on your hard drive, supposedly 'detecting' them as being infected with spyware/malware.

Do not trust this program - it bears no relation to a real security suite.

Antivirus Protection 2012 fake antivirus programAntivirus Protection 2012 is a fake computer security scanner that attempts to sell a useless license key to unsuspecting computer users. This bogus program is derived from the same family of misleading applications as Security Monitor 2012, Security Solution 2011, Antivirus System 2011, and others.

Fake antivirus programs such as Antivirus Protection 2012 are usually distributed via malware networks or by tricking computer users into downloading it when disguised as a Flash Player update. Internet criminals often change their distribution channels and methods, and so in order to protect your PC from fake scanners such as Antivirus Protection 2012, always use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.

When Antivirus Protection 2012 infects your computer, it will modify your operating system's registry, blocking default Windows functions and making it difficult to remove from your PC. This rogue program starts each time you boot your operating system and initiates a fake computer security scan.

The 'scan' reports the detection of various security threats; do not attempt to remove these 'detected' files manually. Antivirus Protection 2012 does not actually scan your PC for security threats, it only imitates this process, thus by deleting the 'detected' files manually, you could harm your operating system.

While Antivirus Protection 2012 has the appearance of a genuine security program, you should not trust this program. Internet criminals designed it to appear convincing in order to trick you into buying a license for a fake security program.

If you have already purchased a license for Antivirus Protection 2012, contact your credit car company and dispute the charges, explaining that you have been tricked into buying fake PC antivirus software. Each time you attempt to use your computer, Antivirus Protection 2012 warns of unauthorized remote connections, suspicious software, or malicious programs.

Ignore these warning messages - they are as fake as the security check performed by this rogue software. Do not trust this program. If you notice Antivirus Protection 2012 on your computer, remove it immediately.

  Before downloading the remover: Click the 'Activate' button located on the bottom right corner of the Antivirus Protection 2012 program window, and when the registration window opens, enter this registration key.


This will trick Antivirus Protection 2012 into behaving as if you have purchased its license, and restore your Internet connection and other disabled Windows features. After registering this fake program, be sure to download legitimate anti-spyware program to completely remove Antivirus Protection 2012 from your computer.

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Quick menu:

Antivirus Protection 2012 virus removal:

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.{jcomments on}


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, then click LAN settings, if 'Use a proxy server for your LAN' is checked, uncheck it and press OK.

internet-explorer-options internet explorer internet connections

internet options lan settings internet explorer proxy settings

3.  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):

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Security Manager] C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Antivirus Protection 2012\antivirusprotection.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Antivirus Protection 2012] "C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Antivirus Protection 2012\Antivirus Protection.exe" /STARTUP

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

4. Download and install anti-spyware software to completely remove the infection.

Other tools known to remove Antivirus Protection 2012:

If you are unable to remove Antivirus Protection 2012, you can use these manual removal instructions. Use them at your own risk, since if you do not have strong computer knowledge, you could harm your operating system.

Use them only if you are an experienced computer user. (Instructions on how to end processes, remove registry entries...)

End these Antivirus Protection 2012 processes:


Remove these Antivirus Protection 2012 registry entries:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Antivirus Protection  2012
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Antivirus Protection 2012
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “[random]”
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Antivirus Protection 2012"

Delete these Antivirus Protection 2012 files:

%Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Roaming\Antivirus Prtoection 2012\
%Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Roaming\Antivirus Protection 2012\random.exe


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 rogue 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 rogue 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 rogue 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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