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Windows Antivirus Booster

Also Known As: Windows AntiVirus Booster scam
Damage level: High

What is Antivirus Booster?

Windows Antivirus Booster is a fake antivirus program, which infiltrates operating systems using fake online security warning messages. After successful installation, this rogue software blocks the desktop, performs fake security scans, and reports the 'detection' of various Trojans and high-risk malware infections.

PC users should be aware that none of the security threats indicated by Windows Antivirus Booster exist on their computers. This program is created by cyber criminals who make money from users who fall for the trickery displayed by this bogus program and go on to purchase the 'full version'.

Windows Antivirus Booster

Note that paying for 'ultimate protection' (the 'full version') of Windows Antivirus Booster is equivalent to sending your money and credit card information to cyber criminals - you will lose your money and your credit card information could be used for further thefts.

Windows Antivirus Booster also modifies the registry entries of an infected operating system by blocking execution of installed programs and disabling the Task Manager. This program is a scam. Users who observe it on their systems should not trust it. The correct way to deal with Windows Antivirus Booster is to eliminate it from your operating system.

Windows Antivirus Booster originates from a family of fake antivirus programs called FakeVimes. Previous variants were named Windows Antivirus Helper and Windows Antivirus Tool. Cyber criminals responsible for releasing fake antivirus programs from this family employ identical user interfaces and functionality, merely changing the names of variants distributed.

To avoid computer infection by such fake antivirus programs, do not trust online security warning messages indicating security infections and offering installation of security software, supposedly to eliminate the security threats. Other safe computing tips include using antivirus and anti-spyware programs, and keeping installed programs and operating systems up-to-date.

Screenshot of Windows Antivirus Booster generating fake security warning messages:

Windows Antivirus Booster generating fake security warning pop-ups

Screenshot of Windows Antivirus Booster generating fake copyright infringement pop-ups:

Windows Antivirus Booster generating fake copyright infringement notices

Screenshot of Windows Antivirus Booster demanding a payment of $99.9 for the 'full version':

Windows Antivirus Booster payment page scam

How does Windows Antivirus Booster infect user's computer?

This fake antivirus program infiltrates operating systems via fake online security warning messages. When landing on a malicious or hacked website, users are presented with the fake Microsoft Antivirus message: "Message from webpage - Microsoft Antivirus has found critical process activity on your PC. You need to clean your computer to prevent the system breakage".

Fake Microsoft Antivirus pop-up

In the second step of this scam, users are presented with another fake message, which is supposedly derived from Microsoft Security Essentials: "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert. Microsoft Security Essentials detected potential threats that might compromise your privacy or damage your computer. You need to clean your computer immediately to prevent the system crash".

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials pop-up

Clicking the "Clean computer" button downloads Windows Antivirus Booster on the victim's computer.

Windows Antivirus Booster loading screen

PC users who observe Windows Antivirus Booster scanning their computers for security infections should use this removal guide to eliminate this fake antivirus program from their computers.

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Quick menu:

Windows Antivirus Booster removal:

Complete these steps to access your desktop:

1. Wait until Windows Antivirus Booster completes the fake security scan and click "Settings" (at the top of the main window).

Windows Antivirus Booster settings

2. Select "Allow unprotected Startup".

Windows Antivirus Booster unprotected startup

3. After selecting "Allow unprotected Startup", close Windows Antivirus Booster.

4. Access "My Computer". Double click the "My Computer" icon.

Windows Antivirus Booster accessing My Computer

5. Navigate to C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Roaming

Windows Antivirus Booster renaming executable file step 1

6. Locate a file named "svc-[random letters].exe" and click your right mouse button over this file.

Windows Antivirus Booster renaming executable file step 2

7. In the opened menu, select "Rename". Change the filename of "svc-[random letters].exe" to "fake.exe".

Windows Antivirus Booster renaming executable file step 3

8. After renaming the "svc-[random letters].exe" file, restart your computer. Next time the operating system boots, Windows Antivirus Booster 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 Antivirus Booster removal using a registry key:

1. Click the question mark icon (at the top of the main window of Windows Antivirus Booster) and select "Register".

Windows Antivirus Booster removal using registration key step 1

2. In the opened window enter this registry key: 0W000-000B0-00T00-E0021

Windows Antivirus Booster removal using registration key step 2

3. After entering this registry key, Windows Antivirus Booster imitates the removal of previously 'detected' security threats and allows 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 Antivirus Booster from your computer.

Windows Antivirus Booster removal using Safe Mode with Networking:

Step 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.

Starting Windows in Safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Video showing how to start Windows XP in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Remove proxy settings from Internet Explorer. This rogue antivirus adds a proxy to the user's Internet connection settings to show various errors when the user attempts to access the Internet. To remove proxy settings: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. In the opened menu select "Internet Options".

Removing proxy setings from Intenret Explorer step 1

In the opened window select the "Connections" tab.

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 2

In the "Connections" tab, click on "LAN settings".

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 3

If "Use a proxy server for your LAN" is checked, uncheck it and click OK.

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 4

Step 3

Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this fake antivirus program from your computer.

Step 4

After removing this rogue software, reset your Hosts file. Do not skip this step since Windows Antivirus Booster modifies your Hosts files 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 Antivirus Booster:

Summary:

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 windows antivirus booster scam and other rogue antivirus programs:

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

To protect your computer from windows antivirus booster scam 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 windows antivirus booster scam 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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