Windows Internet Watchdog

Also Known As: Windows Internet Watchdog scam
Distribution: Low
Damage level: High

Windows Internet Watchdog removal instructions

What is Internet Watchdog?

Windows Internet Watchdog is a fake antivirus program, which reports non existent security infections to scare PC users into believing that their operating systems are infected with high-risk malware. This rogue software is created by cyber criminals who distribute it via hacked websites and fake online security warning messages. Cyber criminals often use fake Microsoft Security Essentials alert messages to trick PC users into installing Windows Internet Watchdog on their computers. Following successful infiltration, this bogus program modifies the registry entries of an affected operating system by blocking execution of installed programs (including Internet browsers) and disabling the Task Manager.

Windows Internet Watchdog

Furthermore, this fake antivirus program configures itself to start automatically on each system Startup. The behavior of Windows Web Watchdog is similar to ransomware infections, since it prevents users from accessing the desktop until payment for a 'license key' is received. PC users should be aware that paying for 'ultimate protection' (the 'full version') of this program is equivalent to sending their money to cyber criminals - they will lose their money and their credit card information made available for further thefts. Windows Internet Watchdog is a scam - do not trust this program or buy the full version.

Windows Internet Watchdog originates from a family of fake antivirus programs called FakeVimes. Previous variants were named Windows Web Watchdog, Windows Antibreach Patrol, and Windows Pro Defence Kit. Cyber criminals responsible for releasing rogue antivirus programs from this family, maintain identical behavior and user interfaces, simply changing the name of each fake security scanner variant. To avoid installation of such bogus antivirus programs, do not trust online security warning messages reporting 'found security infections' and offering installation of antivirus programs. Keep your operating system and installed software up-to-date and use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs. PC users who observe Windows Internet Watchdog scanning their computers for security infections, should use this removal guide to eliminate this rogue antivirus program from their operating systems.

Screenshot of Windows Internet Watchdog blocking execution of Internet browsers:

Windows Internet Watchdog blocking Internet browsers

Screenshot of Windows Internet Watchdog demanding payment of $99.9 for the 'full version':

Windows Internet Watchdog rogue payment page

How does Windows Internet Watchdog infect user's computer?

This fake antivirus program infiltrates operating systems using 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 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 Internet Watchdog on the victim's computer.

Windows Internet Watchdog infecting user's operating system

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

Instant automatic removal of Windows Internet Watchdog scam: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Windows Internet Watchdog scam. Download it by clicking the button below:
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Quick menu:

Windows Internet Watchdog removal:

Complete these steps to access your desktop:

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

Windows Internet Watchdog settings

2. Select "Allow unprotected Startup".

Allowing unprotected startup for Windows Internet Watchdog

3. After selecting "Allow unprotected Startup", close Windows Internet Watchdog.

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

Accessing Computer

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

Accessing appdata roaming folder

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

Renaming the executable file of Windows Internet Watchdog step 1

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

Renaming the executable file of Windows Internet Watchdog step 2

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

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

Removing Windows Internet Watchdog using registration key step 1

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

Removing Windows Internet Watchdog using registration key step 2

3. After entering this registry key, Windows Internet Watchdog 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.

Removing Windows Internet Watchdog using registration key step 3

4. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove Windows Internet Watchdog from your computer.

Windows Internet Watchdog 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 display various errors when 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 Internet Watchdog modifies your Hosts file and you will encounter browser redirect problems unless malicious entries are 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, which 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 Internet Watchdog:

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 internet watchdog scam and other rogue antivirus programs:

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

To protect your computer from windows internet watchdog 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 are experiencing problems while trying to remove windows internet watchdog scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

If you have additional information on windows internet watchdog scam or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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 virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
Windows Internet Watchdog scam QR code
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Platform: Windows

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