Windows Advanced Toolkit is the latest variant of rogue program from a clan of FakeVimes. This clone of numerous versions uses a rootkit Trojan to spread a copy of itself. It may also use infected web sites and unsafe file-sharing network to get into your computer by chance. Moreover, Trojans may drop a redirect malware on your computer so that when you browse the web, it may redirect you to the location of the fake antivirus.
Once Windows Advanced Toolkit is installed, it will imitate the process of real antivirus program. This fake one will begin to pronounce several security risks via system tray. Additionally, it will highlight scan and detection method that will end in a parade of identified virus infection. This detection by Windows Advanced Toolkit is fictitious. It is observed since the first release of the first variant, that all clones are showing identical results. It only denotes that its scanning process is more likely of playing a movie on your PC. It never scans. All alerts you will notice are pre-programmed with the malware ever since regardless of the variant.
If you see that this rogue software is taking a part on your computer, immediately run a scan using real antivirus program. Another scan with anti-malware software may be a big help in removing other components dropped by Windows Advanced Toolkit.
What are the Symptoms of Windows Advanced Toolkit Infection?
Look at the image below. This is what you can see on the computer once it is infected with Windows Advanced Toolkit. It scans and detects a number of threats even though PC is clean.
It will modify Windows Registry and add the following entries:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings “WarnOnHTTPSToHTTPRedirect” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableRegedit” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableRegistryTools” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableTaskMgr” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Settings “net” = “u_2012-5-24_6″
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Settings “UID” = “mksuciepos”
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\amshewin.exe
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\SafetyKeeper.exe
The threat will drop the following malicious files:
%AppData%\Protector-[random 3 characters].exe
%AppData%\Protector-[random 4 characters].exe
%CommonStartMenu%\Programs\Windows Advanced Toolkit .lnk
%Desktop%\Windows Advanced Toolkit .lnk
Follow these Procedures to Remove Windows Advanced Toolkit
Procedure 1: Scan Computer in Safe Mode Using Installed Anti-virus Program
1. First, we will try to remove Windows Advanced Toolkit by running a virus scan under Safe Mode with Networking. To perform this task, please complete these procedures.
Start in Safe Mode with Networking (Windows XP/Vista/7 Instruction)
- Please restart the computer and just before Windows start, press F8 on your keyboard repeatedly. You will be presented with Advanced Options Menu.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.
Start Windows 8 in Safe Mode with Networking
- Please restart the computer and as soon as it begins to start, please press Shift+F8 keys.
- Instead of seeing Advance Boot Options, Windows 8 will display Recovery Mode. Continue with the given steps until you reach Safe Mode function.
- Click on 'See advanced repair options'.
- Then, click on Troubleshoot.
- Next, please select Advanced options.
- On the next window, please choose Windows Startup Settings.
- Lastly, click on Restart button. Windows 8 will now restart and boot into Advanced Boot Option wherein you can run the system in Safe Mode with Networking.
2. Open your installed anti-virus programs and update it to the most recent version by automatically downloading necessary updates.
3. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all identified threats. Do not restart or turn off the computer after the scan process. You still need to run another scan. Please follow the next procedure.
Procedure 2: Scan and remove Windows Advanced Toolkit files with MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
To remove Windows Advanced Toolkit, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware by clicking on the button below. This tool is effective in getting rid of Trojans, viruses and malware.
1. After downloading, please install the program using the default settings.
2. At the end of the installation, please make sure that it will download necessary updates.
3. Once update has completed. The tool will launch.
4. Thoroughly scan the computer and remove all threats detected by this anti-malware program.
Procedure 3: Run TrendMicro's Anti-Threat Toolkit (ATTK) to check and delete any remnants of Windows Advanced Toolkit.
As an added help to remove Windows Advanced Toolkit, you can scan the computer with Anti-Threat Toolkit. This software is provided and distributed by TrendMicro. Follow this procedure to run a scan with this tool.
1. Download the package by clicking on the button below. This will launch a new browser window that contains further details about the tool.
2. Save the file to a location on your hard drive.
3. Browse for the location of the file and double-click to run. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, right-click on extracted file attk_far_gui.exe and click on Run as Administrator.
4. When program launch, it will run a command prompt to initialize, prepare components, and update the program.
5. Next it will open the graphical user interface (GUI) of Anti-Threat Toolkit.
6. Click on Scan Now. This operation will scan all Windows Advanced Toolkit files and processes in your computer and display a list of result for possible Fake Antivirus program and malware that needs to be removed.
7. Tick all items that are detected by the program, and then click Clean. The tool will start removing Windows Advanced Toolkit components from the computer.
8. If it asked you to restart Windows, please do so.
Protect your PC from Windows Advanced Toolkit or Similar Attack
Turn On Safe Browsing Features
Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter
Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious files online. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:
1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.
4. Please restart Internet Explorer.
Google Chrome's Enable Phishing and Malware Protection
With Google Chrome's Phishing and Malware Detection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious. To enable Phishing and Malware Protection, please do these steps:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (3-Bars Icon) located on top right corner of the browser.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
5. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Enable phishing and malware protection'.
6. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.
Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats on the computer. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Tools. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries