Virus Alert - XP Total Security 2011
Somehow I got a virus called XP Total Security, and I can't get rid of it. It blocks my security software, and it won't let me download any new anti-virus tools. It's even asking me for money... how do I get rid of this thing?
How to Remove XP Total Security 2011
An especially nasty fake anti-malware program is making the rounds. It goes by many names including XP Total Security, XP Home Security Vista Anti-Virus, Win 7 Anti-Spyware, Win 7 Internet Security, and "2011" variants that sound like the latest and greatest anti-malware tool. But they're all the same evil malware in various disguises.
This malware is delivered to your computer via a Trojan horse: a file that purports to be something else such as a movie or handy utility. It installs itself as an executable file whose name is three letters long; unfortunately, the three letters are randomly generated so I can't tell you a file name to look for. Once installed, it pretends to be a security update for Windows installed via Automatic Updates.
The malware launches whenever your launch another executable file. It also modifies Windows registry settings so that whenever you launch Internet Explorer or Firefox from the Windows Start menu, the malware launches instead and displays a fake firewall warning.
Like other rogue anti-malware, this one fakes a "full scan" of your computer when it starts. It then displays multiple alarming warnings of "infected files" - all of them false positives. It tells you that you must purchase the "full" version" of the fake anti-malware program to eliminate the infections. Don't do it, and don't try to remove the "infected" files manually. All of them are legitimate system files that Windows needs to operate.
The rogue aggressively deters efforts to remove it or get help. If you try to run a legitimate anti-malware app, the rogue will block its startup and display a fake "infected file" alert. Try browsing to a popular anti-malware site and the rogue will block the URL, telling you (falsely) that the page you are trying to visit is dangerous and blocked "for your protection."
The Cure For XP Total Security
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is one legitimate cure for the XP Total Security rogue and its aliases. Try downloading MBAM to your computer. If the rogue blocks the download, you will have to use an uninfected machine to download MBAM to a CD or USB flash drive that you can use on your infected computer.
After downloading the mbam-setup.exe file, you will have to rename its extension from .exe to .com. That's because the rogue launches itself in place of all .exe files. Then launch mbam-setup.com to install MBAM. You're not done renaming just yet.
- Navigate to your Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware folder and locate the file mbam.exe. Rename that file to mbam.com and run it to launch MBAM.
- Click the Update tab to download any updates to MBAM. Then run a "Quick Scan," which may take a while.
- When the scan is complete click Show Results. Make sure that every item in the Results list is checked, then click Remove Selected.
- When the disinfection is complete, you may be prompted to restart MBAM. Notepad will open to display a log file, which you may save for future reference.
- Reboot your computer. Rename mbam.com back to mbam.exe.
The fake Total Security rogue is now removed. Malwarebytes notes that the paid version of MBAM can detect and block the installation of this rogue anti-malware. If your current security software didn't, you may want to invest in MBAM as an extra layer of security.
Have YOU had experience with XP Total Security 2011, or one of its evil cousins? Post a comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 1 Jun 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Virus Alert - XP Total Security 2011 (Posted: 1 Jun 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved