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Malware Defense History

by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov.

Copyright: Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov 1994-2013. Unpublished notes. Version 0.80.October, 2013

Contents : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03  : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : Ch08 : Ch09 : Ch10 : Ch11 : Ch12 : Ch13

Chapter 9: Scareware -- fake antivirus programs, data recovery utilities and like

Antivirus System Pro


Strategies of Defending Windows against Malware Recommended Links Scareware -- fake antivirus programs, data recovery utilities and like Introduction to Scareware Zoo
XP Antivirus 2012 Dr Guard Spyware Spyware fighting strategy Humor Etc

Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro is rogue security software that displays deceptive information about the infected system.  Similar Trojans include XP Antivirus 2012 and Dr Guard.

An interesting part of the problem with this malware is that it blocks execution of many programs including programs you try to launch from CD/DVD in a perfect "reverse antivirus" fashion :-). It also uses fake setting in IE proxy configuration, setting proxy to localhost (that means that this malware runs proxy on the computer). In my case the port was 5555. Using this port you actually can detect which program is used as a proxy via netstat.

When the windows screen first appears, hit ctrl-alt-del. This gives you the task manager. Then search for the program with name ending with "guard", for example xylbsguard.exe and kill it.

When you stop this program you combine use of Microsoft Security Essentials tool (free Av tool from Microsoft) with some more specific tool. For example instructions on how remove it Remove Antivirus System Pro (Uninstall Guide), recommend program Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. It works OK but like virus is difficult to remove ;-)

The key here to understand that you are probably dealing with combination of infections of which Antivirus Pro is just one component which were injected when you his some rogue Web site (often of Eastern European origin). Additional components might include Alureon.F, Hotbar, Renos.KS, Renos.JW, Bravine.A, etc. Of them Alureon looks pretty disturbing:

Win32/Alureon is a family of data-stealing Trojans. These Trojans allow an attacker to intercept incoming and outgoing Internet traffic in order to gather confidential information such as user names, passwords, and credit card data. The Win32/Alureon Trojan may also allow an attacker to transmit malicious data to the infected computer. The Trojan may modify DNS settings on the host computer to enable the attacker to perform these tasks. Therefore it may be necessary to reconfigure DNS settings after the Trojan is removed from the computer.

As Antivirus Pro installs a proxy on the computer after killing *guard.exe process in memory you can run AV programs from a CD.

Of course restoring from a clean Ghost or Maxblast/Acronis True Image  image, is a better way to spend your time then playing Sherlock Holmes with some unknown, probably Eastern European jerks.

Good analysis can be found at:

  1. Encyclopedia entry TrojanWin32-FakeScanti - Learn more about malware - Microsoft Malware Protection Center
  2. Win32-WindowsAntivirusPro Family - CA

Looks like the with signature files dated after February 2012 Microsoft Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials are effective again this malware too.

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[Jan 15, 2010] Useful materials

Win32-WindowsAntivirusPro Family - CA

Date Published:
21 Aug 2009

Last Updated:
23 Aug 2009



Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro is rogue security software that displays deceptive information about the infected system. It also blocks access to the infected system by terminating processes not included in its predefined list. This trojan is commonly known as "Windows Antivirus Pro".

Method of Infection

To the unsuspecting user, Windows Antivirus Pro appears to be a legitimate program. The image below shows its Graphical User Interface.

Upon execution, Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro drops the following component files:

<Path trojan is executed from>\tmp\dbsinit.exe
<Path trojan is executed from>\tmp\images

It also registers its component file SVCHAST.EXE as a service named "AntipPro2009_12"

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AntipPro2009_12\Type = dword:00000010
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AntipPro2009_12\Start = dword:00000002
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AntipPro2009_12\ErrorControl = dword:00000001
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AntipPro2009_12\ImagePath = %Windows%\svchast.exe
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AntipPro2009_12\DisplayName ="AntipyPro_12"
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\AntipPro2009_12\ObjectName = "LocalSystem"

Notes: '%Windows%' and %System% are variable locations.

The malware determines the location of the current Windows folder by querying the operating system. The default installation location for the Windows directory for Windows 2000 and NT is C:\Winnt; for 95,98 and ME is C:\Windows; and for XP is C:\Windows. The malware determines the location of the current System folder by querying the operating system. The default installation location for the System directory for Windows 2000 and NT is C:\Winnt\System32; for 95, 98 and ME is C:\Windows\System; and for XP and Vista is C:\Windows\System32.

The component file DESOT.EXE is used to intercept executable files run on the system. Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro adds the registry keys below to monitor these files:

HKCR\exefile\shell\open\command\@=%system%\desot.exe "%1" %*"
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\exefile\shell\open\command\@=%system%\desot.exe "%1" %*"

It also creates the following registry key as part of its installation:

HKCU\Software\Windows Antivirus Pro


Blocks Execution of Programs
The component file DESOT.EXE only allows the following files to be executed:
Adds Browser Helper Object
In order to monitor internet browsing activity of the user, Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro registers a component file as a Browser Helper Object (BHO). It adds the following registry keys and names the malicious component "ICQSys (IE PlugIn)":

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects\{F54AF7DE-6038-4026-8433-CC30E3F17212}
HKCR\CLSID\{F54AF7DE-6038-4026-8433-CC30E3F17212}\@="ICQSys (IE PlugIn)"
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{F54AF7DE-6038-4026-8433-CC30E3F17212}\@="ICQSys (IE PlugIn)"

Displays Fake Warnings

Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro displays the following fake warnings on the infected system.

For additional information:
Creates Mutex

Win32/WindowsAntivirusPro creates the mutex "234sdfsfsdf___sys23".

Connects to Domains

It connects to any of the following domains:


Analysis by Zarestel Ferrer

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