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The FakeSecScan virus. You may know it as another name, such as Windows Antivirus 2010 or some other generic-but-legitimate sounding name. It pretends to be an anti-virus application that scans and finds viruses on your computer. The problem is, the program itself is the virus and it is lying about the other infections that is has “found.”

I’ve blogged about this all the way back in 2008 but since FakeSecScan continues to be one of the most prevalent virus infections out in the wild (and thus a big source of income for tech support professionals like me) I decided to revisit it.

How do you get rid of FakeSecScan? Let me save you some time and money. Download the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Boot into safe-mode, install and run it.

Detailed Instructions on Removing Fake Antivirus Malware

  1. First you’ll need to download MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. If the malware is blocking you from downloading it, you’ll need to use another computer to download it. While your at it, download the latest updates for Malwarebytes as well.
  2. Boot into safe mode (press F8 when your computer boots).
  3. Install MalwareBytes and the updates you downloaded in step 1.
  4. Run a Full Scan with MalwareBytes and remove anything it finds.
  5. Reboot.

Your system should be clean now. Here’s how to keep it that way!

Preventing Fake Antivirus Malware

  1. Install a quality Antivirus package. Prefer MalwareBytes Anti-Malware and Microsoft Security Essentials.
  2. Regardless of what Antivirus package you choose, don’t just install it with it’s default settings and ignore it. Explore it. Tweak the settings so that it is performing daily updates (so it can recognize new viruses) and full scans (so it is actively searching for them). Also I recommend having it automatically clean, quarantine, or delete all but the lowest level threats.
  3. Get to know what your antivirus software looks like, and never again click “Save,” “Run,” or “Open” to an antivirus program that isn’t the one that you installed yourself. In fact never click “Save,” “Run,” or “Open” to anything that you don’t recognize.
  4. You see this video? Learn to recognize what fake antivirus malware looks like and how it behaves, then avoid it!
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