Chris Elleman Technical Stuff

19 Oct/10 Off

Removing Security Tool from Windows 7 Netbook

SecurityTool

My uncle rings me out of the blue and says that my much younger teenage cousins Netbook has a virus and he thinks it "just needs AVG installing on it"...well, it has a virus alright, SecurityTool or Security Tool depending on how you write it; a fake piece of virus/spyware removal software - removing it is a journey in itself...

So, for starters the machine is a Dell Inspiron mini with Windows 7 Starter Edition; of course it has the obligatory array of social networking software installed on it set to start when windows does i.e Skype and Windows Messenger, for those digital natives we hear so much about.

  1. First things first, just try downloading AVG free the website, of course, Security Tool doesn't let me, as well as creating pop-ups at least every minute saying that files are infected, this gets annoying very quickly.
  2. I reboot into Safe Mode (pressing the F8 key whilst windows is starting, prompts you which Safe Mode you like, I go for the standard Safe Mode).
  3. Tried the usual running regedit, find SecurityTool.exe - didn't find anything
  4. Download AVG free from Grisoft's website and copied over using a USB drive, didn't seem to work, so used this Yahoo Answers article: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090813182356AAQ56uN, this pointed to this AVG URL, downloaded the 32bit version: http://free.avg.com/download?prd=afe#tba2 copied over using USB drive.
  5. Tried to install AVG Free, got an error saying that because McAfee Security Center was installed, it wouldn't run. Uninstalled McAfee Security Center from Programs and Features, then had to restart, went back into Safe Mode.
  6. Ran AVG Install as Administrator (right click on file "Run as Administrator")Choose "Quick Install", didn't install the AVG Security Toolbar, space within IE is limited enough
  7. Got Error 1935 something about an assembly not being valid, the installer than quitThis article didn't really help and seemed to point to a windows problem: http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-support/4936-program-install-failure-assembly-install-error-1935-a.html
  8. Removed the SecurityTool exe referenced from the start menu shortcut %APPDATA%\Local\9875893.exe
  9. Rebooted into normal mode, hey presto - no SecurityTool
  10. Installed AVG using all defaults, except for the IE ToolBar
  11. Did a full AVG scan - chose Whole computer scan, all Clean
  12. Also installed Ad-Aware Free - copied over from USB Key as performance of the SSD didn't seem that good

I also removed a couple more programs which were present, namely "PC Optimizer Pro" and "Registry Helper", both completely useless in my opinion. So there you go, the system now appears nice and stable and Virus/Adware free, although I'm sure it won't be that way for long.