Antispyware Master

Antispyware Master Fake Alert
Antispyware Master Fake Alert

Antispyware Master: Ultimate Identity Theft

A short research I've conducted shows that Antispyware Master is a rogue security software that holds the second place by the number of web surfers desperately searching effective cure for it. You wonder who's the first place holder? I guess you'd never want XP Antivirus 2008 to demonstrate on your PC why it's the winner.

However, Antispyware Master by no means is an outsider. Its victims are ripped off by $115 - and that's before they learn that their credit card number was released to all those who can take a good advantage of it.

Scary? Add the highly sophisticated resilient mechanism making this malware prone to removal attempts. Consider the very few programs capable of detecting and deleting this scam. Finally, do you remember when you re-formatted your computer last time? Anti spyware master can easily make you spend a day reinstalling Windows and configuring hardware devices.

Anti spyware master: ways of infection

These days a computer with no real-time security monitoring stays safe for less than a minute when connected to the Internet. However, lots of security programs watching web traffic and hard disk activities don't provide 100% protection - and that's the only reason scams like anti spyware master find their way to sneak into PC's.

Surfing habits are primary reason why personal computers get infected with this dangerous malware. If you never visit websites outside .gov and .edu domains, you're unlikely to ever come across the webpage pictured below:

Antispyware master webpage

Antispyware master - rogue security software
Antispyware master - rogue security software

Antispyware master: ways of infection (continued)

Evidently most of us visit lots of websites - blogs, social bookmarking, gaming, and other web activities. This is the field where antispyware master promotes itself - well, not exactly itself, but by the hands of those interested in its distribution.

Luis Corrons, technical director of Panda Security’s technical support services, in describing AntiSpyware Master states, “When we analyzed this malicious code we found a file containing information about the infections to display. So, seemingly, this anti-spyware already knows the malicious code it will detect, before it has even begun to scan the computer! Evidently, this is a malicious program”.

So, here are several ways how your PC can become a victim of antispyware master:

  • Social networks (web 2.0): accounts are created with the sole purpose to send out contagious links;
  • torrent sites, warez sites, adult sites, pages listing pirated serial keys, etc. Lots of them embed the code to display a fake warning by antispyware master;
  • a trojan;
  • fake video codecs.

The danger of antispyware master lies in its look and design. Few people would really suspect identity theft to be committed by a decently looking banner or 3D box. The features look good, too, to many surfers. Free scan ads is a widely used technique to entice the user into downloading and installing the software. Who knows that once the download begins, antispyware master will never let the process be cancelled half-way? It smells the victim miles away, and once "OK" buttion is clicked, the malware WILL get installed (unless you throw the PC out of the window).

When installed, anti spyware master always reports infections it has found (it doesn't matter if your PC was as clean as a whistle a minute before the installation of the malware). The purpose of displaying fake spyware and worms is clear: to scare the user into paying for the full-featured version of the software with removal option enabled. Heck, wouldn't you want delete those entries immediately?

Antispyware master scan results
Antispyware master scan results

What You Get When Buying Antispyware Master

I plead you to never fall for this scam. Since you came here, I humbly hope to leave the creators of antispyware master without a lunch today.

The final price of antispyware master is shocking: $115. Taking into consideration very good security products available for under $30, this price seems to unreasonably high. Well, and did I say about recurring payments for antispyware master?..

I fell victim when “your files are being copied” kept popping up. Then came a popup with MSN at the top offering remedy. I clicked on it and got a free scan showing 13 virus. I clicked on and purchased AntiSpywareMaster for $49.99. I couldn’t get it to download. The next day I found that my credit card was billed $115 plus $3.44 for a foreign transaction.

Regretfully, you can find similar stories all over the web.

AntiSpywareMaster Removal: Manual

Antispyware master virus isn't easy to remove. It takes time to locate malicious files, registry entries, and delete stubborn files.

So, here's a set of steps you need to follow in order to successfully complete the antispyware master removal process:

  1. Go to Start-->Settings--Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Locate the Antispyware Master entry and remove it as you'd do for any program you want to un-install. There's no guarantee you'll find this entry - but if it is there, you should delete it this way (it doesn't remove the malware, unfortunately, but for the sake of Windows this step is recommended).

  2. Restart Windows and log in using Safe Mode option. To get there, hit F8 key continuously when the BIOS POST shows.
  3. Open Task Manager (prior to opening anything else) and look for the following processes: asm.exe, AntiSpywareMaster.exe, AntiSpywareMaster 7.3.exe. End each process you find.
  4. Locate the DLL-files belonging to antispyware master. Use the Search window and type in the following query: *spywaremaster*.dll (Note the asterixes - these symbols should be entered, too). Perform the search over all hard drives present in your system.
  5. If any DLL-files are found, look for their pathnames. You need to find out which directory hides those files.
  6. Go to Start-->Run, type in cmd and hit enter. A black DOS-like window will open. Here you need to unregister each of the found DLL's. To do that, set the current ditectory of the DOS window to that where the target DLL file is isntalled. You can do it by typing a cd command followed by Enter. When switched to the right directory, type in the following command: regsvr /u antispywaremaster.dll (note: the name of the DLL may be different). Below you'll find a screenshot to help you with this step.

Unregister Antispyware Master DLL's
Unregister Antispyware Master DLL's

AntiSpywareMaster Removal: Manual (continued)

Step 7: Now it's time to delete the malicious entries in the Registry pointing to Antispyware master's files. Go to Start-->Run, type in regedit, click OK, and after the Windows Registry Editor opens, look for the following keys:







Some of the keys may not be present on your system even if it's infected. In this case, delete those you find.

Step 8: Go to Program Files directory, and remove the folder named AntiSpywareMaster, with all its subdirectories and files. If Windows warns you about programs that may not work after removal, click "OK" and continue to delete the malware's nest.

Step 9: Restart Windows and log on normally.

Antispyware Master Removal: Automatic

Most of us would agree that removing such serious threats with the help of security software is certainly preferred. However, not all antivirus and antispyware programs are able to detect antispyware master virus. Therefore I'll list several programs (some of them allow the removal of infections even in free editions).

It is reported that the following PC security software products tackle the Antispyware Master infection.

EMSISOFT Anti-Malware
EMSISOFT Anti-Malware
Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware for Windows 2000 / XP / Vista
Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware for Windows 2000 / XP / Vista

Do not use SpyHunter to Remove Antispyware Master

As you might have noticed, a number of websites recommend using SpyHunter's antispyware master scanner to remove the malware. I've googled a bit to find at least some reviews of SpyHunter to see what it is. Finally, I downloaded it.

My conclusion is that too many people report all kinds of troubles with Spy Hunter. Some suspect it to contain spyware, others insist it is a part of advertising scheme, while the antispyware performance (detection and removal) is mediocre, to say the least.

In fact, that's a problem of today: the number of antispyware programs on the market is outrageous. There's no surprise that people get lost. That's why I always advise to consult real-life experts or advanced PC users before buying this or that security program. Any unknown name should always alert you!

In my experience, new antispyware products with good scanning engines and effective algorithms quickly become popular and get decent web exposure.

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Comments 20 comments

oberbreckling 8 years ago

Hi charlemont,My wife hit the download button on the antivirus-2008 not to long ago, and your right once the download starts theres no stopping it, she yelled hurry up and come in here" HELP " I ran in there and there it was downloading. I have windows vista I hit the power and everythying shut off even though tis is not good neither it would have been the only way too stop the download,then I rebooted and I was infected.Now heres the part I would disagree with you on. I have spyhunter 3 and have been using it for a while and never had a problem, but in the past I knew that I have only used it to remove minor hack like and others like that this time I knew that I would be putting it to the test it was hard to get it to start because of the terrible Lag going on, but I started it it located it, you name it ,it was there trojans things I hav'nt even seen before.I keyed onto the removal key and 5 seconds later it was removed and clean again. I love that! I had a Laptop years ago and the same thing happened this time I took it in and they had defrage it when I got it back it was like there was bits and pieces all over in the programing

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

Hi oberbreckling,

I'm glad your experience with SpyHunter is posititive, though another test with a different scanner may be needed to make sure your PC is as clean as it looks.

Thanks for commenting!

oberbreckling 8 years ago

Hi, me again I also have Kapersky and it has it's own firewall and moniter I hardly ever use the scan feture on it, and I like you said did a scan this morning it takes so long,"the Kapersky scan" and sure enough there it was antivirus 2008 so Im glad I checked again like you said. from now on I will make sure I do more than one scan but have you heard of kapersky and if you have do you think Im got the proper protection with the two.The worst site that we go to I would say is my wife burns CD's from the site wazup but just the normal surf on the web?

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

Kaspersky is arguably in top 3 of best antivirus programs ever released for wide market. Its detection rates are highest in the industry (circa 99,99% depending on testing conditions). What do you have installed - Kaspersky antivirus or Kaspersky Internet Security?

You can configure Kaspersky to update automatically and schedule a weekly scan.

However, for BEST PC security I'd recommend you to install an on-demand antispyware scanner, like a-squared anti-malware, malwarebyte's or superantispyware. They're free. On-demand scanners do not load up with Windows, so you launch them manually when needed (say, update definitions and run a system scan once a week).

There's always a chance that malware sneaks into the system bypassing single security program, but when there's an additional layer of protection, things get much harder for scams.

How rogue software like Antivirus 2008 penetrates into the system is a debatable question. Sometimes firewall-protected computers with active AV software and safe surfing get infected - I'm not inclined to believe into supernatural traits of the scams, but seems like a kind of "outside injection" is performed onto computers.

Do not be surprised that sometimes antivirus software doesn't detect rogue programs. It's because the latter aren't virii by nature - many people blame their antiviruses, though they shouldn't. There should be a separate protection against virus infections, and one more security layer to prevent spyware attacks. That's why antispyware shield is always recommended in addition to common AV.

oberbreckling 8 years ago

I have kapersky internet security, but your saying that the spy hunter that I bought was knida waste of time. Now your probaly wondering why I'm taking such a interest in this, it's because my kapersky key is running out, and it's time to renew it. but i've been thinking of reconsidering it or not, but if I did your saying I should have another layer for spyware attacks. Because spy hunter is just a scan and removal it works well, but thats all it does

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

If you're thinking about replacing Kaspersky with something free, it's doable, but I doubt the free software works better than Kaspersky. I mean, there are several top-notch programs out there that reached the status simply because of their power (Kaspersky, ESET, BitDefender...) Had you installed Norton, then I'd definitely recommend removing it and going for free alternatives.

If you think SpyHunter IS doing its job right, and doesn't need renewals, then why not keep it?

BTW, which version of Kaspersky are you running? v6? v7? v8?

Just a bit of tweaking like using McAfee's site advisor and Threatfire ( would make a nice addition to your current PC security.

oberbreckling 8 years ago

Im using the 7.0 tell me more about McAfee"s site advisor, does it provide constant updates?

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

McAfee Site Advisor is not an application - it's rather a browser plugin (works with Interner Explorere and FireFox) which warns about potentially dangerous websites. Nowadays when Google displays in search results all kinds of crappy sites, it's a useful feature.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Charlemont great hub.

I had some problems recently with a registry cleanup offer. it hogged my machine, told me I had 132 registry problems. It autoloaded with windows and brought up warning windows all the time. It took over my screensaver too. Offers to complete the download at a fee kept hammering at me in explorer. I had a devilish job getting rid of it, going much the same route as you described above. I am interested in knowing why you dont rate Nortons. I have used it for two years now and it seems to do a pretty good job. But I also keep my windows XP up to date. Vista no! (see my blog IBM '80 vs Microsoft '08).

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

Thanks for stopping by, sixtyorso!

I tend to be as unbiased as possible. If you look at AV Comparatives test results, you'll norice that Norton is never on top of best performing antivirus software. With scams like Antispyware master it is helpless (though, it's quite typical of other AV's, too). For a PC's with average hardware configuration, Norton can become a resource hog - and that's what I hear people complaing about. I do not say that Norton is bad, but there are better solutions peforming not worse.

A lot depends on browsing behavior. If you're knowledgeable and responsible surfer, Norton can easily ensure a 100% protection.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

I certainly try to be but one can never be too cautious and yes Nortons does hog a bit of resource and when fully featured both the web and mails do slow down with that pesky little envelope coming up and staying far too long!

Thanks for the hub and your response.

BeatsMe profile image

BeatsMe 8 years ago

Hi Charlemont, how do you know all these scams? Are you on a constant lookout for malware and viruses? Or you know people who had been victims of these scams? I'm just curious. By the way, good info. Thanks for the warning.

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

Yes, I keep an eye on what's going in the IT security. Though my interest is limited to most widespread threats only, it allows me to 'feel the pulse' of the current situation and malware breakouts.

Momo 8 years ago

Ehmm.. this thing has disabled my task manager and the computer freezes when I try to use the search function.. It has evovled or something?

organized living profile image

organized living 8 years ago from Magnolia, AR

Very useful hub We've all been through this or something lke it. Nice to know there is a cure.

shayne39 8 years ago

Thamk you so much!

My mom was really close to purchasing it because it would be "easier" to get it online instead of Circuit City or Best Buy. It looked very convincing with its logos and such. I thought that it was an official windows program.

Thanks again

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

Hi shayne39,

glad your mother saved some $$$.

Ceradyna 8 years ago

Hello Charlemont;

I'm one of the victims of this Antispyware Master just last week & I already try so many solution to get rid of this spyware out of my PC but all fails. Just yesterday I try install SuperAntiSpyware v.4.15.1000(freeware version) & it catch up 10 registry problem & 2 file virus name. I already made a removal action & quarantine using this superantispyware & reboot my PC. But I notice the devil still hammering me even I already remove them & the worst things is when I close the internet the devil still popping up on me. What would I do next, do I need to replace the superantispyware with other name you recommend? Before I use threatfire & I never got this antispyware problem. I should go back with threatfire when I mange to solve this problem. Can you help me, I'm really worried on it.

Thank you for your support & god bless,

Mr Sunil Patil 8 years ago

I have already customer to this time i want a reinstallation again this antispyware master.Pl Help me urgently

Thanks You

charlemont profile image

charlemont 8 years ago from Lithuania Author

Mr Sunil Patil,

what kind of help do you need? Reinstallation means you want to install the AntispywareMaster anew, which is strange because AM is wacky spyware.

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