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Removal instructions for Product Key

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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is Product Key?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that Product Key is a Tech Support Scam. These so-called "Tech Support Scammers" try to trick you into calling their phone number for various reasons, all of which turn out to be fraudulent in the end.
This particular one uses the Winlogon-Shell registry value to lock up the victim's system.

How do I know if my computer is affected by Product Key?

These are the warnings displayed during install:



You may see this warning that covers your whole screen after logging on:


and if you click on the 5th line on that screen (starting with "PRODUCT KEY"):


How did Product Key get on my computer?

Tech Support Scammers use different methods for distributing themselves. This particular one was installed by another Tech Support Scam.

How do I remove Product Key?

Our program Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can detect and remove this potentially unwanted application.
But due to the way this TechSupportScam installs itself we will need a way to bypass it.
If you already have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed, you can use Chameleon to get rid of this infection.
  • In the TechSupportScam screen use the keycombination Ctrl-Alt-Del.
  • From the resulting list of options choose "Start Task Manager".
  • In the list of processes find every process called "fatalerror(.exe)", select them one by one and click on the "End Process" button. Confirm that you want to end the process.
  • Then in the Taskmanager menu click "File" > "New Task (Run...)" > "Browse..."
  • In the resulting explorer window navigate to the Chameleon folder, usually "C:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes Anti-Malware\Chameleon\Windows" and doubleclick on "iexplore(.exe)".
  • and follow the instructions ("Press any key to continue"). Chameleon will kill the process and start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to finish it up.
  • Reboot when prompted to do so and everything should be fine.
If you do not have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed, please proceed as follows.
  • In the TechSupportScam screen use the keycombination Ctrl-Alt-Del.
  • From the resulting list of options choose "Start Task Manager".
  • In the list of processes find every process called "fatalerror(.exe)", select them one by one and click on the "End Process" button. Confirm that you want to end the process.
  • Then in the Taskmanager menu click "File" > "New Task (Run...)" and type "explorer" and then press "Enter".
  • You should see your Desktop again. If not, navigate to "C:\Program Files (x86)" and find a folder called "VMC Media Player". In that folder find the file "fatalerror(.exe)" and delete the file. Reboot when it is gone and your system should boot normal again.
  • Then please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  • Double-click mbam-setup-{version}.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to:
    Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Scan Now. Or select the Threat Scan from the Scan menu.
  • If an update is available, it will be implemented before the rest of the scanning procedure.
  • When the scan is complete, make sure that all Threats are selected, and click Remove Selected.
  • Restart your computer when prompted to do so.
Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of Product Key?
  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes Product Key completely.
How would the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware help protect me?

We hope our application and this guide have helped you eradicate this hijacker.

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware would have protected you against the Tech Supprt Scam.


Technical details for experts

You may see these entries in FRST logs:

 HKLM-x32\...\Run: [L] => C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe [139264 2016-07-14] ()
 HKLM-x32\...\Winlogon: [Shell] C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe [139264 ] () <=== ATTENTION
 HKCU\...\Run: [L] => C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe [139264 2016-07-14] ()
 HKCU\...\Winlogon: [Shell] C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe [139264 2016-07-14] () <==== ATTENTION
 C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key
Alterations made by the installer:

File system details [View: All details] (Selection)
    Adds the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key
       Adds the file fatalerror.exe"="7/14/2016 11:31 PM, 139264 bytes, A
       Adds the file sr60.bat"="7/16/2016 2:23 AM, 186 bytes, A

Registry details [View: All details] (Selection)
       "L"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe"
       "L"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe"
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]
       "Shell"="REG_SZ", "C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe"
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware log:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Scan Date: 7/28/2016
Scan Time: 9:07 AM
Logfile: mbamProductKeyTSS.txt
Administrator: Yes

Malware Database: v2016.07.28.01
Rootkit Database: v2016.05.27.01
License: Premium
Malware Protection: Enabled
Malicious Website Protection: Enabled
Self-protection: Enabled

OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: {username}

Scan Type: Threat Scan
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 315933
Time Elapsed: 8 min, 56 sec

Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Enabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Enabled
PUM: Enabled

Processes: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Modules: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values: 3
Rogue.TechSupportScam, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN|L, C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe, Quarantined, [ce9319104e4c05314219cbf0b84c7d83]
Rogue.TechSupportScam, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN|L, C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe, Quarantined, [ce9319104e4c05314219cbf0b84c7d83]
Rogue.TechSupportScam, HKCU\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\WINLOGON|Shell, C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe, Quarantined, [253cd059f7a323133e9cdbd914f060a0]

Registry Data: 1
Hijack.Shell, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\WINLOGON|Shell, C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe, Good: (explorer.exe), Bad: (C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe),Replaced,[30311b0e7e1cb48218a1ded608fcb24e]

Folders: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Files: 2
Rogue.TechSupportScam, C:\Program Files (x86)\Product Key\fatalerror.exe, Quarantined, [ce9319104e4c05314219cbf0b84c7d83], 
Ransom.LockScreen, C:\Users\{username}\Desktop\license_key.exe, Quarantined, [1d44a18871293bfb00597a417292f907], 

Physical Sectors: 0
(No malicious items detected)

As mentioned before the full version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware could have protected your computer against this threat.
We use different ways of protecting your computer(s):
  • Dynamically Blocks Malware Sites & Servers
  • Malware Execution Prevention
Save yourself the hassle and get protected.
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thank you for this information

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