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Win 7 Home Security 2012 Hijacked My PC Until I Removed It

Win 7 Home Security 2012 Hijacked My PC Until I Removed It
Win 7 Home Security 2012 Hijacked My PC Until I Removed It
Report #: 219 - 1 Comment
Date Reported: Monday, August 8, 2011
Status: Past Incident
Severity: Severe - Cyberterrorism
Primary Weapon: Hacking
Specific Location: My Computer
City/Local Area: Portland
State/Territory: Oregon
Region: United States

Someone recently used a rogue security software program called Win 7 Home Security 2012 to hijack my computer until I removed it. Win 7 takes over computers and tries to trick victims into purchasing a full version of their software by using fake anti-virus scans designed to look like legitimate Windows 7 security warning from Microsoft. I had been hit a couple years ago by a Windows XP equivalent called Home Security 2010, so I recognized that I had been infected right away and removed it.

How I Got Infected

After installing itself Win 7 took over all my web browsers and gave me fake malware warnings whenever I tried to view web pages no matter what site I visited. As a result attempts to visit places like,, and all resulted in notices that those sites were trying to download malicious software to my computer. Then I got hit by my first fake antivirus scan that would pop up every few minutes, a new icon appeared on my taskbar that couldn't be closed, and I discovered that it had taken over the Action Center in the System and Security section of my Control Panel.

How I Removed It

I hadn't been infected by something that malicious for a long time and I had to try several things before I got it removed. Here is a step by step account of what I did so that you can learn from me and apply my methods if you get infected.

1. I unplugged my network cable that connected my computer to my modem. I did this to prevent Win 7 from accessing the internet so that it couldn't download anything else to my computer or upload any of my information to whoever invented it.

2. I asked a nice neighbor if I could use their computer to download and burn software to a disk. After getting permission I downloaded free trials of Norton AntiVirus 2011, Spyware Doctor, StopZilla, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. None of those files contained any actually install files for the programs and required internet access to download them, but fortunately I was able to use the Norton AntiVirus file to download all necessary install files without actually installing Norton on my neighbor's computer.

3. I went home and used the Norton AntiVirus installation files to install Norton on my computer without an internet connection. I then ran a full scan that found several viruses, but FAILED to remove Win 7 from my computer.

4. I made sure all Norton features including its firewall were turned on and I reconnected my computer to the internet. At this point I was able to access web pages and install the other anti-malware programs while periodically getting notices from Norton that it had blocked attempts by a malicious program trying to connect to the internet.

5. I installed all 3 anti-spyware programs and ran full system scans using each one. Unfortunately both StopZilla and Spyware Doctor required me to purchase their full versions to remove the malicious software their scans turned up, so naturally given the failure of Norton to remove Win 7 I didn't want to buy software I had never used to do a job I wasn't sure it could do. Fortunately Malwarebytes Anti-Malware let me remove what it found for free and that took care of Win 7.


If you get hacked by Win 7 Home Security 2012 do three things. Disconnect your computer from the internet, install Norton AntiVirus, reconnect your computer to the internet, install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and run a scan to remove the program.

8/8/2011 -

For the record that is an affiliate link that to Malwarebytes that I included with this report. I applied for their affiliate program after using a free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to remove Win 7 Home Security 2012 from my computer. I was going to post a link recommending them anyway, but when I noticed that they had an affiliate program I figured I might as well try to give the link some profit potential by signing up and getting an affiliate ID to tack onto the URL.

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