The KMSPico Malware is a hacking tool which is advertised as an activator for Microsoft Windows and Office. It is widely distributed over fake download sites and file-sharing networks like BitTorrent under many names and versions. As soon as it is installed it can lead to many malicious actions including data theft, Trojan operations and more.
|Type||Malware, Scam Hacking Program|
|Short Description||Poses as a tool that will activate Microsoft and Windows products.|
|Symptoms||The victims may notice performance issues and can get infected with other malware.|
|Distribution Method||Mainly via download sites and file sharing networks.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss KMSPico Malware.|
KMSPico — June 2019 Update
A recent security report indicates that KMSPico malware can also be spread via popular ransomware releases. Some of the newest versions of this threat have been found to be found within new application installers which are uploaded to hacker-controlled sites and portals. The campaigns can even present the virus in ad campaigns, banners and on social networks using fake or hacked profiles. This is done in order to maximize the reach to the intended victims.
The recent campaigns involve the inclusion of the virus code of both the ransomware and the KMSPico malware in application installers. What’s more dangerous is that the popular STOP Ransomware samples have been found to spread it.
These STOP ransomware especially in their later iterations can also be accompanied by other “lucrative” data such as the following:
- Iliegal Applications and Games Cracks
- Game Mods and Add-Ons
KMSPico – How Did I Get It
The KMSPico malware can be spread using a variety of different tactics. There are many variants of it which are spread using various collectives. Our security research shows that there are many versions using the KMSPico name and alternatives as well. This allows the criminal collectives to launch a multitude of attacks bearing different versions of the malware.
One of the main techniques is the coordination of phishing email messages which coerce the victims to interact with the included content. They are designed to appear as legitimate notifications sent from well-known services and companies. The KMSPico malware files can be either attached or inserted as text links.
Hacker-made sites that pose as legitimate download portals, search engines and software product pages will scam the users into downloading and running the application. They are generally hosted on domains that sound similar to popular sources and may include self-signed security certificates.
To increase the number of infected victims the criminals can also place the KMSPico malware in payload carriers such as macro-infected documents and malware application bundles. They are widely downloaded from the Internet by end users and may be found on file-sharing sites as well like BitTorrent.
Such infections can also be spread via browser hijackers which are dangerous web browser extensions that are usually uploaded to the repositories of the most popular browsers.
KMSPico – What Does It Do
The KMSPico malware is advertised as a hacking tool which will is used to activate unlicensed versionf of the Microsoft Windows operating system and Office software. It is widely available under several names — both using various “editions” and version numbers.
Such malware can execute many different tactics depending on the exact attack campaign. Most of them are used in order to serve as payload carriers for other threats. Popular options are the following:
- Trojan Clients — The made infections will create a persistent and secure connection to a hacker-controlled server which allows the hackers to take over control of the infected machines, steal their files and deploy other malware.
- Data Theft — The KMSPico malware may include an information harvesting ability which is capable of acquiring data that ca directly expose the identity of the victim users.
- Machine Identification — Many similar threats are programmed to extract the list of installed hardware components ,specific operating system environment values and user settngs which are then processed by a special algorithm that will ouput an unique infection ID that is to be assigned to each different computer.
- Windows Registry Changes — The KMSPico malware can create entries for itself in the Windows Registry which can make its removal more difficult. If it edits existing values then serious performance issues can arise. Data loss and errors are a common side effect of this operation.
- Boot Menu Options Modification — Some KMSPico malware versions can modify the boot options in order to automatically start themselves when the computer is powered on. By disabling access to these options manual user removal guides can become worthless.
- Data Removal — The engine can be configured to locate and delete files such as system backups, restore files and shadow volume copies. This makes recovery much more difficult and in this case the use of a data recovery solution needs to be used.
Any future KMSPico variants can include other malicious actions as per the hacker’s instructions.
How to Remove KMSPico
In order to fully remove KMSPico from your computer system, we recommend that you follow the removal instructions underneath this article. If the first two manual removal steps do not seem to work and you still see KMSPico or programs, related to it, we suggest what most security experts advise – to download and run a scan of your comptuer with a reputable anti-malware program. Downloading this software will not only save you some time, but will remove all of KMSPico files and programs related to it and will protect your computer against such intrusive apps and malware in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove KMSPico Malware from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of KMSPico Malware on Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove KMSPico Malware in Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase KMSPico Malware from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall KMSPico Malware from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove KMSPico Malware from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate KMSPico Malware from Internet Explorer.
- Guide 8: Disable KMSPico Malware Push Notifications in Your Browsers.
How to Remove KMSPico Malware from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove KMSPico Malware
Step 2: Uninstall KMSPico Malware and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by KMSPico Malware on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by KMSPico Malware there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of KMSPico Malware from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall KMSPico Malware and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove KMSPico Malware via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove KMSPico Malware files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as KMSPico Malware, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove KMSPico Malware from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase KMSPico Malware from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall KMSPico Malware from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove KMSPico Malware from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the KMSPico Malware will be removed.
Eliminate KMSPico Malware from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.
Remove Push Notifications caused by KMSPico Malware from Your Browsers.
Turn Off Push Notifications from Google Chrome
To disable any Push Notices from Google Chrome browser, please follow the steps below:
Step 1: Go to Settings in Chrome.
Step 2: In Settings, select “Advanced Settings”:
Step 3: Click “Content Settings”:
Step 4: Open “Notifications”:
Step 5: Click the three dots and choose Block, Edit or Remove options:
Remove Push Notifications on Firefox
Step 1: Go to Firefox Options.
Step 2: Go to “Settings”, type “notifications” in the search bar and click "Settings":
Step 3: Click “Remove” on any site you wish notifications gone and click “Save Changes”
Stop Push Notifications on Opera
Step 1: In Opera, press ALT+P to go to Settings
Step 2: In Setting search, type “Content” to go to Content Settings.
Step 3: Open Notifications:
Step 4: Do the same as you did with Google Chrome (explained below):
Eliminate Push Notifications on Safari
Step 1: Open Safari Preferences.
Step 2: Choose the domain from where you like push pop-ups gone and change to "Deny" from "Allow".