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XP Antispyware 2012

What is XP Antispyware 2012?

What's in a name?  Not much if you are XP Antivirus 2012.  This rogue antivirus program is a variant of the 2012 Name Changing Rogue.  This “family” includes 15 variations of the same rogue application that switches names depending on the specific version of Windows that a computer is running.  While the names are different, they all behave identically and share the same goal as every other rogue antispyware application: to convince users to purchase nonexistent protection.

XP Antispyware 2012 Alert
Security Hole Detected!
A program is trying to exploit Windows security holes!  Passwords and sensitive data may be stolen.  Do you want to block this attack?

These are the types of pop-ups with which you are going to become very familiar if any variant of the 2012 Name Changing Rogue has affected your system.  The rogue poses as a security update for Windows, seeking to convince you that your computer is infected with multiple serious threats.  “Warnings” like the message above are typical, as are false warning scans.  While these may appear to come from Windows, be assured that they are ads only.  The only problem likely to be affecting your computer is the presence of XP Antispyware 2012.

To further create the illusion that your machine is under attack, the rogue application installs itself as an executable with a random three-character name, such as hml.exe.  When you try to launch a legitimate executable, the rogue will manufacture a message saying that the program is infected.  This also makes it very difficult for you to search for or launch security programs.  You may see fake firewalls when you try to access your browser which tells you the program is infected. 

Every variation of the Name Changing Rogue gains access in the same ways:

  • Via trojan.  Visiting affected websites, which include those with adult, gaming, P2P, freeware, and trending content, clicking on affected ads, banners, or images, or downloading free videos can allow trojans carrying malware to enter.
  • User-installation.  A false online scanner warns of infections and users attempt to remove them by installing the rogue antispyware.  Unfortunately, this does not resolve the problem and signs of infection will continue.

This rogue application not only makes it difficult to navigate to websites freely, it can create an open door for other malware, leaving your system and data at greater risk.  Because of this, it is important to remove XP Antispyware 2012 as soon as possible.

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