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Malware type: Trojan
Destructive: No
Platform: Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Server 2003
Encrypted: No
In the wild: Yes


Trend Micro has flagged this Trojan as noteworthy due to the increased potential for damage, propagation, or both, that it possesses.

To get a one-glance comprehensive view of the behavior of this Trojan, refer to the Threat Diagram shown below.

This Trojan may arrive bundled with malware packages as a malware component.

Technical Details

File size: 210,432 bytes
File type: PE
Memory resident: Yes
Initial samples received date: 23 Dec 2009
Payload: Displays graphics/image

Arrival Details

This Trojan may arrive bundled with malware packages as a malware component.


This Trojan drops the following copies of itself into the affected system:

  • %User Temp%\{malware filename}.exe

(Note: %User Temp% is the current user's Temp folder, which is usually C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.)

Autostart Technique

This Trojan adds the following registry entries to enable its automatic execution at every system startup:

WINAG = %User Temp%\{malware filename}.exe /cs:1

WINAG = C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\{random characters}\WinADGuard.exe /s


Minimum scan engine: 8.900
First VSAPI Pattern File: 6.722.04
First VSAPI Pattern Release Date: 26 Dec 2009
VSAPI OPR Pattern Version: 6.723.00
VSAPI OPR Pattern Release Date: 23 Dec 2009

Step 1

For Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 users, before doing any scans, please make sure you disable System Restore to allow full scanning of your computer.

Step 2

Delete this registry value

[ Learn more ]

Important: Editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can lead to irreversible system malfunction. Please do this step only if you know how or you can ask assistance from your system administrator. Else, check this Microsoft article first before modifying your computer's registry.

  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
    • WINAG = C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\{random characters}\WinADGuard.exe /s
  • In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
    • WINAG = %User Temp%\{malware filename}.exe /cs:1

Step 3

Scan your computer with your Trend Micro product to delete files detected as TROJ_FAKEAV.PTO. If the detected files have already been cleaned, deleted, or quarantined by your Trend Micro product, no further step is required. You may opt to simply delete the quarantined files. Please check this Knowledge Base page for more information.

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