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How to remove Internet Security Essentials virus

Internet Security Essentials is a fake antivirus program from the Virus Doctor rogues family as Internet Antivirus 2011, My Security Shield, Security Master AV, My Security Engine, etc. The program displays a lot of fake errors messages, prevents softwares execution, hijacks internet browsers in order to trick you into purchasing a license. Remember, the fake antivirus is unable to detect and remove any infections, so do not pay for the bogus software!

Internet Security Essentials promoted through the use of advertisement which pretends to be an online malware scanner. This advertisement will state that you computer is infected and all you have to do in order to cure your computer is install the software. Important to know, this online scanner is a fake and cannot detect any viruses or infections on your PC. The results that are displayed are totally fabricated!

Once started, Internet Security Essentials will configure itself to run automatically every time when Windows loads. Next, it will add a few entries into the HOSTS file so that when you open Google, Yahoo or Bing, you will be redirected to various misleading websites. The rogue will also create several fake malware files, that absolute harmless but, later during the scan, Internet Security Essentials will label them as worms, trojans and viruses. Of course, the scan look realistic and legitimate, you should never trust it! The rogue want to trick you into thinking that your computer in danger and make you believe you must buy the full version of the software. Remember, Internet Security Essentials is unable to detect or remove any infections and nor will be protect you from legitimate future threats. So you can safely ignore the false scan results.

While Internet Security Essentials is running, the rogue will display a variety of fake security warnings and alerts that attempt to make you think your computer is infected with all sorts of malicious software. Some of the alerts are:

System alert
Internet Security Essentials has detected potentially harmful software in
your system. It is strongly recommended that you register
Internet Security Essentials to remove all found threats immediately.

System warning
No real-time malware, spyware and virus protection was
found. Click here to activate.

Warning! Identity theft attempt detected
Hidden connection IP:
Target: Microsoft Corporation keys

Warning! Virus detected

However, like false scan results above, all of these fake security messages are just a fake and has been displayed to trick you into purchasing so-called full version of the fake security program.

In addition to the above-described, Internet Security Essentials will also block the Windows Task Manager and most antivirus and antispyware tools.

As you can see, Internet Security Essentials is a scam that has been created with one purpose – to scare you into thinking that your computer is infected, so you will then purchasing the program. Do not be fooled into buying the program! Instead of doing so, follow the removal guidelines below in order to remove Internet Security Essentials and any associated malware from your computer for free.

Automatic removal instructions for Internet Security Essentials

Step 1. Reboot your computer in Safe mode with networking

Restart your computer.

After hearing your computer beep once during startup, start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard. On a computer that is configured for booting to multiple operating systems, you can press the F8 key when the Boot Menu appears.

Instead of Windows loading as normal, Windows Advanced Options menu appears similar to the one below.

Windows Advanced Options menu

When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select Safe mode with networking and then press ENTER.

Step 2. Reset proxy settings of Internet Explorer

Run Internet Explorer, Click Tools -> Internet Options as as shown in the screen below.

Internet Explorer – Tools menu

You will see window similar to the one below.

Internet Explorer – Internet options

Select Connections Tab and click to Lan Settings button. You will see an image similar as shown below.

Internet Explorer – Lan settings

Uncheck “Use a proxy server” box. Click OK to close Lan Settings and Click OK to close Internet Explorer settings.

Step 3. Remove Internet Security Essentials and any associated malware

Download MalwareBytes Anti-malware (MBAM). Once downloaded, close all programs and windows on your computer.

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MalwareBytes Anti-malware onto your computer. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure a checkmark is placed next to “Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” and Launch “Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware”. Then click Finish.

MalwareBytes Anti-malware will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program before performing a scan. If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.

As MalwareBytes Anti-malware will automatically update itself after the install, you can press the OK button to close that box and you will now be at the main menu. You will see window similar to the one below.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Window>

Make sure the “Perform quick scan” option is selected and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for Internet Security Essentials infection. This procedure can take some time, so please be patient.

When the scan is finished a message box will appear that it has completed scanning successfully. Click OK. Now click “Show Results”. You will see a list of infected items similar as shown below.
Note: list of infected items may be different than what is shown in the image below.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware, list of infected items

Make sure all entries have a checkmark at their far left and click “Remove Selected” button to remove Internet Security Essentials. MalwareBytes Anti-malware will now remove all of associated Internet Security Essentials files and registry keys and add them to the programs’ quarantine. When MalwareBytes Anti-malware has finished removing the infection, a log will open in Notepad and you may be prompted to Restart.

Step 4. Reset HOSTS file

Please download OTM by OldTimer from here and save it to desktop. Run OTM, copy, then paste the following text in “Paste Instructions for Items to be Moved” textarea (under the yellow bar):


Click the red Moveit! button. Close OTM.

Internet Security Essentials removal notes

Note 1: if you can not download, install, run or update Malwarebytes Anti-malware, then follow the steps: Malwarebytes won`t install, run or update – How to fix it.

Note 2: if you need help with the instructions, then post your questions in our Spyware Removal forum.

Note 3: your current antispyware and antivirus software let the infection through ? Then you may want to consider purchasing the FULL version of MalwareBytes Anti-malware to protect your computer in the future.

Internet Security Essentials creates the following files and folders

%UserProfile%\Application Data\Internet Security Essentials
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Internet Security Essentials\cookies.sqlite
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Internet Security Essentials.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Internet Security Essentials.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Internet Security Essentials\Instructions.ini
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Internet Security Essentials.lnk
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Internet Security Essentials.lnk
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\23077d\CB130_287.exe

Internet Security Essentials creates the following registry keys and values

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run | Internet Security Essentials

February 21, 2011 on 10:39 am | In Malware removal, Rogue Anti Spyware | 76 Comments |


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Outstanding. thank you. took me and hour 50 to find this site, and 10 mins to fully resolve.

    Comment by PontyD — February 21, 2011 #

  2. It looked like a daunting list of instructions for a non technical type like me, but once I got stuck in I found they were clear and easy to follow steps – and it worked! Thank you so much, what a great website. Problem solved. :)

    Comment by Jo — February 22, 2011 #

  3. Great instructions. Everything went smoothly, and all malware is gone.

    Comment by Moonshine — February 24, 2011 #

  4. I cannot thank you enough. I followed the directions to eliminate Internet Security Essentials from my home PC. The directions were perfect and best of all…..this threat is gone! I will also use this website and recommend it to everyone.

    Comment by Erin — February 24, 2011 #

  5. Delighted. I’d spent 4 hours trying to detect this problem and tried several other solutions unsuccessfully until I cam eacross this one and fixed it in a short space of time. One piece of advice to others using the solution – you need another non-infected PC to download the programmes as this dreadful infection was diverting the links to other programmes which do not work.

    Comment by Peter Loose — February 24, 2011 #

  6. Will I all my documents etc. be deleted when I reboot my computer, and will I have to save my important documents on another harddisc? And what about the documents I have saved on other harddiscs, ipod etc. are their systems infected now also? Hope you can help… I am not even sure I dare to trust this site either, I don’t trust any internetsystems anymore…

    Comment by Maria Olsen — February 27, 2011 #

  7. amazing….works…however, i used my visa,,,and had a bad feeling so called visa…cancelled my card….etc..

    Comment by KEVIN COOK — February 27, 2011 #

  8. Thanks to you i was able to avoid another disaster – or at least what appeared to be one. Thanks for the help.


    Comment by reg — February 27, 2011 #

  9. I cannot thank you enough! I followed the directions to eliminate Internet Security Essentials from my home PC and being so not computer literate, everything was easy to follow and the directions were perfect!

    Comment by Brenda — February 27, 2011 #

  10. i had this internet security essential virus on my pc which slowed down my pc and stopped internet connection. tried various methods but ultimately the abv soluntion worked for me. thanks for posting this soln. it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by anil — February 28, 2011 #

  11. Thank you for the info. As commented by the above user, the infection doesn’t even let you look for solutions. I had to restore my computer to get rid of it. Nontheless, it would have been useful if I couldn’t restore my computer.

    Comment by Jason — February 28, 2011 #

  12. thanks to all at without guys like you, a technophobe like me would be lost! really easy instructions to follow and very quick, thought id be here for hours. will be recommending your website to all i know. thanks again.

    Comment by Emma — February 28, 2011 #

  13. Maria, your documents will not be removed.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — February 28, 2011 #

  14. Thank You so much for having this website available to the public! I am not a computer expert but I was able to fallow the clear instructions and the virus is gone. Thank You! (note: follow the instructions from step 1 to the end or it won’t work)

    Comment by Diego — February 28, 2011 #

  15. With your instructions I was able to guide a non-technical user through the removal. Worked perfectly. Thank you!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by ProbS — February 28, 2011 #

  16. I want to know who is behind this costly intrusion which has cost me many dollars and considerable time. The removal went very well and it appears that the trojan is gone but, I can assure you, not forgotten. Many thanks for the assistance.

    Comment by Bushman — February 28, 2011 #

  17. Thank you very much, I will reboot my computer following your instructions! Thanks a lot!:)

    Comment by Maria Olsen — March 1, 2011 #

  18. This worked great on a Windows Vista Gateway notebook!

    I didn’t do Step 4: Reset hosts file. Everything seems to work fine. What does this step actually do?

    Comment by Ivana Humpalot — March 1, 2011 #

  19. Many thanks to those who produced this web page and solution. Took me ages to find a way of getting rid of ‘internet security essentials’ before I found this.

    This worked straight away! 5/5

    Comment by Ant — March 1, 2011 #

  20. Thanks for the fix it has done the trick – your instructions were very clear and easy to follow.

    I also have to say I was able to download the files needed in safemode.

    Thanks again will be keeping this site in my favourites!

    Comment by Stacey — March 2, 2011 #

  21. I followed all of the instructions. Malwarebytes found the problems and I removed them. Ran OTM. Everything seemed to go as it should. However, I still am being redirected. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Joe — March 2, 2011 #

  22. muy buena pagina, la informacion muy util, muy agradecido….

    Comment by ruben — March 3, 2011 #

  23. thank you soo much. everytime i listen to something a bore squeeling came from no where and i jumped. luckily i found this site in a metter of minutes.. but thank you again for all of this. you are the best.

    Comment by jake castle — March 4, 2011 #

  24. Joe, begin a new topic in our Spyware removal forum. I will help you.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — March 4, 2011 #

  25. Fantastic post. Followed to the word and it worked a treat.
    Dean – West Yorkshire

    Comment by Dean — March 5, 2011 #

  26. Hello dear sir, thanks alot for your valuable help
    i am an Iranian user, and i couldnot pay even i want, because here we havenot internatioal credit or debit cards like visa or master “international banks arenot allowded to work here” but if you have an account in iran, i would be glad to pay your help and also for a complete pack of your software

    Comment by Mohammad A.E.Ashtiani — March 5, 2011 #

  27. I think i removed “Internet Security Essentials” rogue av using SUPERantispyware and then MalwareBytes! and now i can only start my pc in safe mode with networking, not in normal mode! what can i do? last option is to format my pc, but i can only do it 3 times with windows xp, and i have already done this twice!

    Comment by radu — March 5, 2011 #

  28. Thanks for your advice, guidance and software. With your help I successfully removed ISE, AKA (Pain in the backside). Now I can use my PC again without having to continuously get ride of pop ups.

    Comment by Richard — March 6, 2011 #

  29. I have yet to follow this through because first of all, my computer doesn’t beep at any point so at first, I couldn’t figure out when to hit F8. (Figured out that I have to do it at a different part for my computer). Then, when I put it on Safe Mode With Networking…it wouldn’t allow me on my internet browser. So now…I’m trying to figure out if I should just download malware first. Mind helping me out here? Because I’d appreciate not hearing that screeching ever again.

    Comment by Kylie — March 6, 2011 #

  30. Hey dude,
    A hearty thanks, for your superb advice which made me solve this idiotic “Internet security essential” problem within few moments.
    I scanned my lap with windows defender and kespersky thrice, they didn’t detect any virus and this fool was continuously showing me trojans.

    Comment by Raj Dhakan — March 6, 2011 #

  31. Thank you so mutch :) this was very usefull for me… You are great !

    Comment by Durgadan — March 6, 2011 #

  32. thanks for saving my computer with this super easy fix!

    Comment by katm — March 6, 2011 #

  33. Thank you so much for the clear directions on how to eliminate this most annoying pest!

    Comment by James — March 6, 2011 #

  34. Many many thanks – took me a while to find this. Think the malware came from Sparklebox site/toolbar my wife installed. Problem sorted now, wife banned from PC!!!

    Comment by Jimbobber — March 6, 2011 #

  35. the solution is you need to go to regedit and search all your files on your Comps drive for the following 3 file names and delete them:

    Internet Security Esentials

    Make sure that these file names do not exist in your registry. Then make sure they are deleted from your computers drive

    Comment by jt — March 6, 2011 #

  36. and after you delete all of them from your registry(regedit)and computers drive, then reboot your computer and you will see the “Internet Security Essentials” will no longer exist. There may be short cuts of it but just delete those but it will no longer be alive on your computer.

    Comment by jt — March 6, 2011 #

  37. after i installed the MBAM, i was asked to un-install my current anti-virus. is it safe ?
    pls help. Thank you

    Comment by yuuri — March 7, 2011 #

  38. I can’t go futher with step 3. I can’t download the malewarebytes anty-malware and get on the internet? I only have a laptop. Is it possible to donwload first?

    Comment by Sharon — March 7, 2011 #

  39. Unfortunately I am have no luck with this fix. I’ll admit I’m looking for something for nothing, But do you have to buy the full version for this to work? Downloaded from a safe cpu and ran the prgram, it found like 750+ items, removed them, and rebooted. The ISE program is still there. Any ideas? I already had McAfee on the unit somehow it missed it…thx

    Comment by Matt Chambers — March 7, 2011 #

  40. radu, if you have used MSConfig to start your PC in Safe mode, then you need start the tool once again and select Normal mode option.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — March 8, 2011 #

  41. Kylie, try download Malwarebytes to another PC and then move it to your computer through Cd disk or flash drive.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — March 8, 2011 #

  42. Many THNXs, I managed to get rid of this terrible monster.
    Just a minor remark: it took me a while to figure out that I had to download MalwareBytes Anti-malware, but when I clicked on the link immediately under step 3, it did not guided me to MalwareBytes Anti-malware, but to PC tools.
    I tried several times to download this software, which does not work.
    But I’m not a native speaker, mother language is dutch.
    After figuring out that i was trying to install the wrong software, I finally managed to solve the problem within 20 minutes
    So thnx again
    Freek from Gilze (NL)

    Comment by Freek Kettner — March 8, 2011 #

  43. Kylie
    just hit F8 all the time during start up.
    IOT get internet access. then follow step 2 exactly as described, then you will have internet access through your browser, but Patrik’s advise will work as well, I did it this way.
    I got rid of this terrible thing, good luck

    Comment by Freek Kettner — March 8, 2011 #

  44. I did it today! In a way I never found on the Internet. Right click on the internet security essentials icon and the clck properties and find the file location. Now you need to copy the location and go to my computer thru the start menu and paste the location in the location box at the top. If it doesn’t wok then cut out the last part of the location. Delete everything in this folder. If something won’t delete then go into task manage Nd end the process with that name. After this search Internet security essentials in your start menu or something and delete anything that says Internet security essentials. Make sure to get the fake my computer as well. You spot that when there are two my computers on you desktop and when you change the settings to make he icons big, one should look all pixel ish. Now right click on recycling bin and hit empty. You should be good but also be sure by running a scan by whatever it Is that is supposed to protect your computer from viruses. If you don’t have one I suggest spigot search and destroy cuz that’s what I have and it works.. You are welcome.

    Comment by Nora — March 8, 2011 #

  45. What a PIA, this locked me out of the internet 2 days after Norton expired. Of course I clicked on remove and thus started the problem. I also spent hours searching/trying solutions and 15 minutes to fix. Thank you so much. I have 2 questions, do you know what is being done to stop this illegial activity, and 2 would it have attached/infected if I had not clicked on remove? Thank you again. Sue

    Comment by susan — March 9, 2011 #

  46. I forgot to add, the best part of this was what to do; note 1; on what to do if you can’t download, “malwarebytes won’t install, run or update-how to fit it” this was great! Susan again

    Comment by susan — March 9, 2011 #

  47. Took a little while as I was talking my father through it step by step on the telephone, but his PC is now problem free. Thank you for very clear instructions!

    Comment by Bob — March 10, 2011 #

  48. Thank you! Finally got rid of Internet Security Essentials after trying everything else. Your stuff works!

    Comment by france — March 10, 2011 #

  49. Sharon, try to repeat the step 2.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — March 12, 2011 #

  50. Matt, try to update Malwarebytes and perform a fresh scan.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — March 12, 2011 #

  51. This is awesome and helpful and specific instructions. Many thanks!

    Comment by Henry — March 12, 2011 #

  52. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! my internet is back! you guys are sooo awesome thanks so much! will recommend this site to all my friends. God bless.

    Comment by Shawn Teo — March 12, 2011 #

  53. When I got the virus I was using Firefox not Internet Explorer. I still followed all the instructions and thought it was gone but I got a pop-up saying I was infected and did I want Int. Sec. Essen. to fix it? I obviously clicked no. Maybe it was a fluke and it will not happen again? Thank you so very much for the help!!!!!!

    Comment by Amy — March 13, 2011 #

  54. I guess it is not gone. I already had Malwarebytes on my computer and it didn’t catch it. I have tried removing it twice in safe mode. It looks like it removes it but…. My AVG may be interfering?

    Comment by Amy — March 13, 2011 #

  55. i need to download the malwarebytes anti-malware in safe mode?, or i can download it now before i enter in safe mode?

    Comment by Ricardo Paixão — March 13, 2011 #

  56. i can´t download malwarebyte, because in safe mode, i can´t get internet connection… What could i do?

    Comment by Ricardo Paixão — March 13, 2011 #

  57. i was stupidly fooled. i used my MC..just about 30 mins ago…omg what do i do now. im going to follow ur instructions ISE virus right now.

    Comment by CINDY — March 14, 2011 #

  58. Thank you very much, guys!
    I live in Ukraine. I lost many hours fighting with the perfidious program that infected my computer.
    Now that I followed your instructions it took me only 20 minites to get rid of Internet Security Essentials files.
    God bless you.

    Comment by Vlad — March 14, 2011 #

  59. Awesome post! Thanx!!!!

    Comment by Dannyboy — March 14, 2011 #

  60. I have the same issue as Matt, but have updated Malwarebytes and after running a fresh scan it is still not finding anything malicious. No longer have access to the internet (on a seperate computer now) the only step I couldn’t perform was OTM – is that the problem? I also cannot disable my McAfee, it seems to have hijacked that also.
    What next?

    Comment by susan — March 15, 2011 #

  61. Sorry – ISE is still present, even has a shield right next to McAfee’s in lower right of screen. What can I try next to remove it…have also run spybot search and destroy (which found nothing)
    It’s been 4 days!

    Comment by susan — March 15, 2011 #

  62. Thanks for your solution to the Internet Security Essentials malware which infected my laptop.

    I used my PC to load the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware appication to a USB stick. I then followed the instructions on the PC, including opening the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware appication from the USB stick onto the laptop.

    Thanks again.

    Comment by Gary — March 16, 2011 #

  63. Managed to fix my wife’s netbook using the above.

    Had to run several scans through administrator accounts in safe mode. However, in normal mode, the ISE shortcut still appeared on the desktop. Had to go back to safe mode, find the shortcut file in My Documents and zap it with MBM.

    Comment by pete — March 17, 2011 #

  64. Thank goodness I found this – I’ll see how it works. This ISE virus has been driving my crazy and seems to have had some other effects on my laptop. I can honestly say I don’t seem to have had too much support from Mcafee either but that could be my ineptitude. Now I’ve got the guidelines I go home and try to sort this out. Thanks for all the information.

    Comment by fiona — March 18, 2011 #

  65. Once I unchecked the proxy box on the lans setting i coukld no longer connect to the internet to continue, also i went ahead and downloaded the OMG and the MalwareBytes Anti-Malware site after downloading so far I received a error message stating that Internet Sercurity Essentials needed to be removed before continueing with the download. I’m not sure whatI did wrong, or what to do next. Please HELP.

    Comment by Monica — March 18, 2011 #

  66. Thank you! This absolutely worked!!

    Comment by Joel — March 20, 2011 #

  67. I really can’t thank you guys enough for this guide, my laptop was infected through one of these ads from a so-called company called e-set (very similar in name to a real antivirus software company, eset) but I followed the instructions step-by-step and the problem is gone. I’m pretty annoyed though how this virus managed to get past both Microsoft Security Essentials and McAfee which I have on my laptop. I’m paying for McAfee because Microsoft Security Essentials is free and I thought that something I paid for would protect my computer alot better but obviously not.

    Comment by Stephen F — March 25, 2011 #

  68. thanks for d help!!! it worked and removed ip fully
    cheers….:: ))

    Comment by sanky — April 17, 2011 #

  69. Thank you so much! I have been trying to get rid of this virus for a month with no luck. I am no good at computers but I was able to follow your simple instructions. I purchased the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware now because I would rather just pay a small amount of money than have to waste all my time trying to figure out how to remove viruses. Thanks again!

    Comment by Chloe — April 20, 2011 #

  70. Hello I tried this and for what ever reason when I went to the Internet proxy it was not selected already and was still not able to get online is there any other way to get around this. I really need my computer running ASAP!!! Thanks

    Comment by Endia — April 22, 2011 #

  71. I did all this and I still saw the desktop shortcut on for this bug. Also, I stil get ISOc6_296 failed to start message. I don’t know what else to do.

    Comment by Mark — May 5, 2011 #

  72. This still didn’t work. I still have the erro.

    Comment by Mark — May 5, 2011 #

  73. Mark, try update Malwarebytes and perform a fresh scan.

    Comment by Patrik (Myantispyware admin) — May 19, 2011 #

  74. my laptop is affected by the virus and it is writing automatically when i am writing on the ms words please help

    Comment by pema — August 20, 2011 #

  75. Thank you for the clear, easy to follow instructions. You’re the best!

    Comment by Laura — February 23, 2012 #

  76. i was compelled to write this comment. I am such a dumbo in doing and fixing these things and now that I have done it,…i m looking at this as an achievement. I could not even google it as the virus wont let me to do it…i was not able to connect to any website…used my phone internet to find a solution of this problem…But finally it’s resolved…THANKS A TON 😀

    Comment by Pawan — March 4, 2012 #

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