SoftStronghold is a new rogue antispyware program from WiniGuard scareware family. It is installed from fake online spyware scanners that shows that your computer is infected and you must install a software to remove all threats. The software is a trojan! Once downloaded and run, it will install SoftStronghold, create a lot of harmless files with random names and set SoftStronghold to run automatically every time, when you start your computer.
Once running, SoftStronghold will start to scan your computer and list previously created files as spyware and malware to scare you into thinking that your computer is infected in order to trick you to purchase a full (paid) version of the software. All of these infections are fake, so you can safely ignore them!
The same trojan that installs SoftStronghold will display nag screens, fake security alerts and notifications from Windows task bar, that your PC is infected or being attacked by an Internet Virus. An example:
Your computer is infected with spyware. It could damage your
critical files or expose your private data on the Internet. Click
here to register your copy of SoftStronghold and remove
spyware threats from your PC.
The trojan also will show a screen that looks like Windows Security Center. It will recommend you register the SoftStronghold. However, all of these alerts are a fake and like scan false results should be ignored! If your computer is infected with SoftStronghold, then use these removal instructions below, which will remove SoftStronghold and any other infections you may have on your computer for free.
More SoftStronghold screen shoots
Symptoms in a HijackThis Log
O4 – HKCU\..\Run: [jfo3.tmp.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\jfo3.tmp.exe
O4 – HKCU\..\Run: [SoftStronghold] C:\Program Files\SoftStronghold Software\SoftStronghold\SoftStronghold.exe -min
Use the following instructions to remove SoftStronghold (Uninstall instructions)
Download MalwareBytes Anti-malware (MBAM). Close all programs and Windows on your computer.
Double Click mbam-setup.exe to install the application. 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.
If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
Once the program has loaded you will see window similar to the one below.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Window
Select Perform Quick Scan, then click Scan, it will start scanning your computer for SoftStronghold infection. This procedure can take some time, so please be patient.
When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the 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 that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected for start SoftStronghold removal process. When disinfection is completed, a log will open in Notepad and you may be prompted to Restart.
Note: if you need help with the instructions, then post your questions in our Spyware Removal forum.
SoftStronghold creates the following files and folders
C:\Program Files\SoftStronghold Software
C:\Program Files\SoftStronghold Software\SoftStronghold
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SoftStronghold
C:\Program Files\SoftStronghold Software\SoftStronghold\SoftStronghold.exe
C:\Program Files\SoftStronghold Software\SoftStronghold\uninstall.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SoftStronghold\1 SoftStronghold.lnk
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SoftStronghold\2 Homepage.lnk
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\SoftStronghold\3 Uninstall.lnk
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\SoftStronghold.lnk
SoftStronghold creates the following registry keys and values