Remove SpyAxe (Removal Instructions)
Addendum: Spy Axe / SpyAxe Uninstall Instructions
A note from Dennis: many users have emailed me in the past few days to rejoice (and to confirm) that the below Spy Axe removal instructions work perfectly. Please take time to read the instructions carefully before emailing me a related question. Also note that there is a "Part 2" to this article near the end of the page. With that said, you are encouraged to spread the word about this post by linking to it on your favorite web forum / community / blog so that others may learn how to remove Spy Axe. If you've found this page especially useful, consider subscribing to our news feeds (free) so you can stay in touch with the latest threats, news, reviews, and announcements (details here). Thanks and best of luck with the removal!
SpyAxe (also known as "Spy Axe") is one of the latest in rogue anti-Spyware applications that dupes unsuspecting users into paying a nominal fee to reverse the problems that it causes.
The entire scheme is built off of a flaw in the MS Windows Operating System that allows the rogue software to install itself without any input from the user.
Once SpyAxe infects a system, it sends a notification via popup balloon -- similar (and almost identical to) Windows Update Notification balloons.
The good news is this defect has been resolved -- but only if you have the latest Windows updates that were released on December 13th. If you aren't sure if you have the latest updates, it is recommended that you visit the Windows Update web site immediately.
How to Remove (Uninstall) SpyAxe
If you have been unlucky enough to be infected by this SpyAxe scam, then do the following before updating Windows:
1. Download SmitRemfix by Noahdfear. Once downloaded, double click to uninstall all the files into a folder, but do not run the program yet (note that you *must* run SmitRemfix in Safe Mode -- described further down).
2. Download the free trial of Ewido anti-malware. Install it and check for updates, but do not run a scan yet.
3. Download Ad Aware SE. Install and check for updates, but do not run a scan yet.
Read over another post I have made about SmitRemfix. It goes into more detail and has pictures. Once you have familiarized yourself with what you are about to do, reboot your computer into safe mode.
In safe mode:
- run the SmitRem fix
- scan with ewido and fix what it finds
- scan with Ad Aware and fix what it finds
When you are done with all three, reboot the computer normally. If your desktop wallpaper has been changed by SpyAxe, you may need to go to the Control Panel and click Display > Desktop > Customize Desktop > Web > Uncheck Security Info if present. Now you should be able to use any wallpaper you want.
After doing all of that, you should visit Windows Update, select express install. After your computer has been checked, install all the updates it finds. After you are done, you shouldn't have to worry about SpyAxe ever again. Should you still have problems, please visit one of the security forums found here.
Hopefully there won't ever be any more infections as widespread as SpyAxe, but if there is, be sure to look for information and tips at my own blog!