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HackTool:Win32/Keygen


Microsoft security software detects and removes this threat.

This tool generates software keys.

Malware is often installed along with this tool. Microsoft security software finds malware on more than half of the PCs where we detect this tool.

You can read more about Win32/Keygen in Volume 13 of the Security Intelligence Report.

Find out ways that malware can get on your PC



What to do now

Use the following free Microsoft software to detect and remove this threat:

You should also run a full scan. A full scan might find hidden malware.

Get more help

You can also see our advanced troubleshooting page for more help.

If you’re using Windows XP, see our Windows XP end of support page.

Threat behavior

This tool creates licence keys that you can use to illegally register software.

Because it is often distributed the same way as malware, you may be at risk of further infection. A common tactic used by malware is to pretend to be a tool like this one.

Microsoft security software finds malware on more than half of the PCs where we detect this tool. You can read more about this in the Volume 13 of the Security Intelligence Report.

The following are some threats often found on PCs where we also see this tool:

This tool can appear in a number of different ways, depending on what software the tool is trying to give you keys for.

The following is an example of a key generator for Adobe Photoshop CS3:

Further reading

Volume 13 of the Security Intelligence Report takes a more detailed look at Win32/Keygen.

You can find out more about software piracy, and the risks associated with software piracy, on the Microsoft piracy site.

Analysis by Francis Allan Tan Seng


Symptoms

Alerts from your security software may be the only symptom.


Prevention


Alert level: Medium
First detected by definition: 1.45.287.0
Latest detected by definition: 1.189.72.0 and higher
First detected on: Oct 07, 2008
This entry was first published on: Jul 16, 2009
This entry was updated on: Nov 20, 2014

This threat is also detected as:
  • Troj/Keygen (Sophos)
  • Crack (VirusBuster)
  • not-a-virus:Keygen (Kaspersky)
  • CRCK_KEYGEN (Trend Micro)