Threat Description



Category: Riskware
Type: Rogue
Platform: W32
Aliases: AdwareSheriff


SpywareSheriff is an rogue antispyware application that uses false and/or misleading scan results and questionable interface design to push the user into purchasing a license.


Automatic action

Once detected, the F-Secure security product will automatically block the suspect file from running and prompt the user to select a further desired action.

Excluding a file from scanning

If you are aware of and accept any potential risk associated with this program, you can configure the F-Secure security product to exclude it from scanning.

Suspect a False Alarm?

If you suspect a file has been incorrectly identified as malicious, (that is, it is a False Alarm or a False Positive), please first ensure your F-Secure security program is up-to-date with the latest detection database updates, then rescan the suspect file.

If you continue to suspect a False Alarm, you may submit a sample of the suspect file to our Security Labs for further analysis via the Submit A Sample (SAS) page.

More scanning & removal options

More information on scanning and removal options available in your F-Secure product can be found in the Help Center.

You may also refer to the Knowledge Base on the F-Secure Community site for more information.

Contact Support

For further assistance, F-Secure customers can request support online via the Request support or the Chat forms on our Home - Global site.

Technical Details

Once installed, SpywareSheriff starts automatically during the boot process and performs a scan for spyware. The only simple way to close the application is to register for the license, and the license is required for any cleaning of supposedly detected malware.

In some cases, Spywaresheriff is advertised by a trojan with a hoax message that the system is unsafe. The trojan malware does not install the antispyware application. If the user clicks on the warning message, they are directed to a website from which the user can download and install SpywareSheriff.

Please note: it is possible to find, download and install this application without being pushed by a trojan. Search engine results can also lead to the discovery of and a user can decide to install it on their own. The scan results however, will still contain false positives. See below for further details.

The SpywareSheriff antispyware application itself is not necessarily harmful to the user's computer.

Screenshot of trojan malware, detected as not-virus:Hoax.Win32.VB.l, generating a message that the system is unsafe:

Clicking on the message displayed above will open the computer's web browser to a page from which SpywareSheriff can be downloaded.

Screenshots of SpywareSheriff presenting a false detection:

The message above was generated on a previously clean system image. Note that the third item listed is telnet.exe, a Microsoft application installed with the Windows Operating System. The first and second items listed in this example are the trojan malware referred to above.

Description Created: 2006-05-22 18:50:11.0

Description Last Modified: 2006-05-23 13:03:17.0


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