AutoKMS

Posted: December 29, 2023
from Cybersecurity Glossary
Aliases:
AutoKMS.exe
Platform:
Windows
Variants:
RiskWare.AutoKMS, HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS, HackTool:Win64/AutoKMS, HackTool:MSIL/AutoKms
Damage:
Unauthorized Software Activation, System Instability, Increased Vulnerability to Malware
Risk Level:
Middle

AutoKMS falls under the category of riskware, specifically designed for manipulating software licensing mechanisms. It is commonly used for the unauthorized activation of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office products. While it may serve a seemingly harmless purpose for some users, the illegal nature of AutoKMS makes it ideal for malware spreading.

Possible symptoms

  • Unauthorized activation of software products
  • System instability and crashes
  • Increased resource usage during software activation attempts
  • Presence of AutoKMS-related files or processes in the system
  • Notifications or warnings from antivirus or anti-malware tools

Sources of the infection

  • Downloading and using cracked or pirated software
  • Visiting websites offering unauthorized software activation tools
  • Peer-to-peer file sharing of cracked software
  • Using unofficial or third-party software activation tools

Overview

AutoKMS, also known as HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS and detected as HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS, is a type of riskware associated with tools designed to manipulate software licensing mechanisms. Its primary purpose is the unauthorized activation of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office products.

Falling under the category of Riskware or Unwanted Program, AutoKMS may seem harmless to some users but poses risks due to its often usage as a carrier for malware. This riskware may have multiple variants, each employing different activation methods.

The symptoms of AutoKMS infection include unauthorized activation of software products, system instability and crashes, increased resource usage during activation attempts, the presence of AutoKMS-related files or processes, and notifications or warnings from antivirus or anti-malware tools.

Sources of infection include downloading and using cracked or pirated software, visiting websites offering unauthorized activation tools, peer-to-peer file sharing of cracked software, opening email attachments or links from unknown or suspicious senders, and using unofficial or third-party software activation tools.

If you suspect your system runs a malicious instance of AutoKMS, consider running a full system scan using a Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, identifying and removing any detected AutoKMS files or processes, reviewing and uninstalling any suspicious or unauthorized software, and ensuring your operating system and software are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

To prevent AutoKMS infections, use legitimate and licensed software, avoid downloading or using cracked or pirated software, be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources, and regularly update your operating system and software with the latest security patches.

🤔 What to do?

If you doubt the instance of AutoKMS running in your system is clear, consider taking the following steps:

  1. Run a full system scan using a reputable Gridinsoft Anti-Malware.
  2. Identify and remove any detected AutoKMS files or processes.
  3. Review and uninstall any suspicious or unauthorized software on your system.
  4. Ensure your operating system and software are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

🛡️ Prevention

To prevent AutoKMS instalation, follow these preventive measures:

  1. Use legitimate and licensed software for your operating system and applications.
  2. Avoid downloading or using cracked or pirated software.
  3. Do not use unofficial 'patched' or 'activated' Windows images for system installation.

References

  1. More about HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS

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