HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS is a term or name for the detection of malicious tools that can be used to unlawfully register commercial copies of Microsoft software products. Security experts warned that using this program to “crack” or patch Microsoft software might lead to the hazardous infection of malware. If HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS is detected on the computer, it simply means that the hack tool was run on the computer to illegally run a commercial Microsoft product.

Image of HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS

How does it infect the computer?

There are hundreds of suspicious websites offering free downloads of various tools that Microsoft security products may identify as HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS. Be careful with these programs, as security experts have warned that most malware is distributed globally with this tool.

How does this malware operate?

Once run on the computer, HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS will drop certain files to activate Microsoft products, specifically MS Office. Aside from that, the Trojan will also place several files and tasks to run malicious code each time Windows starts.

In particular, HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS is a program or utility that hackers use to carry out various tasks related to unauthorized access, exploitation, or manipulation of computer systems. The payload of a hacktool depends on its specific functionality and the intentions of the individual or group employing it. Here are some common aspects of a hacktool’s payload:

  • Unauthorized Access: HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS often includes features that enable unauthorized access to computer systems, networks, or specific applications. They may exploit vulnerabilities or use brute-force techniques to gain entry.
  • Exploitation of Weaknesses: The payload may involve exploiting vulnerabilities in software, operating systems, or network configurations. This could include taking advantage of unpatched security flaws to gain control or manipulate system behavior.
  • Information Gathering: Some hacktools are designed to collect sensitive information from the targeted system. This information may include login credentials, personal data, or details about the system’s configuration.
  • Remote Control: The payload might enable remote control or remote desktop functionality, allowing the attacker to manipulate the system from a distance. This could involve executing commands, installing additional malware, or conducting other malicious activities.
  • Evasion Techniques: To avoid detection by security software or monitoring tools, hacktools may include evasion techniques. This can involve encrypting communications, altering file signatures, or employing other methods to remain undetected.
  • Propagation: In cases where the hacktool is part of a broader attack strategy, its payload may include features for self-replication or spreading across networks. This can contribute to the rapid dissemination of the tool in a targeted environment.
  • Privilege Escalation: Some hacktools aim to elevate the privileges of the attacker within the system. This involves gaining higher-level access rights, potentially allowing the execution of more impactful and damaging actions.


During execution of the hack tool, it will display the following message:

  • AutoKMS Ran At.
  • Attempting To Activate Microsoft Office
  • Attempting to Activate OfficeProPlus-KMS_Client
  • Product activation was successful

Hence, there will be no visible symptoms of its discrete operation, where it can allow a remote attacker to see and execute files on the infected computer.

HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS is also detected as:
Avast Win32:PUP-gen [PUP]
Emsisoft Application.Hacktool.WL (B)
ESET-NOD32 A Variant Of MSIL/HackKMS.I Potentially Unsafe
Fortinet Adware/HackKMS
Malwarebytes Generic.Malware.AI.DDS
McAfee Crack-KMS
Sophos KMS Activator (PUA)
Symantec ML.Attribute.HighConfidence
Webroot W32.Hack.Tool

For more help

Among the many malicious programs that are already widely available in the public domain is HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS. Kindly refer to our list of HackTool threats to find out which versions are relevant and how to remove them.

How to remove HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS?

To totally remove HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS from the computer and get rid of relevant viruses and trojans, please execute the procedures as stated on this page. Make sure that you have completely scanned the system with the suggested malware removal tools and virus scanners.

Quick Fix - Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner for Windows

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC security and optimization tool equipped with a powerful virus and malware detection engine. This program can get rid of hazardous viruses like HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS through this procedure.

1. Download the application from the following page:

2. Save the file to your preferred location.

3. Double-click the downloaded file CCSetup.exe and install with the default settings.

CC for Windows Installation

4. At the end of the setup process, click Finish to run Combo Cleaner.

5. The tool will update the signature file, please wait for this process to complete.

6. To begin checking for threats like HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS, click on the Start Scan button. Wait for this scan to finish.

CC for Windows Start Scan

7. At the end of the scan process, click on Remove all threats to delete the HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS virus, including all malicious objects from the computer.

Free features of Combo Cleaner for Windows include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus, privacy scanner, and to delete identified threats, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Please continue with the succeeding removal procedures if you are comfortable manually getting rid of the virus and malicious items linked to it.

Step 1 : Start Windows in Safe Mode With Networking

Windows 10 / 11 Guide

1. Click on the Windows logo and select the Power icon when options pop up.
2. Select Restart from the options while pressing the Shift key on the keyboard.
3. Choose an Option window will appear. Select the Troubleshoot button.
4. In next window, please choose the Advanced Option.
5. On the Advanced Option window, click on Startup Settings, and then, click the Restart button to reboot the computer.
6. When Windows boots in Startup Settings, press the function key F5 or number 5 on the keyboard.

A simpler alternative for Windows 10 users is to scan the computer with Microsoft Defender Offline. This will run a virus scan in the recovery environment.

Windows 8 Guide

1. Click the Windows Start icon in the lower left section of the screen.
2. Open the Search window and type Advanced in the field. It will open General PC Settings.
3. Click on Advanced Startup, and then click on the Restart Now button.
4. Once the computer starts in the Advanced Startup option menu, select Troubleshoot.
5. Next, click on Advanced Options to reveal the next section.
6. Click Startup settings, and then click the Restart button to boot the PC in Startup Settings.
7. Use function key F5 or number key 5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Step 2 : Run a virus scanner

To remove HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS, we suggest that you scan the infected computer with this powerful virus removal tool. It can detect and get rid of Trojans, viruses, malware, and adware from the infected computer. To fully protect the computer against HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS or similar attacks, you can activate Sophos to have real-time scanning and complete defense against all forms of threats.

1. Download Sophos Virus Removal Tool from the link below. Save the file on your computer where you can easily access it.

2. Once the download completes, browse the location of the file. Double-click to run the program and begin the install process.

3. On the first window of installation wizard, click Next to continue. Then, it will display the program’s License Agreement. You need to Accept the terms in order to proceed. If Windows prompts for User Account Control, please click Yes to proceed.

Screenshot of Sophos EULA Page

4. On succeeding windows, click Next or Continue to carry on with the installation. After completing the installation process, Launch Sophos Virus Removal Tool.

5. An internet connection is required when running this scanner in order to download important updates. Make sure that everything is up-to-date to effectively remove viruses like HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS.

6. Click the Start Scanning button to  carry out the Scan. This will check the system for the presence of malicious objects, malware, and viruses. The tool reveals items that were found linked to HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS and other suspicious entities. Be sure to remove all identified threats.

Screenshot of Sophos Virus Scan

After executing the above instructions, HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS should have been completely removed from the computer. If there are still signs of infection or the computer is displaying unusual behaviors, please continue with the remaining procedures.

Step 3 : Double Check with Windows Security Apps

Microsoft Windows has a built-in security application that you can use to double-check if your computer is still infected with HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS. For Windows 8 and 10/11 users, please run Windows Security. Users of Windows Vista and older versions can utilize Microsoft Security Essentials to remove the HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS virus.

Windows 8 / 10 / 11 Instructions:

Windows Security is a free tool that was built to help you remove HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS, viruses, and other malicious items from Windows 8 or Windows 10/11 systems. Follow these procedures to scan your computer with the tool:

1. Tap or click the Search charm, search for Windows Security, and then open the application.

Image of Windows Security Search

2. On the Home tab, click Virus and threat protection from the sidebar.

3. On the main window, click on Scan Options. Then, click on Full Scan button.

Image of Scan Options

4. Lastly, click on the Scan now button to start scanning for the presence of HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS. The process may take a while to complete.

5. After the scan, Delete/Quarantine identified threats, whether they were relevant to HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS or not. You may now restart Windows to complete the virus removal process.

How to protect the computer from HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS?

The initial defense that comes to mind for any computer user is to install an anti-virus or anti-malware program. This move is sensible and probably the most practical way to protect the computer against a HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS attack. Hence, keep in mind that having security software does not guarantee full protection. The majority of the prevention still lies in being cautious of users, and therefore, we are providing the following information as guidelines to protect the computer from virus infection.

Avoid Malicious Websites

There are enormous numbers of websites that were made for the primary purpose of spreading HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS. Normally, these sites are involved in integrating malicious pop-up and browser hijacker, that will eventually cause further virus infections. Avoid such websites.

Ignore and Delete Phishing Emails

The mass-mailing of computer viruses gives the attackers the luxury of spreading their malicious code in just one send-off. This will arrive in the inbox as an email that appears to be from a legitimate organization. So, if you receive an unexpected email with a link or an attached file, better delete it immediately.

Do Not Click a Suspicious Link

Links from social media, forums, and blog sites are sometimes being utilized by attackers to drive web users to a malicious page that contains malicious code. Therefore, do not just click on any link, especially if it looks suspicious. Accidental access to the destination site may lead to a HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS infection.

Be Careful When Downloading Files

Cracked software, serial key generators, and several freeware are seen as another method that spreads the HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS virus. Avoid acquiring these types of applications, and if there is a need to download freeware or shareware, be sure to obtain it from the official website or trusted providers.

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1 thought on “HackTool:Win32/AutoKMS”

  1. My laptop was hacked.
    They told me HackTool erases the threat.
    Do this programs you’ve mentioned
    remove hacking?
    If not, which one?
    Thank you.

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