The crafty cyber-crooks who developed PC Protection Center 2008 are at it again with the release of Total Protect 2009. Total Protect 2009 is yet another rogue security application, in a long line of rogue security applications, currently circulating on the Internet, seeking out unaware users in order to infect their computers and to steal their money.
Like all rogue security applications, Total Protect 2009 is a master at using Trojans, and fake advertising, to convince unaware Internet users to install this parasitic application.
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The Total Protect 2009 site looks harmless but…….
If you’re an experienced computer user, then you’re aware that the Internet is saturated with rogue security programs like Total Protect 2009, which, if installed, can often cost the unfortunate victim loads of money in an attempt to get rid of it. What you might not be aware of is, rogue security software, has now evolved into a billion dollar criminal enterprise.
In the last year, or so, I have heard some horrendous stories from readers where the common thread has been the debiting of their credit cards, multiple times, by the cyber-criminals responsible for the distribution of Rogue Security Software.
The objective of Total Protect 2009, which is the objective of all Rogue Security Software, is to convince the victim to pay for the “full” version of the application in order to remove what are, in fact, false positives that parasitic programs, such as this, are designed to display on the infected computer in various ways, including fake scan results, pop-ups and system tray notifications.
Like many parasitic applications, this particular rogue security software’s installer is often found on adult websites, or it can be installed manually, from rogue security software websites including totalprotect2009.com.
The graphic below, illustrates how WOT (Web of Trust), described later in this article, protects web users from interacting with unsafe sites, such as totalprotect2009.com.
Rogue Security Software unfortunately, is generally very sophisticated and can write itself into multiple parts of the operating system, and in many cases, it can hide its files, registry entries, running process and services, making the infection difficult to find, and extremely difficult to remove.
If you are a victim of this, or other Rogue Security Software, the following removal solutions will be invaluable.
Bleeping Computer is a web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of this particular rogue software.
SmitFraudFix, available for download at Geekstogo is a free tool that is continuously updated to assist victims of rogue security applications including the removal of Total Protect 2009.
Malwarebytes, a very reliable anti-malware company, has created a free application to help keep you safe and secure. RogueRemover will safely remove a number of rogue security applications. You will also have the option of downloading the free version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, a highly rated anti-malware application which is capable of removing many newer rogue applications.
What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue security software.
Consider the ramifications carefully before responding to a Windows Security Alert pop-up message. This is a favorite vehicle used by rogue security application to begin the process of infecting unwary users’ computers.
Be cautious in downloading freeware, or shareware programs. Spyware is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download this type of program only through reputable web sites such as Download.com, or sites that you know to be safe.
Consider carefully the inherent risks attached to peer-to-peer (P2P), or file sharing applications where exposure to rogue security applications is widespread.
Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is WOT (Web of Trust), an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on that offers substantial protection against dangerous websites. The graphic earlier in this article illustrates how WOT’s drop-down warning curtain is activated on visiting a dangerous website such as totalprotect2009.com.