With a little luck, some hard work on your part and using the recommended removal tools, you can stomp on Privacy Center, aka PrivacyCenter, rogue software.
Unfortunately, Privacy Center can be installed on a computer system without any action on the part of the user. Delivery methods used by this parasite include dropping a Trojan, disguised as a video codec. It can also be downloaded voluntarily, from rogue security software websites, or from “adult” websites.
Once installed, this parasite can impact a computer in a number of ways including changing Internet browser settings, connecting to the internet, delivering adware, disguising itself to remain hidden from the user, and running as a background process.
The objective of Privacy Center, 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 this program is designed to display on the infected computer in various ways, including fake scan results, pop-ups and system tray notifications.
Generally, reputable anti-spyware software is capable of detecting rogue software if it attempts to install, or on a malware scan. But this is not always the case. Anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database can be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.
A good partial solution to this problem is to ensure you have installed, and are running, an anti-malware application such as ThreatFire, free from PC Tools. This type of program operates using heuristics, or behavioral analysis to identify newer threats.
Rogue Security Software unfortunately, is usually 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 Privacy Center, or other Rogue Security Software, the following removal solutions will be very useful.
411-Spyware.com is an invaluable asset in the battle against rogue software. This site contains tools and instructions for removing most rogue software. If you have an interest in Internet related security issues, I recommend that you bookmark this site.
Bleeping Computer is a web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software.
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, (I recommend that you do so), a highly rated anti-malware application which is capable of removing many newer rogue applications.
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 Antispyware 3000.
Please note: A high degree of computer operating system knowledge is a prerequisite to the successful removal of Rogue Security Software. If you lack this experience, it would be preferable that you enlist the aid of a computer savvy friend, or a professional.
Despite using any, or all, of the recommended tools, you may find that Rogue software is still resident on your system. This is possible due to the number of variations involved with this type of malware. In such a case, reformatting of the Hard Drive and a clean installation of the operating system may be the only alternative.
What can you do to ensure you are protected, or to reduce the chances you will become a victim?
The following are actions (familiar to regular readers of this site), that you can take to protect your computer system:
When surfing the web – Stop. Think. Click
Don’t open unknown email attachments
Don’t run programs of unknown origin
Disable hidden filename extensions
Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched
Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use
Disable scripting features in email programs
Make regular backups of critical data
Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised
Turn off file and printer sharing on your computer.
Install a personal firewall on your computer.
Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet
Ensure the anti-virus software scans all email attachments
Be proactive when it comes to your computer’s security; make sure you have adequate software based protection to reduce the chances that your machine will become infected.
I recommend that you ensure that the current anti- malware applications, which you depend on to protect your system, are up to the task by reading “The 35 Best Free Applications” on this site.
If you missed “Rogue Security Software on the Rise – What You Need to Know Now!” you can read it on this site.