How to Remove Privacy Center Rogue Software – Help and Solutions

I read recently, there are 370+ rogue applications circulating on the Internet, as we speak – all of them poised to take your money, if given the chance. Is that crazy, or is that crazy?

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.

Privacy Center 1

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.

Privacy Center 2

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.

Removal Solutions:

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 Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible

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.

13 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Interconnectivity, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Rogue Software, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

13 responses to “How to Remove Privacy Center Rogue Software – Help and Solutions

  1. Pingback: » How to Remove Privacy Center Rogue Software – Help and Solutions … » Free Software

  2. Almost 400 variants on this plague currently active…

    I have become a BIG fan of mbam (MalwareBytes), and see it as the “go to” for these ‘rogue’ apps. I know you have been recommending it for quite some time.. but I just want to add to that.

    I’m going to go further.. MalwareBytes is one of the very few that I can say that purchasing the “full” (or, “pro”) version may very well be worth it for the user.
    (That’s really my highest reco’, btw.)

    • Bill Mullins

      TechPaul,

      Absolutely agree on MalwareBytes. I can’t recall ever suggesting that a user purchase a commercial product except for MalwareBytes, or alternatively, Spyware Doctor. Interesting to see that you agree.

      Bill

  3. I do! The three anti-malware applications that I believe are currently worth the cost of admission are: Spyware Doctor w/AV, Norton Internet Security Suite 2009, and MalwareBytes.

    I also just want to thank you, because I believe you were one of the first to point readers to MalwareBytes; and I know that if I see it here, it isn’t some half-baked new fad, but a top-drawer program.

  4. Great post again Bill. I heard Adobe Reader has another critical flaw. Apparently you can save yourself from this exploit by disabling Java Script. Can you tell me why the heck Adobe Reader (or any PDF reader including Foxit) need Java to read PDF’s?
    Just wondering, maybe I’m missing some awesome Java script enabled PDF features or something.
    Hope your weather is as good as ours is in Norcal.
    Cheers
    Mark

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mark,

      Anyone who keeps Adobe Reader on their machine is just slightly out of touch. Like you, I’ve never been able to understand the need for Java in A.R. – functionality at the cost of security. Too bizarre! Up here in Canada, we seem to go from the dead of Winter right into Spring without a transition period, like in the old days. Global warming?

      Good to hear from you, as always.

      Bill

  5. dan

    I fear that as a technician I’m just not getting the word out about the rising threat. You’ve heard my battle cry a couple of times, I know 🙂

    The biggest challenge is that as a solution becomes more popular against these malware @#$@#, blackhats write updates onto the code to defeat these affect counter measures. I’ve come across versions now that defeat ComboFix, Superantispyware and mbam’s Malwarebytes, etc. We use Symantec’s Corporate Edition and it fumbles regularly.

    Polymophing and Multiple Entry Points are just the start. Policy modifications, root point entries, Image safe zone infestations lurk in the shadows too.

    I highly recommend that each technician adds Ultimate Boot CD with Avast or any other Zero-footprint scan option. You can do this or at least have a SATA/EIDE to USB converter to hook up the infected drive as a usb drive to a Hardened workstation to initiate a cleaning.

    A day without having to battle malware means there’s no electricity running to the buildings. 😦

    d:)

  6. great site good information

  7. Dennis

    QUESTION: I am currently trying to fix a friend’s computer zapped by Privacy Center, but I can’t get it to boot up to the desktop via Normal or Safe Mode. I have successfully used Malware bytes in the past many times to resurrect PCs, but I can’t get it to boot up. I tried Ctrl-alt-del and other boot-up measures available on startup. Any suggestions???

  8. Dennis

    QUESTION UPDATE:

    FYI…I got into the desktop by booting up to safe mode w/ command prompt. Looked in Program Files and saw Pcenter. Typed: del pcenter Voila! Now I can find a way to scour the PC and get rid of the remenants. Hope this helps others. THANKS!

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Dennis,

      Very cool – sounds like you’re a problem solver.

      I’m sure other readers will benefit from your solution. Thank you.

      Bill