PC Live Guard and GreatDefender – Panda Security Takes a Look

Courtesy of Panda Security: This week’s PandaLabs report looks at two fake antiviruses: PC Live Guard, and GreatDefender.

This type of malware passes itself off as legitimate software applications in order to steal users’ money, by tricking them into believing that they will eliminate threats on their computers.

PC Live Guard’s icon resembles a legitimate antivirus icon. When run, a typical screen is displayed, asking users if they want to scan their PCs.

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Regardless of whether users accept or not, it will indicate their computer is infected. Here is the image that will be displayed if users scan their PC

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If users do not scan their PC with the fake antivirus, infection warnings are still displayed to scare them into purchasing the product.

GreatDefender is a fake antivirus which informs about potentially dangerous software on the computer, due to it not being correctly protected. It tries to get users to pay with their credit cards in order to install the solution.

The objective of the antivirus is to collect personal and bank details provided by users on purchasing it. As this type of malware cannot reproduce itself, it requires user interaction to infect the PC. To do so, it uses its own websites on which it is advertised as one of the best anti-spyware solutions in the market.

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When users access the website, they are given the option to download the antivirus, but when they try, the trial version is unavailable and they are redirected to the pay version.

The installation process is similar to that of any antivirus, allowing users to select the language and location of the files. Once the installation ends, the fake antivirus carries out a full system scan.

It then falsely ensures users that their computers are free from any infections. To make users believe they are protected, an icon is displayed in the Windows desktop, the quick taskbar and the Windows start menu, to make it look as authentic as possible.

More information about these and other malicious codes is available in the Panda Security Encyclopedia. You can also follow Panda Security’s online activity on its Twitter and PandaLabs blog.

GreatDefender and PC Live Guard removal Instructions:

If you feel you have the necessary skills, and you want to try your hand at removal, then by all means do so.

The following free resources can provide tools and the advice you will need to attempt removal.

411 Spyware – a site that specializes in malware removal. I highly recommend this site.

Bleeping Computer – a web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software. This is another site I highly recommend.

Malwarebytes, a very reliable anti-malware company, offers a free version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, 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.

What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue, or malicious, software.

Be careful 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.

Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on, that offers substantial protection against questionable, or unsafe websites.

Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.

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8 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Explorer Add-ons, internet scams, Internet Security Alerts, Malware Advisories, Manual Malware Removal, Panda Security, PandaLabs, Rogue Software, Rogue Software Removal Tips, scareware, Scareware Removal Tips, Software, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)

8 responses to “PC Live Guard and GreatDefender – Panda Security Takes a Look

  1. The computer security software industry has formed an organization called the Common Computing Security Standards Forum to combat the rise of Rogue Anti-Virus. Among other things, it publishes a list of legitimate Computer Security Software Companies. Their Website is http://www.ccssforum.org.

    Comodo’s CEO Melih Abdulhayoglu is one of the founders of CCSS Forum, and recorded a video blog program about it which is available at this website address: http://www.comodo.tv/m-vision/ccss/

    Bill Fallon
    VP Marketing
    Comodo Group

    • Bill Mullins

      Thanks Bill, for this very important information. Average users often feel as if they are the “staked out” bait in the Tiger trap.

      That’s the second time today, you have given me grist for the “article mill”. Much appreciated.

      Bill

  2. Ramblinrick

    Bill,

    It is appalling to see the developers of these malware apps using their talents to rob people and cause dismay. Thank you for your constant reminders about this crap!

    Rick

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Rick,

      Some people definitely have a twisted sense of morality. From a straight business perspective, these guys certainly don’t have any marketing costs to deal with. LOL

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Bill

  3. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Fortunately I have never had to deal with these false apps and I hope I never do. You would think if these people put their skills into legitimate efforts, they could probably make just as much money.

    Cheers

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      You’re a high end user so it’s unlikely you’ll ever get caught by this type of scam. I’ll never understand what drives crooks – maybe it’s just money. But, I wonder.

      Bill

  4. Hi Bill – great topic! Have you heard of Immunet? These guys are really cool and compete with Panda (worth a look!). In fact, Mashable just wrote a little about them.

    https://www.immunet.com/protect

    http://mashable.com/2010/01/08/immunet-protects-online-communities-from-viruses/

    – disclaimer – I’m affiliated with them

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Eric,

      I have some familiarity with Immunet, having taken a quick look at it last year. In fact, your email prompted me to check my unpublished, and incomplete article list, and sure enough I had started laying out a review which got lost in the great void. I normally carry 20/30 articles in my “unfinished” folder and sometimes, life just gets in the way and some articles …..

      I think your project is terrific, and I very much support the concept of community action.

      Thank you for bringing this back into focus for me. I normally test “real world” style for 30 days or so, and I look forward to posting a review of Immunet shortly after that.

      Again, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention.

      Bill