Tag Archives: false

XP Antivirus 2010 is Back – Removal Instruction

Back in the day (the mid 1960’s), I heard an old time College Football coach (Darryl Royal, of the University of Texas Longhorns) say, in answer to a question concerning his plans for an upcoming game, “we’ll dance with who brung us”.

What he meant was, he would continue to go with the players, and plays, that had contributed to a winning season. Or, to put it more succinctly – success breeds success.

Cyber criminals, particularly those responsible for the rogue software/scareware application, XP Antivirus, have learned this lesson well. XP Antivirus is back, and is running rampant on the Internet at the moment; having morphed from previous versions we had to deal with in 2008, and 2009.

Of all the rogue security applications released to date, and there have been thousands of them, this particular one has been the most successful for the criminal developers.

I first wrote on this scourge in 2008, and in the interim period, that specific article has been read 130,000+times. In the last week or so, I was surprised to see this older article, suddenly jump to the top of the daily read chart.

This shift in popularity, coupled with a number of readers reporting having to deal with infections caused by XP Antivirus 2010, convinced me to cover the scareware issue once again.

Just like its predecessor, XP Antivirus 2010 installer can be found on adult websites, salacious news sites, or it can be installed manually from rogue security software websites.

After the installation of XP Antivirus 2010 be prepared for false positives; fake or false malware detection warnings. As with all rogue security applications, XP Antivirus 2010 was developed to mislead uninformed computer users’ into downloading and paying for the “full” version of this bogus software, based on the false malware positives generated by the application.

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If the full program fee is not paid, XP Antivirus 2010 continues to run as a background process incessantly reporting those fake or false malware detection warnings. To really try your patience, this rogue security software cannot be uninstalled using the Windows Add/Remove Programs tool.

XP Antivirus 2010 Removal Instructions:

If you have become infected by XP Antivirus 2010, or other scareware (rogue software), have your PC worked on by a certified computer technician, who will have the tools, and the competency, to determine if the infection can be removed without causing system damage.

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.

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.

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.

SmitFraudFix, available for download at Geekstogo is a free tool that is continuously updated to assist victims of rogue security app

What can you do to ensure you are protected, or to reduce the chances you will become a victim?

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, including scareware, is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download freeware applications 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, since 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.

As a form of added protection, you should consider running in a virtual environment while connected to the Internet. To find out what this means to your overall security, and to download a free virtual software application, please read “Download Free Returnil Virtual System 2010 Home”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Malware Advisories, Rogue Software, Rogue Software Removal Tips, scareware, Scareware Removal Tips, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Scareware Not Swine Flu – An Epidemic Nevertheless!

Cyber crooks are continuing to develop and distribute “rogue software”, also known as “scareware’,  at a furious pace; there are literally thousands of variants of this type of malware currently circulating on the Internet.

Unless you have had the bad experience of being trapped by this type of malicious software, you may not even be aware that such a class of software even exists. The average computer user that I speak with informally, has no idea that rogue applications even exist.  But they do, and distribution has now reached virtual epidemic proportions on the Internet.

It’s all about the money:

Rogue software is software that uses malware, or malicious tools, to advertise or install itself. After the installation of rogue software, false positives; a fake or false malware detection warning in a computer scan, are a primary method used to convince the unlucky user to purchase the product.

Rogue security software 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, in many cases, virtually impossible to find and remove.

As well, the installation of such malware can lead to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allow hackers access to important personal and financial information.

(Current Internet infections – courtesy of Panda Security)

The highest rated articles on this Blog, in the last 12 months, have been those associated with this type of malicious software. It’s easy to see why.

So how much money is really involved here? Lots -according to Panda Security, approximately 35 million computers are infected with scareware/rogueware each month (roughly 3.50 percent of all computers), and cybercriminals are earning more than $34 million monthly through rogueware attacks.

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(An example of a current rogue security application)

Recently, a reader of this Blog made the statement “These people (cyber criminals), should stop doing this and get a real job”. The obvious answer to this of course is – this is their real job! How many jobs – a relatively easy job at that – could produce this type of income?

The following two examples taken from this Blogs readers’ questions, illustrate the consequences of becoming infected by rogue security software.

Victim #1What do you do if you were duped into buying the XP Antivirus software? Should I take any precautions such as canceling credit card and/or email passwords etc.? Is my home edition of avast! 4.8 Antivirus enough to keep me safe from bogus and/or rogue software???? Please help…my computer is my life! Thank you.

Victim #2I unfortunately fell for the “virus attack” after trying to remove it, gave in and bought the XPAntivirus. They charged me not only for what I had bought but charged me again, $ 78.83 for something which I hadn’t ordered, nor ever received. It was a nightmare trying to get in touch with anybody.

I finally connected with a guy with an accent, who told me to E-mail the billing service re: my problem. I wrote them tried to call, it’s been a week, and they still won’t contact me to clarify what occurred. I printed off a purchase order from them when I bought the XP which verifies what I received. Anybody know what state their in, I’ll notify the states attorneys office. These people are crooks.

(These two readers were responded to privately.)

If you become infected by this, or other scareware (rogue software), have your PC worked on by a certified computer technician, who will have the tools, and the competency, to determine if the infection can be removed without causing system damage. Computer technicians do not provide services at no cost, so be prepared for the costs involved.

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 removal solutions will be invaluable.

The individuals / companies, who wrote and developed these free tools, and who offer free removal advice, are to be congratulated for giving back, so freely, to the Internet community.

Without their generous efforts, those infected by rogue applications, would be faced, without the assistance of a professional, with the unenviable task of performing a complete system reinstall, with a strong probability of losing irreplaceable Hard Drive data.

Free resources:

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.

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.

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 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.

Additional precautions 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 the computer.

Install a personal firewall on the computer.

Install anti-virus/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

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

Comments Off on Scareware Not Swine Flu – An Epidemic Nevertheless!

Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Firefox Add-ons, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Explorer Add-ons, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Panda Security, Rogue Software, Rogue Software Removal Tips, Scareware Removal Tips, Software, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

You’re in Luck – Perfect Defender 2009 License Key

Since this site gets so many Google hits from surfers looking for a free license key for Perfect Defender 2009 – more than 150 in the last few days alone, I just had to write this article.

If you ended up on this site looking for this free key, let me tell you – you’re damn lucky.

Here’s the scoop:

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Perfect Defender 2009 is a rogue security application, and like all rogue security applications, Perfect Defender 2009 is a master at using Trojans, and fake advertising, to convince Internet users to install this rogue application.

The objective of Perfect Defender 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 this program is designed to display on the infected computer in various ways, including fake scan results, pop-ups and system tray notifications.

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 have installed this parasitic application then you need to read Perfect Defender 2009 – 3 Removal Solutions, on this site.

One last thing: those individual who attempt to cheat software developers and distributors of their justified earnings, deserve everything they get – including massive malware infections!

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Interconnectivity, internet scams, Rogue Software, Rogue Software Removal Tips, Scareware Removal Tips, trojans, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools

Remove Privacy Center – Help and Solutions

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:

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.

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.

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Malware Advisories, Rogue Software, Software, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

CoreGuard 2009 Antivirus – Help and Removal Instructions

imageI have to admit, I’m getting very tired of writing about the latest rogue software threat circulating on the Internet. Frankly, I find it extremely depressing.

There seems to be no end to this stuff, and keeping up with it is becoming increasingly more difficult when you consider, there are already more than 370 rogue applications circulating on the Internet.

Crafty cyber-crooks are at it again with the release of CoreGuard 2009 Antivirus, yet another rogue security application seeking out unaware users in order to infect their computers, and to steal their money.

In this case, the crooks want the victims to purchase CoreGuard 2009 for $76.50 to clean the infected machine – which of course it won’t.

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Like all rogue security applications, Core Guard 2009 is a master at using Trojans, and fake advertising, to convince unaware Internet users to install this parasitic application.

With a little luck, some hard work on your part and using the recommended removal tools, you can hopefully stomp on Core Guard 2009.

Fortunately, from what I can determine, Core Guard 2009 must be downloaded voluntarily, from rogue security software websites, or from “adult” websites. This method does not limited the scope of this parasite, in my view, since many typical users are well trained in clicking on virtually everything they see on the Internet. Delivery methods used by this parasite include dropping a Trojan, which may go on to download other harmful software.

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 CoreGuard 2009, which is the objective of all Rogue Security Software, is to convince the victim to pay for the “full” version of the application, as described above, 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.

image

CoreGuard Buy

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.

You can find the very substantial list of files and folders created by this application at Quick Heal.

If you are a victim of CoreGuard 2009, or other Rogue Security Software, the following removal solutions will be very useful.

Affected Systems: Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP

Removal Solutions:

411 Spyware – How to Remove CoreGuard Antivirus 2009. 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 – Remove CoreGuard Antivirus 2009 (Removal Instructions). Bleeping Computer is a web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of 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 CoreGuard2009.

MalwareBytes, a very reliable anti-malware company, offers the free version of MalwareBytes’ Anti-Malware, a highly rated anti-malware application which is capable of removing many newer rogue applications. I recommend that you download and install this free  application in any event and use it as a secondary malware scanner due to its strong overall performance.

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.

5 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Internet Safety, Malware Advisories, Manual Malware Removal, Rogue Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, trojans, Windows Tips and Tools

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

Privacy Center – Removal Help and Solutions

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.

Comments Off on Privacy Center – Removal Help and Solutions

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Freeware, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Manual Malware Removal, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Software, System Security, trojans, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools, worms