Smart Protection 2012

Also Known As: Smart Protection 2012 Rogue
Type: Fake Antivirus
Damage level: High
Distribution: Moderate
Damage Level

Smart Protection 2012 virus - how to remove?

Smart Protection 2012 is a rogue computer security program derived from the same family of misleading programs as Security Sphere 2012, Personal Shield Pro, Total Security, and many others. Internet criminals designed this program to scare unsuspecting computer users into purchasing a fake license for Smart Protection 2012. This bogus program is distributed through Trojans, fake online security scanners, and fake program updates. To prevent your computer from being infected with rogue programs such as Smart Protection 2012, you should always use an updated legitimate antivirus/anti-spyware program. When this fake program self-installs, it will start automatically each time you boot your computer and you will then be presented with a computer security scan.

 Screenshot of Smart Protection 2012 virus:

smart protection 2012

This security scan is fake. Smart Protection 2012 bears no relation to a legitimate security program - there is no virus definition database, no security scan engine, etc. All the processes displayed by Smart Protection 2012 are imitated and are only used to trick you into purchasing a fake license. Do not buy Smart Protection 2012 to remove security threats from your computer. If you have already bought it, contact your credit card company and dispute the charges, explaining that you have been tricked into buying a fake security program. Use this removal guide to remove Smart Protection 2012 from your computer.

The following fake security warning messages will be displayed when your system is infected with Smart Protection 2012:

"Smart Protection 2012 Warning. Intercepting programs that may compromise your privacy and harm your system have been detected on your PC. Click here to remove them immediately with Smart Protection 2012."

"Smart Protection 2012 Warning. Your computer is still infected with dangerous viruses. Activate antivirus protection to prevent data loss and avoid theft of your credit card details. Click here to activate protection."

These security warnings are fake. If you have notice that your computer is infected with Smart Protection 2012, remove it immediately.

Automatic "Smart Protection 2012" virus removal:

Step 1
Before downloading the automatic remover, enter a fake license key in registration window of this program. Click the 'Registration' button at the top of the main window of Smart Protection 2012 and enter this key:  AA39754E-715219CE

This will not remove the infection, but will help the removal process. Note that if you copy this key to clipboard and click the 'Registration' button, Smart Protection 2012 may automatically 'detect' your copied key and thank you for registration. It will then imitate the removal of fake infections and ask you to restart your computer. Before restarting, or entering the key, you can download the remover (Step 2), so there will be no need to return to this site. After restarting, you will notice that the Smart Protection 2012 icon remains in the Taskbar. This will disappear when the remover finish its job. Bear in mind that by registering fake security programs, you do not break any copyright laws.

Step 2
Download and install the spyware remover. Note that when you scan your computer, Smart Protection 2012 may still generate fake warnings. You can ignore these warnings.

Automatic Smart Protection 2012 remover

If you need assistance removing Smart Protection 2012, give us a call 24/7:
1-800-681-6438
By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. All the products we recommend were carefully tested and approved by our technicians as being one of the most effective solutions for removing this threat.

If you cannot download or run the default installation file, you can try to download an alternate installer (it is renamed to iexplore.exe, since most of spyware does not block execution of files with this name)

Smart Protection 2012 virus manual removal (experienced users):

1. Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

alt

Here is a video demonstrating how to start Windows in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows XP users:

Windows Vista / 7 users:

Windows 8 users:

2. Open Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Internet Options. Select "Connections".

internet explorer internet options

 

internet explorer internet connections

 

3.Click LAN settings, if 'Use a proxy server for your LAN' is checked, uncheck it and press OK.

internet options lan settings

internet explorer proxy settings

 

 

 

 

4. Download HijackThis and save it to your desktop. Some malicious programs are able to block HijackThis, so when you click the download link, in the Save dialog, rename HijackThis.exe to iexplore.exe and only then click the Save button. After saving the file to your desktop, double click it. In the main HijackThis window click the “Do a system scan only” button. Select the following entry (place a tick at the left of the entry):

O4 - HKCU\..\RunOnce: [] %CommonAppData%\\.exe

After selecting the required entry, click "Fix Checked". After this procedure you can close HijackThis and proceed to the next removal step.

5. Smart Protection 2012 modifies the system Hosts file. It is used to resolve canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, the user may be redirected to malicious website, despite observing legitimate URLs in address bar. It is difficult to determine if the site is genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft FixIt tool that restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. The download link is below:

6. Download and install Anti-spyware software to completely remove the infection.

Before downloading the automatic remover, enter a fake license key in registration window of this program. Click the 'Registration' button at the top of the main window of Smart Protection 2012 and enter this key:  AA39754E-715219CE

This will not remove the infection, but will help removal process. Note that if you copy this key to clipboard and click the 'Registration' button, Smart Protection 2012 may automatically detect your copied key and thank you for registration. Bear in mind that by registering fake security programs, you do not break any copyright laws.

Automatic Smart Protection 2012 remover

If you need assistance removing Smart Protection 2012, give us a call 24/7:
1-800-681-6438
By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. All the products we recommend were carefully tested and approved by our technicians as being one of the most effective solutions for removing this threat.

NOTE: Some spyware can block the downloading of spyware removers. If you cannot download it using the default location, try one of the alternative download locations below:

  • Location 1 (the file is renamed to "iexplore.exe", since most spyware does not block this file)
  • Location 2

Other tools, known to remove Smart Protection 2012:

You can also try this registration code: AA39754E-715219CE. After entering this code, Smart Protection 2012 should stop displaying security warnings. This could help you in the removal process. This code disables Smart Protection 2012 only temporarily, so after entering this code you should scan your computer with a legitimate antispyware program.

Summary:

The fake antivirus programs (also known as "rogue antivirus programs" or "scareware") are applications that tries to lure computer users into paying for their non-existent full versions to remove the supposedly detected security infections (although the computer is actually clean). These bogus programs are created by cyber criminals who design them to look as legitimate antivirus software. Most commonly rogue antivirus programs infiltrate user's computer using poop-up windows or alerts which appear when users surf the Internet. These deceptive messages trick users into downloading a rogue antivirus program on their computers. Other known tactics used to spread scareware include exploit kits, infected email messages, online ad networks, drive-by downloads, or even direct calls to user's offering free support.

A computer that is infected with a fake antivirus program might also have other malware installed on it as rogue antivirus programs often are bundled with Trojans and exploit kits. Noteworthy that additional malware that infiltrates user's operating system remains on victim's computer regardless of whether a payment for a non-existent full version of a fake antivirus program is made. Here are some examples of fake security warning messages that are used in Smart Protection 2012 distribution:

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 1

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 2

Computer users who are dealing with a rogue security software shouldn't buy it's full version. By paying for a license key of a fake antivirus program users would send their money and banking information to cyber criminals. Users who have already entered their credit card number (or other sensitive information) when asked by such bogus software should inform their credit card company that they have been tricked into buying a rogue security software. Screenshot of a web page used to lure computer users into paying for a non-existent full version of Smart Protection 2012 and other rogue antivirus programs:

example of a webpage used to collect payments for fake antivirus programs

To protect your computer from Smart Protection 2012 and other rogue antivirus programs users should:

  • Keep their operating system and all of the installed programs up-to-date.
  • Use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
  • Use caution when clicking on links in social networking websites and email messages.
  • Don't trust online pop-up messages which state that your computer is infected and offers you to download security software.

Symptoms indicating that your operating system is infected with a fake antivirus program:

  • Intrusive security warning pop-up messages.
  • Alerts asking to upgrade to a paid version of a program to remove the supposedly detected malware.
  • Slow computer performance.
  • Disabled Windows updates.
  • Blocked Task Manager.
  • Blocked Internet browsers or inability to visit legitimate antivirus vendor websites.

If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove Smart Protection 2012 from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

If you have additional information on Smart Protection 2012 or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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About the author:

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010.

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