Smart Guard Protection
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: High
Smart Guard Protection removal instructions
Smart Guard Protection is a rogue antivirus program that reports non existent security infections to scare PC users into purchasing it's full version which would remove the supposedly detected malware. This program is created by Cyber criminals who are distributing this fake antivirus program using infected email messages, exploit kits, and malicious websites. After successful infiltration this bogus software modifies operating system's registry entries and sets itself to start automatically on every system startup; moreover, Smart Guard Protection blocks execution of installed programs and doesn't allow to access one's task manager. PC users should know that this program is just an imitation of a legitimate antivirus software - none of the security infections detected by this program actually exist on user's computer.
Fake security scans, and indications of high risk malware are used to scare PC users into believing that their computers are infected with various viruses, Cyber criminals who are responsible for creating this scam are hoping that PC users will fall for such trickery and will purchase a license key for this rogue program. Paying for this program would equal to sending one's money to Cyber criminals - users would lose their money, and their computers would remain infected with a fake antivirus program. Users who see Smart Guard Protection scanning their computers for security infections shouldn't trust this program - it a scam created by Cyber criminals.
Smart Guard Protection originates from a family of rogue antivirus programs called WinWebSec, previous it's variants were named Antivirus Security Pro, Attentive Antivirus and System Care Antivirus. Nowadays Internet is crowded with fake antivirus programs; thus, computer users should be very careful when browsing the Internet - avoid downloading files from P2P networks and don't trust online pop-up ads that offer downloading security programs. The best way of protecting one's computer from such bogus security scanners is keeping all the installed programs (Flash, Java, etc.) up-to-date and using legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs. PC users who have already payed for the full version of this rogue program should contact their credit card company and dispute the charges explaining that they have been tricked into buying a fake antivirus program. To remove this bogus program use the provided removal instructions.
This rogue program takes webcam images to further scare PC users into believing that this program is real:
Warning! Suspicious activity similar to the behaviour of a virus Trojan:Win32/Tobfy has been detected in application csrss.exe This application made the following shot with your webcam and is attempting to send it to unidentified users. The virus family Trojan:Win32/Tobfy may attempt to steal other personal data, such as credit card information, personal photos and e-mail for the purpose of blackmailing, fraudulent actions and creating fake profile of different websites. The express version of Smart Guard Protection is unable to block the malicious activity of this application. We strongly recommend that you activate the full version of Smart Guard Protection to avoid having your personal data stolen and used by third parties.
At the time of research, we didn't notice any unusual network traffic - Smart Guard Protection doesn't send the taken photos to any third parties. This webcam image is only used to further scare PC users into thinking that their computers are infected with high risk malware.
Fake security warning pop-ups generated by Smart Guard Protection:
Unless Smart Guard Protection is activated, some of the current critical threats will not be eliminated and your computer will remain unprotected.
Suspicious activity detected in the application firefox.exe similar to the behaviour of the virus Win32/Conflicker.X. For your security and to avoid loss of data, the operation of application firefox.exe has been temporarily restricted. To restore the application's full operation, you must use the full edition of Smart Guard Protection.
Smart Guard Protection removal:
Smart Guard Protection generates fake security warning messages when users try accessing Internet using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox. To remove this rogue antivirus from your computer, you will have to download recommended malware removal software. If your Internet browsers are blocked by "Warning! The site you are trying to visit may harm your computer! Your security setting level puts your computer at risk!" message please click "Ignore warnings and visit that site in the current state (not recommended)" and download the recommended anti-spyware to eliminate this rogue program.
If you can't run the anti-spyware software, try downloading alternate installer (It is renamed to iexplore.exe - most of fake antivirus programs doesn't block execution of files with this name)
Optional method to download the recommended anti-spyware program:
If you can't access your Internet browsers: Click Start then click Run. (Click Windows logo in Windows 7 and Windows Vista)
In Windows XP, When the Run dialog appears enter this text: www.pcrisk.com/download-spyware-remover and then press ENTER. In Windows, 7 and Windows Vista you can type this line directly in the search field, and then press ENTER.
After pressing enter, the File download dialog of recommended malware removal software will appear. Click Run and follow the on-screen instructions.
If you still couldn't download the recommended malware removal software - Before downloading, enter a retrieved activation key in the activation window of Smart Guard Protection. Click "Buy full edition" button at the bottom of the main window of this fake antivirus software and enter this key:
Notice that entering this activation key will not remove Smart Guard Protection - it will make the removal process less complicated.
Smart Guard Protection removal using Safe Mode with Networking:
1. Load your computer in Safe Mode with Networking: Click Start, click Shut down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe mode with networking from the list.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking: Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click on Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window select Advanced startup. Click on "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into "Advanced Startup options menu." Click on the "Troubleshoot" button, then click on "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen click on "Startup settings." Click on the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into Startup Settings screen. Press "5" to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.
Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
2. Smart Guard Protection modifies system hosts file. It is used to resolve some canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, users may be redirected to malicious site while still seeing a good URL in address bar. To fix this, please download Microsoft FixIt tool that restores hosts file to windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:
3. Download and install recommended malware removal software to completely remove this fake antivirus from your PC.
NOTE: Rogue antivirus programs can block the download of anti-spyware software, if you can't download it from default location, try one of the alternative download locations below:
- Location 1 (The file is renamed to "iexplore.exe" because most of spyware doesn't block this file)
- Location 2
Smart Guard Protection removal using a retrieved activation key:
1. Wait until this rogue antivirus finishes it's fake security scan and click on the "Remove Threats" button. You can also click on the "Buy full edition" button at the bottom right corner of the main window of this rogue program.
In the opened window click on the "I, already have activation key" button.
2. In the opened window enter this retrieved registry key: AA39754E-216A8FF3 This will trick Smart Guard Protection into believing that you have already payed for it's full version. This step makes the removal process of this rogue antivirus program less complicated, after entering this registry key Smart Guard Protection will allow execution of installed software (including Internet browsers) and you will be able to download anti-spyware software without interruptions.
3. After entering this license key Smart Guard Protection will generate a couple of messages congratulating you for the successful registration and will imitate the removal process of the earlier detected malware and viruses.
4. Notice that entering this retrieved activation key doesn't remove this fake antivirus program from your computer - it makes the removal process less complicated. To completely remove this rogue antivirus from your computer download and install recommended malware removal software.
Other tools, known to remove Smart Guard Protection: