Windows Defence Unit
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: High
Windows Defence Unit removal instructions
What is Defence Unit?
Windows Defence Unit is a fake antivirus program, which mimics the detection of high-risk security threats in order to scare unsuspecting PC users into purchasing a 'full version' to supposedly eliminate the security infections. Computer users should be aware that this program should not be trusted - it is a scam created by cyber criminals who make money from PC users who fall for the fake security warning messages and go on to purchase a license key for this rogue antivirus program. This bogus software infiltrates the operating system using hacked websites, which display a fake Microsoft Security Essentials alert message to trick users into downloading and installing Windows Defence Unit on their computers.
After successful infiltration, this rogue antivirus program modifies the registry entries of an affected operating system by disabling execution of installed software, blocking the Task Manager, and configuring itself to start automatically on each system Startup. The aim of Windows Defence Unit is to make the operating system unusable so that users purchase 'ultimate protection' (the 'full version'). Note that paying for this program is equivalent to sending your money and credit card information to cyber criminals. Do not buy this program - it is a scam.
Windows Defence Unit originates from a family of rogue antivirus programs called FakeVimes. Previous variants were named Windows Protection Booster and Windows Antivirus Booster. Cyber criminals responsible for developing these bogus programs maintain identical appearance and functionality, changing only the name of each variant. To avoid computer infection with these fake antivirus programs, PC users should keep their operating systems and installed software up-to-date, and use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs. Moreover, be aware that online security warning messages, reporting security infections and offering download of antivirus programs to clean them, are not legitimate. These malicious pop-ups are employed by cyber criminals to distribute fake antivirus programs - do not trust online messages such as these. PC users who observe Windows Defence Unit scanning their operating systems for security infections should use this removal guide to eliminate this scam from their computers.
Screenshot of Windows Defence Unit generating fake security warning messages:
Screenshot of Windows Defence Unit demanding a payment of $99.9 for the 'full version':
How does Windows Defence Unit infect the user's computer?
This fake antivirus program infiltrates the user's operating system using fake online security warning messages. When landing on a malicious or hacked website, users are presented with a fake Microsoft Antivirus message: "Message from webpage - Microsoft Antivirus has found critical process activity on your PC. You need to clean your computer to prevent the system breakage".
In the second step of this scam, users are presented with another fake message, which is supposedly derived from Microsoft Security Essentials: "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert. Microsoft Security Essentials detected potential threats that might compromise your privacy or damage your computer. You need to clean your computer immediately to prevent the system crash".
Clicking on the "Clean computer" button downloads Windows Defence Unit on the victim's computer.
PC users who observe Windows Defence Unit scanning their computers for security infections should use this removal guide to eliminate this fake antivirus program from their computers.
- What is Defence Unit?
- STEP 1. Defence Unit removal - deleting svc-[random letters].exe file.
- STEP 2. Remove Defence Unit using a registration key.
- STEP 3. Remove Defence Unit using Safe Mode with Networking.
Windows Defence Unit removal:
Complete these steps to access your desktop:
1. Wait until Windows Defence Unit completes the fake security scan and click "Settings" (at the top of the main window).
2. Select "Allow unprotected Startup".
3. After selecting "Allow unprotected Startup", close Windows Defence Unit.
4. Access "My Computer". Double click the "My Computer" icon.
5. Navigate to C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Roaming
6. Locate a file named "svc-[random letters].exe" and click your right mouse button over this file.
7. In the opened menu, select "Rename". Change the filename of "svc-[random letters].exe" to "fake.exe".
8. After renaming the "svc-[random letters].exe" file, restart your computer. Next time the operating system boots, Windows Defence Unit will be inactive and will not block access to the Internet.
6. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this rogue antivirus program from your computer.
If you cannot download or run the spyware remover, try running the registry fix (link below). It enables execution of programs. Download the registryfix.reg file, double click it, click YES and then OK.
Windows Defence Unit removal using a registry key:
1. Click the question mark icon (at the top of the main window of Windows Defence Unit) and select "Register".
2. In the opened window enter this registry key: 0W000-000B0-00T00-E0021
3. After entering this registry key, Windows Defence Unit imitates the removal of previously 'detected' security threats and allows execution of installed programs. Note that entering this registration key will not remove this rogue antivirus program - it simply makes the removal process less complicated.
4. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to remove Windows Defence Unit from your computer.
Windows Defence Unit removal using Safe Mode with Networking:
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.
Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Video showing how to start Windows XP in "Safe Mode with Networking":
Remove proxy settings from Internet Explorer. This rogue antivirus program adds a proxy to the user's Internet connection settings to display various errors when the user attempts to access the Internet. To remove proxy settings: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. In the opened menu, select "Internet Options".
In the opened window, select the "Connections" tab.
In the "Connections" tab, click on "LAN settings".
If "Use a proxy server for your LAN" is checked, uncheck it and click OK.
Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this fake antivirus program from your computer.
After removing this rogue software, reset your Hosts file. Do not skip this step since Windows Defence Unit modifies your Hosts file and you will encounter browser redirect problems if malicious entries are not eliminated.
The Hosts file is used to resolve canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, the user may be redirected to malicious sites, despite seeing legitimate URLs in address bar. It is difficult to determine sites are genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft Fix It tool, that restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:
Other tools known to remove Windows Defence Unit:
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 Windows Defence Unit distribution:
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 Windows Defence Unit and other rogue antivirus programs:
To protect your computer from Windows Defence Unit 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 Windows Defence Unit from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
If you have additional information on Windows Defence Unit or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.