Windows Defence Master
Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: High
Windows Defence Master removal instructions
What is Defence Master?
Windows Defence Master is a rogue antivirus program, which indicates fake security infections to scare PC users into purchasing "ultimate protection" (the 'full' version). This bogus software is created by cyber criminals who make money from users who fall for the fake security scans and security warning messages and go on to purchase the useless license key. PC users should be aware that buying a full version of this program is equivalent to sending their money and credit card information to cyber criminals. Windows Defence Master infiltrates operating systems via hacked or malicious websites, which trick users into downloading the program by generating fake online security warning messages.
At time of research, cyber criminals employed fake Microsoft Security Essentials alert messages to trick users into downloading their rogue antivirus program. Following successful infiltration, Windows Defence Master modifies the registry entries of an infected operating system by blocking execution of installed programs and disabling the Task Manager. Furthermore, this bogus software blocks the user's desktop and performs fake computer security scans on each system Startup. In fact, none of the security threats indicated by this program exist on the computer - this program imitates the detection of identical security threats on all computers infiltrated. Windows Defence Master is a scam - the correct way to deal with this program is to remove it from your computer.
Windows Defence Master originates from a family of fake antivirus programs called FakeVimes. Previous variants were named Windows Security Master, Windows Defence Unit, and Windows Protection Booster. Cyber criminals responsible for releasing these bogus programs use identical user interfaces and functionality, changing only the names of their rogue antivirus software variants. To avoid computer infection with fake antivirus programs, do not trust online security warning messages indicating 'security infections' and offering installation of security software to supposedly eliminate them. If you observe Windows Defence Master scanning your computer for security infections, use this removal guide to eliminate this fake antivirus program from your computer.
Screenshot of Windows Defence Master blocking execution of Internet browsers:
Screenshot of Windows Defence Master demanding payment of $99.9 for the 'full' version:
How does Windows Defence Master infect user's computer?
This fake antivirus program infiltrates operating systems using fake online security warning messages. When landing on a malicious or hacked website, users are presented with the 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, 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 the "Clean computer" button downloads Windows Defence Master on the victim's computer.
PC users who observe Windows Defence Master scanning their computers for security infections should use this removal guide to eliminate this fake antivirus program from their computers.
- What is Defence Master?
- STEP 1. Defence Master removal - deleting svc-[random letters].exe file.
- STEP 2. Remove Defence Master using a registration key.
- STEP 3. Remove Defence Master using Safe Mode with Networking.
Windows Defence Master removal:
Complete these steps to access your desktop:
1. Wait until Windows Defence Master 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 Master.
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 Master 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 Master removal using a registry key:
1. Click the question mark icon (at the top of the main window of Windows Defence Master) and select "Register".
2. In the opened window enter this registry key: 0W000-000B0-00T00-E0021
3. After entering this registry key, Windows Defence Master 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 completely remove Windows Defence Master from your computer.
Windows Defence Master 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 adds a proxy to the user's Internet connection settings to display various errors when 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 "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 Master modifies your Hosts file and you will encounter browser redirect problems unless malicious entries are 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, which 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 Master:
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 Master 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 Master and other rogue antivirus programs:
To protect your computer from Windows Defence Master 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 Master from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.
If you have additional information on Windows Defence Master or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.