PC Defender 360

Also Known As: PC Defender 360 Rogue
Damage level: High

What is PC Defender 360?

PC Defender 360 is a rogue antivirus program created by cyber criminals. The main purpose of this fake security scanner is to scare unsuspecting PC users into believing that their computers are infected with high-risk malware, and then encouraging them to purchase a useless program.

This bogus program infiltrates users' computers using 'exploit kits', which are proliferated using infected email messages, malicious websites, and drive-by downloads. After successful infiltration, PC Defender 360 imitates a genuine antivirus program by starting a fake security scan.

After a few minutes, the rogue program generates a large list of supposedly-detected malware and viruses and demands payment for the full version of the program, which purportedly eliminates the 'detected' security threats. In fact, none of the detected security infections exist - PC Defender 360 is a scam, which attempts to trick PC users into buying the 'full version'.

PC Defender 360 rogue program

This fake antivirus program imitates the detection of identical security infections on each computer infiltrated. The rogue security program originates from a family of fake antivirus programs called FakeRean. Note that a previously-discovered variant from this family was named Antivirus System.

If you observe PC Defender 360 scanning your computer for security infections, your PC is infected with a rogue antivirus program. Do not trust it or pay for the full version, it is a scam.

PC Defender 360 adopts a professional-looking user interface, however, this is its only similarity to legitimate antivirus programs. This software is a scam, since it has no virus definition database or virus scan engine - it simply relies on fake security scans and false security warning pop-ups in order to trick PC users into buying the 'full version'.

Note that buying this program is equivalent to sending your money to cyber criminals, and moreover, by purchasing this scam, you will divulge your banking information, which could lead to further thefts from your account.

If you have already paid for PC Defender 360, contact your credit card company and dispute the changes, explaining that you have been tricked into buying a fake antivirus program. To remove this scam from your computer, use the removal instructions provided.

A fake security warning pop-up generated by PC Defender 360:

PC Defender 360 generated fake security warning pop-up messages

PC Defender 360 Firewall Alert.
iexplore.exe is infected with not-a-virus:AdWare.Win32.WhiteSmoke.a. Private data can be stolen by third parties, including credit card details and passwords.

Windows recommends activate PC Defender 360.
Click Activate to register your copy of PC Defender 360 and perform threat removal on your system.

PC Defender 360 Security Alert - Vulnerabilities found, Background scan for security breaches has been finished. Serious problems have been detected. Safeguard you system against exploits, malware and viruses right now by activating Proactive Defence.

Upgrade to full version of PC Defender 360 software package now! Clean your system and ward off new attacks against your system integrity and sensitive data. FREE daily updates and online protection from web-based intrusions are already in the bundle.

PC Defender 360 - Your system is left vulnerable to all types of online infections and instructions. Copies of malware already planted in your system contact their originating servers for further spreading and taking control over your system. Enable Internet Security to prevent identity theft and system damage.

PC Defender 360 - Your system is left vulnerable for spyware attacks. All your personal information, including credit card numbers and password can be stolen. Enable Personal Security to prevent thefts.

PC Defender 360 - No PS activity is analysed for possible spyware traces. Harmful programs of known and new types can damage your system and cause data loss and identity theft. No real-time detection and protection is used.

PC Defender 360 - No web traffic, activity and content is monitored. Spyware and malware can use your web browsers as a gateway to sensitive areas of your system. No malicious code in web pages is detected and blocked.

ATTENTION: DANGER! System scan for spyware, adware, trojans and viruses has been finished. PC Defender 360 detected 105 critical system objects. These security breaches may be exploited and lead to the following:
Your system becomes a target for spam and bulky, intruding Ads
Browser crashes frequently and web access speed decreases
Your personal files, photos, documents and passwords get stolen
Your computer is used for criminal activity behind your back
Bank details and credit card information get disclosed

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Quick menu:

PC Defender 360 removal:

IMPORTANT! Before downloading the anti-spyware program to eliminate this rogue antivirus program: Click the "Registration" button located at the top right corner of the PC Defender 360 main window.

PC Defender 360 registration step 1

In the opened registration window, click on the "Enter Activation Code" button:

PC Defender 360 registration step 2

Enter this key: 1O2Z3L4W5I6T7F8Q9C0N1Y2K3V4H5S6E and click the "Activate" button.

PC Defender 360 registration step 3

PC Defender 360 will thank you for activation .This step will trick this rogue antivirus software into behaving as though you have paid for the full version and make the removal process of PC Defender 360 less complicated. You will also be able to use your Internet browser/s and download legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.

Note that you should never pay for the full version of fake antivirus programs - you will lose your money and your banking information will be at risk. If you have paid for a rogue program, contact your credit card company and dispute the charges.

PC Defender 360 registration step 4

After entering the registration key and activating PC Defender 360, restart your computer and download the recommended malware removal software to completely remove this rogue antivirus program from your computer.

Note that entering the retrieved activation code does not remove PC Defender 360 - fake registration simply makes the removal process less complicated. If you do not remove this bogus software from your system, you may encounter further security infections, privacy issues, and identity thefts.

NOTE: If you cannot run the anti-spyware software, try right-clicking on it and selecting "Run as administrator". If the installation of spyware remover fails, or you cannot execute .exe files, try running our Customized installer.

If, after or before, the removal of this fake antivirus program, you cannot run any installed software, download the registry fix (link below). Save it to your computer, double click, click "Yes", and then click "OK". After rebooting your PC, file associations should be fixed.

If you cannot open your Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla FireFox):

In the Search field, enter this link: www.pcrisk.com/installer.com and then press ENTER.


File download dialogue will appear stating that you are downloading file installer.com. Click "Run", wait for the download process to complete, and then follow the on-screen instructions.

If your Internet browsers are functional, use this button to download anti-spyware software.

If the automatic removal method fails, use these instructions:

Please follow these steps if your Internet browsers are blocked:

Step 1

When PC Defender 360 completes the fake security scan, click the "Registration" button on the top-right corner of this program, when the registration window is opened, click  "Enter Activation Code"

Step 2

When PC Defender 360 opens the Activation window, enter this registry key: 1O2Z3L4W5I6T7F8Q9C0N1Y2K3V4H5S6E into the "Registry key:" field and click  the "Activate" button. PC Defender 360 will then thank you for registration and begin removing the "infections" previously detected.  Do not worry - these infections (malware, viruses, and Trojans) are fake.

Step 3

Restart your computer. After restart, your Internet browsers will start to function normally and you will be able to download and install anti-spyware software to remove the infection (download button below). Note that activation does not remove PC Defender 360 - this rogue will run in the background and you are advised to remove it as soon as possible.

If installation or downloading of anti-spyware software fails:

If you are still unable to run or download the anti-spyware software, download this registry fix file. It enables execution of applications and fixes web browser errors. Click on the link below, after downloading, click "Run", click "Yes", and then "OK".

If the installation of anti-spyware software fails, try downloading and running our Customized installer.

PC Defender 360 removal using Safe-Mode with Networking:

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.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

2. Download registry fix for PC Defender 360. This fix removes registry entries, which disallow execution of programs. Download it, click the link below. After downloading, double click win7_av_fix.reg file, click "Yes" when asked and then click "OK".

3. Download recommended malware removal software, install it and run a full system scan.

Alternative PC Defender 360 removal guide:

Some malicious programs may disallow download of anti-spyware software. If you cannot download it using the default location, try one of the alternative download locations:

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

If you still cannot download or run anti-spyware software, please follow these steps:

Step 1
Download registry the fix for PC Defender 360 fake antivirus. This fix removes registry entries that disallow execution of programs. After download, double click the win7_av_fix.reg file, click "Yes", when asked and then click "OK".

Step 2
Some variants of this rogue antivirus modify system proxy settings to prevent access to the Internet. To reset the proxy settings to default, download and run this tool:

Step 3
This fake antivirus program modifies the system Hosts file. 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:

Step 4
Download the Spyware remover, or install and run it if already downloaded.


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 fake antivirus 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 pc defender 360 rogue and other rogue antivirus programs:

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

To protect your computer from pc defender 360 rogue 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 have additional information on pc defender 360 rogue or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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