Advanced Defender is a rogue anti-spyware program from the
same family as Personal
Protector. This rogue is distributed through malware that will install the
program onto your computer without your permission or knowledge. While being
installed this program will also create fake and harmless malware files on your
computer that will be detected by Advanced Defender when it scans your computer.
The files it creates are:
Once installed, Advanced Defender will hide your desktop icons and then start
scanning your computer for infections. When done it will list a variety of infections,
including the fake ones above, but will not allow you to remove them until you
first purchase the program. Many of the infections it states, though, are legitimate
programs that if deleted would affect the proper operation of your computer.
Therefore, please do not manually delete any of the files on your computer that
it states are infections.
As a method to protect itself, Advanced Defender will terminate almost any
executable that you run while stating that the file is an infection. It does
this to stop legitimate anti-malware programs from removing it. When an executable
is launched it will display a message that contains the following text:
Cmd.exe is infected with worm Lsas.Blaster.Keyloger.
This worm is trying to send your credit card details using to connect to remote
Do not worry, though, your executables are not infected. This is just another
fake alert of the program.
Advanced Defender screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 5 images you can view.
While the program is running you will also see fake security alerts stating
that your computer is under attack or that malware has been detected that can
steal your personal information. An example of one of these alerts is:
Attention! System detected a potential hazard
on your computer that may infect executable files. Your private information
and PC safety is at risk.
To get rid of unwanted spyware and keep
your computer safe you need to update your Current security software.
Click Yes to download official intrusion detection system (IDS software)
Just like the scan results and fake infection messages, these security warnings
are just another trick by Advanced Defender to make you think you are infected.
As you can see, Advanced Defender was created for one purpose; to scare you
into thinking your computer has a security problem so that you will then purchase
the program. It goes without saying that you should not purchase this program
regardless of what it may state. If you have already purchased the program,
then please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. Finally,
please use the guide below to remove this infection and any related malware
View Advanced Defender files.
View Advanced Defender Registry Information.
Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:
Tools Needed for this fix:
Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [advanceddefender] C:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\advanceddefender.exe
02/08/10 - Initial guide creation.
Automated Removal Instructions for Advanced Defender using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is
open later in the fix.
- It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow
you to download files on the infected computer. If this is the case, then
you will need to download the files requested in this guide on another computer
and then transfer them to the infected computer. You can transfer the files
via a CD/DVD, external drive, or USB flash drive.
- Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to
so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please
download RKill from the following link and save it to your desktop.
Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button
labeled iExplore.exe download link. When you are prompted
where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
- As this infection hides the Windows desktop, we need to open up a window
that allows us to see the icons.
If you are using Windows XP perform the following steps:
Click on the Start button and then click on the
Run menu item. When the Run box opens, type %UserProfile%\desktop
in the Open: field and then press Enter on your keyboard.
If you are in Windows Vista or Windows 7 perform the following steps.
Click on the Start button and type %UserProfile%\desktop
in the Search field at the bottom of the start menu. Then
press Enter on your keyboard.
- Once the Windows opens, double-click on the iExplore.exe
icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with
and other Rogue programs. Please be patient while the program looks for various
malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will
automatically close and you can continue with the next step. If you get a
message that RKill is an infection, do not be concerned. This message is just
a fake warning given by
when it terminates programs that may potentially remove it. If you run into
these infections warnings that close RKill, a trick is to leave the warning
on the screen and then run RKkill again. By not closing the warning, this
typically will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so
that RKill can terminate
. So, please try running RKill until the malware is no longer running. You
will then be able to proceed with the rest of the guide. Do not reboot
your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
If you continue having problems running RKill, you can download the
other renamed versions of RKill from the RKill
download page. Both of these files are renamed copies of RKill, which
you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new
browser window or tab.
- Now you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from the following
location and save it to your desktop:
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link
(Download page will open in a new window)
- Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including
- Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe.
This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.
- When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue
with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings
and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the
Update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Launch
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish
button. If MalwareBytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.
- MBAM will now automatically start and you will see a message stating that
you should update the program before performing a scan. As MBAM will automatically
update itself after the install, you can press the OK button
to close that box and you will now be at the main program as shown below.
- On the Scanner tab, make sure the the Perform
full scan option is selected and then click on the Scan
button to start scanning your computer for
- MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can
take quite a while, so we suggest you go and do something else and periodically
check on the status of the scan. When MBAM is scanning it will look like the
- When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image
You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with
- You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should
click on the Show Results button.
- A screen displaying all the malware that the program found will be shown
as seen in the image below. Please note that the infections found may be different
than what is shown in the image.
You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove
all the listed malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry
keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM
may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message
stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer
has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the
- When MBAM has finished removing the malware, it will open the scan log and
display it in Notepad. Review the log as desired, and then close the Notepad
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
Your computer should now be free of the AdvancedDefender program. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:
Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help
Associated Advanced Defender Files:
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Microsoft PData
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Microsoft PData\track.wid
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Advanced Defender
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Advanced Defender\Advanced Defender.lnk
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\advanceddefender.exe
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\base.wdb
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\baseadd.wdb
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\conf.wcf
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\quarant.wdb
c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\q
File Location Notes:
%UserProfile% refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> for Windows 2000/XP, C:\Users\<Current User> for Windows Vista/7/8, and c:\winnt\profiles\<Current User> for Windows NT.
Associated Advanced Defender Windows Registry Information:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableTaskMgr" = "1"
This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.
BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.
If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.