Malware Defense is a rogue anti-spyware program that is promoted
through the use of Trojans and other malware. Once installed, this program will
perform a scan and then state that your computer is infected with a variety
of malware. If you try to use Malware Defense to remove any of these infections
it will state that you need to purchase the program first before it will attempt
to do so. This is a scam, though, as the the files it states are infected are
either legitimate Windows files or fake results. It is only showing you the
results in order to make you think that you are infected so that you will then
purchase Malware Defense. Therefore, please do not attempt to manually delete
any of the files it states are infections as you may remove legitimate Windows
files that could affect the proper operation of your computer.
Malware Defense screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 6 images you can view.
While Malware Defense is running you will also see numerous security alerts
appear on your computer. These alerts will state that your computer is infected
or that it is sending your private data to the Internet. Two of the more common
messages you will see state that Internet Explorer and Windows Messenger are
infected with malware and prompt you to purchase Malware Defense in order to
protect your computer. Like the scan results, these security warnings are all
fake and are only being shown to further scare you into thinking you are infected.
Without a doubt, Malware Defense was created to scam you into thinking you
have a computer problem so that you will then purchase the program. Please do
not purchase this program, and if you already have, you should contact your
credit card company to dispute the charges. To remove Malware Defense please
use the removal guide below.
View Malware Defense files.
View Malware Defense 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 - HKCU\..\Run: [Malware Defense] "C:\Program Files\Malware Defense\mdefense.exe" -noscan
12/19/09 - Initial guide creation.
12/22/09 - Changed removal instructions.
Automated Removal Instructions for Malware Defense 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.
- This infection changes your Internet Explorer settings to use a proxy server
that will not allow you to browse any pages on the Internet. Therefore, if
you only have Internet Explorer installed, we will first need need to fix
this problem so that we can download the utilities we need to remove this
infection. If you already have another browser installed, then you can skip
to step 4 to proceed with the removal instructions. I
still advise that you do all of these steps so that Internet Explorer works
Please start Internet Explorer, and when the program is open, click on the
Tools menu and then select Internet Options
as shown in the image below.
- You should now be in the Internet Options screen as shown in the image below.
Now click on the Connections tab as designated by the blue
- You will now be at the Connections tab as shown by the image below.
Now click on the Lan Settings button as designated by the
blue arrow above.
- You will now be at the Local Area Network (LAN) settings screen as shown
by the image below.
Under the Proxy Server section, please uncheck the checkbox labeled Use
a proxy server for your LAN. Then press the OK button
to close this screen. Then press the OK button to close the
Internet Options screen. Now that you have disabled the proxy server you will
be able to browse the web again with Internet Explorer.
- Now we must 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.
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.
If you are unable to connect to the site to download rkill, please go back
and do steps 3-6 again and make sure the infection has not enabled the proxy
settings again. You may have to do this quite a few times before you can get
the rkill.com file downloaded. If you still cannot download the rkill.com
program on the infected computer, you should download it to a clean computer
and copy it to the infected one via a USB flash drive or CDROM.
- Once it is downloaded, 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 RKill again. By not closing the warning, this typically
will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so that RKill
. 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.
- At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any any infections or adware that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes 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 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 start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.
Please click on the Scan Now button to start the scan. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.
- MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can
take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically
check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
- When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware that it has detected. Please note that the infections found may be different
than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.
You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove
all the seleted 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
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
Your computer should now be free of the
program. You may want to consider purchasing
the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types
of threats in the future, as if you had the real-time protection component,
that comes with the paid for version, activated it would not have allowed this
infection to install.
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
View Associated Malware Defense Files
c:\Program Files\Malware Defense
c:\Program Files\Malware Defense\help.ico
c:\Program Files\Malware Defense\md.db
c:\Program Files\Malware Defense\mdefense.exe
c:\Program Files\Malware Defense\mdext.dll
c:\Program Files\Malware Defense\uninstall.exe
%UserProfile%\Desktop\Malware Defense Support.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Malware Defense
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Malware Defense\Malware Defense Support.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Malware Defense\Malware Defense.lnk
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Malware Defense\Uninstall Malware Defense.lnk
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.
View Associated Malware Defense Windows Registry Information
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "Malware Defense"
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.