Protection System is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as CoreGuard 2009. Protection System uses false scan results and fake security warnings as a method to make you think you are infected. To make matters worse, in order to protect itself from legitimate anti-malware programs it will attempt to automatically uninstall the following programs without your permission:
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- Norton Internet Security
When Protection System is installed it will be configured to start automatically when Windows starts. Once started, the program will perform a scan and then list a variety of infections that it will not remove until you purchase the program. These infections, though, either do not exist on your computer or are legitimate programs being identified as infections. In fact, some of these legitimate files are necessary Windows files that if deleted will cause problems with the normal operation of your computer. Therefore, do not delete any files that this program states are infections, as what it displays cannot be trusted.
While the program is running, Protection System will also display numerous security warnings and nag screens. The security warnings that are shown as either pop-ups on your desktop or balloon alerts from the Windows taskbar. These security warnings range from an alert stating that your computer is being attacked from a remote PC to a warning stating that Internet Explorer is infected with a rootkit. All of these warnings are false as they are scripted to be shown regardless of what is running on your computer. The program will also constantly show you alerts asking you to register the program. These alerts will stay on top of any running application and will only go away when you manually close them. As they are shown so frequently this can become quite an annoyance.
With all of this said, if you are infected with Protection System, please do not purchase this program. Instead, use the guide below to remove this infection and any related malware for free.
Self Help Guide
This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.
To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Protection System and other malware. 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 a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the 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.
Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
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:
Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.
Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup-bc.1878-184.108.40.2064.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.
We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings section at the top of the MalwareBytes application and you wil be brought to the general settings section.
Now click on the Detection and Protection settings category on the left sidebar. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.
At this screen, please put a checkmark in the option labaled Scan for rootkits. If you do not see this option, please make sure you are using the latest version of MalwareBytes.
Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.
Make sure Threat ScanStart Scan button. 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 steps.
You can now exit the MBAM program.
As many malware and unwanted programs are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:
Your computer should now be free of the Protection System program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured 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 link ed below:
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!