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Smart Guard Protection Removal

By on December 9, 2013 @ 05:00 PM | Last Updated: December 22, 2013 | Read 68,459 times.
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Smart Guard Protection is a scareware program from the Rogue.WinWebSec family of computer infections. This program is classified as scareware because it displays fake security alerts, fake scan results, and does not allow you to run your normal applications. This program is distributed through hacked web sites that exploit vulnerabilities on your computer and as Trojans disguised as a program necessary to view an online video. This name Smart Guard Protection is currently being used by two different variants of rogue anti-spyware programs. Images of each variant can be found below and this guide can remove both of them.

When Smart Guard Protection is installed on your computer it will be configured to start automatically when you login to Windows. Once started, it will disable Windows Defender, Windows Update, and the Windows Security Center services in order to protect itself from being removed by built-in Windows security software. It will then pretend to scan your computer and then state that there are numerous infections present. If you try to clean these infections, though, Smart Guard Protection will state that you first need to purchase a license of the program before being allowed to do so. In reality, none of these files are infected or even exist on your computer, so please ignore the results and do not purchase the program.

 

Original Smart Guard Protection variant
Original Smart Guard Protection variant
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 6 images you can view.

 

To protect itself from being removed, Smart Guard Protection will also terminate any program you try to run on your computer. It does this to protect itself from being removed by legitimate programs and to scare you into thinking they are infected. The message that you will see when the infection terminates a program is:

Warning! Infected file detected
Location: File System
Behavior description: Destroys and infects system files.
Suspicious activity detected in the application notepad.exe to the behavior of the virus Win32/Conficker.X. For your security and to avoid loss of data, the operation of application cmd.exe has been temporarily restricted.

Do not be concerned when you see this message as your programs are not infected and will work normally after this infection is removed.

While Smart Guard Protection is active it will also display random security alerts that are worded to scare you into thinking your infected. The text of these alerts are:

Windows Security Center
Warning! Suspicious activity detected.
Virus activity detected.
Attempt to change configuration files detected.
Rootkit embedding attempt detected.

Warning! Infected file detected.
We strongly recommend activating full edition of your antivirus software for repairing threats.

Warning! Network attack attempt detected.
To keep the computer safe, the threat must be blocked.

Last, but not least, this infection with hijack your web browser so that you will be shown a message stating that sites you are visiting are unsafe. When you see this message you can safely click on the Ignore warnings and visit that site in the current state (not recommended) link so that you can browse to the desired site. Just like the scan results, these alerts can safely be ignored.

As you can see, Smart Guard Protection was created to scare you into thinking that you are infected so that you will then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase this program, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that the program is a scam and a computer virus. To remove Smart Guard Protection and other related malware, please use the free removal guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View Smart Guard Protection files.
View Smart Guard Protection Registry Information.

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:

Old Version:

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [AS2014] %CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7.exe

New Version:

O4 - HKCU\..\Runonce: [<random>] c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\<random>\<random>.exe

 

Guide Updates:

12/09/13 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for Smart Guard Protection using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. 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.

  3. Now we must first end the processes that belong to Smart Guard Protection and clean up some Registry settings so they do not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When you click on the above link, if the malware displays a browser hijack stating that the page is unsafe, please click on the option to ignore the warnings and continue. When you are at the download page, scroll down and click on the click on the link labeled iexplore.exe download link . When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

  4. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iexplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Smart Guard Protection 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 Smart Guard Protection 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 can terminate Smart Guard Protection . 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. If you continue having 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.

  5. 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)

  6. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

  7. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mbam-setup.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

  10. 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 Smart Guard Protection related files.

  11. 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 image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scanning Screen

  12. When the scan is finished a message box will appear as shown in the image below.


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Scan Finished Screen

    You should click on the OK button to close the message box and continue with the Smart Guard Protection removal process.

  13. You will now be back at the main Scanner screen. At this point you should click on the Show Results button.

  14. 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.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    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 steps.

  15. 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 window.

  16. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  17. As many rogues and other malware 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:

    How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Your computer should now be free of the Smart Guard Protection 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 Smart Guard Protection Files:

Old Version:

%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7
%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\DD1
%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7.exe
%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7.exe.manifest
%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7.ico
%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7kassgxDq.in
%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7kassgxDq.lg

New Version:

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\<random>\
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\<random>\<random>.exe
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\<random>\<random>.ico

File Location Notes:

%CommonAppData% refers to the Application Data folder for the All Users Profile. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data for Windows 2000/XP and C:\ProgramData\ in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

%CommonAppData% refers to the Application Data folder in the All Users profile. For Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\, and for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 it is C:\ProgramData.

 

Associated Smart Guard Protection Windows Registry Information:

Old Version:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "AS2014" = "%CommonAppData%\WaDprnV7\WaDprnV7.exe"
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system "EnableLUA" = 0
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system "EnableVirtualization" = 0
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SystemRestore "RPSessionInterval" = 0

New version:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce "<random>" = "c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\<random>\<random>.exe"

 


 

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.


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