System Protector is a rogue anti-spyware program that is
installed and promoted through the use of Trojans. These Trojans will display
fake security alerts and warnings on your computer, and then when clicked on,
will download and install System Protector without your permission. Once installed,
the program will be set to start automatically and to scan your computer. When
the scanning has finished, it will state that your computer has numerous infections
and will not remove them unless you purchase the program. These infections,
though, are all false and do not even exist on your computer. System Protector
also utilizes built-in removal protection by blocking proper access to certain
anti-malware sites and tools. In order to bypass this protection you simply
need to end the program's process so that you have proper functionality of your
browser. Our guide below will explain how to do this. When the program is running
you will also constantly see nag screens appearing stating that your computer
is infected or has another problem. These nag screens are all fake warnings
and should be ignored as well.
System Protector screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 7 images you can view.
Some installations of System Protector include a DLL that is loaded via the
Winlogon Notify key. This DLL has a random name and is located in the C:\Windows\System32
folder. If this DLL is loaded it will make it so you cannot run numerous anti-malware
programs on your computer. An example HijackThis entry for this type of DLL
O20 - Winlogon Notify: aeefaaeeafcbba - C:\WINDOWS\system32\aeefaaeeafcbba.dll
If you have problems starting anti-malware utilities or if they shut down automatically
when you start them, then you may have this module installed. If this is the
case you will need to delete this file before following the rest of the steps
in this guide. For help removing and identifying this DLL, we suggest you ask
about in the forums. Otherwise, please use the following guide to remove System
Protector and any associated malware for free.
View System Protector files.
View System Protector Registry Information.
Tools Needed for this fix:
Symptoms that may be in a HijackThis Log:
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [System Protector] C%UserProfile%\Application Data\lsascs.exe
03-28-09 - Initial guide creation.
Automated Removal Instructions for System Protector using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:
- Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that
is open later in the fix. Due to this malware infecting Internet Explorer,
it is suggested that you use Firefox or another browser when following these
- Before we can do anything we must first end the System Protector process
as it attempts to interfere with the downloading Malwarebytes' of Anti-malware.
To do this we must first download and install a Microsoft program called Process
Explorer. Normally, we would have you use the Windows Task Manager, but this
rogue will disable the ability to run it. Please download Process Explorer
from the following link and run the program:
Explorer Download Link
- Once the program is running, you should be presented with a screen similar
to the one below.
- Scroll through the list of running programs until you see a process named
lsascs.exe. When you see this process, select the lsascs.exe
process by left-clicking on it once so it becomes highlighted. Then click
on the red X button as shown in the image below.
- When you click on the red X to kill the process, Process Explorer will ask
you to confirm if you are sure you want to terminate it as shown in the image
At this point you should press the Yes button in order to
kill the process.
- Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, from the following location
and save it to your desktop:
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
- 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
quick 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 SystemProtector 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 System Protector Files:
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\System Protector\Purchase License.url
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\System Protector\Support Page.url
%UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\System Protector\System Protector.lnk
C:\Program Files\System Protector
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 System Protector Windows Registry Information:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableTaskMgr" => 1
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "System Protector"
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.