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Guide on how to remove System Protector

By on March 28, 2009 @ 02:46 PM | Read 77,833 times.
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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
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 is:

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.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

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

 

Guide Updates:

03-28-09 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for System Protector using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

  1. 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 instructions.

  2. 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:

    Process Explorer Download Link

  3. Once the program is running, you should be presented with a screen similar to the one below.


    Process Explorer

  4. 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.


    lsascs.exe Process

  5. 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 below.


    Confirm the closing of the lsascs.exe process

    At this point you should press the Yes button in order to kill the process.

  6. 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)


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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 System Protector related files.

  12. 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

  13. 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 SystemProtector removal process.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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%\Application Data\install.exe
%UserProfile%\Application Data\lsascs.exe
%UserProfile%\Application Data\shellex.dll
%UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\windll32.exe
%UserProfile%\Application Data\SpyProtectorSC_Base_new.dat
%UserProfile%\Application Data\SpyProtectorSC_Config.ini
%UserProfile%\Desktop\System Protector.lnk
%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
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spyprotector.cpl

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_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\System Protector
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\System Protector
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{107A1D63-2EAA-4694-8ABA-EC209C630D83}
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\System Protector
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Drive\shellex
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Drive\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\System Protector
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\lsascs.exe
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.


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