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Remove XP Defender (Uninstall Guide)

By on December 19, 2012 @ 11:45 AM | Read 25,469 times.
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XP Defender is a computer infection from the Rogue.PCDefPlus family of rogue anti-spyware programs. This program is classified as a rogue because it displays fake security alerts, displays false scan results, and takes over your computer so that you are unable to run your normal programs. This infection is promoted as a program required to view an online video. Once you install the program, though, it will hijack your computer so that every time you launch an executable it will launch XP Defender instead. Once started it will perform a scan of your computer and state that there are numerous infections present. If you try to remove these infections, it will then state that you first need to purchase the program before being allowed to do.

 

XP Defender Screen shot
XP Defender Screen shot
For more screen shots of this infection click on the image above.
There are a total of 4 images you can view.

 

When an executable is launched on an infected machine the program will be blocked and XP Defender will be started instead. The program will then issue an alert that states that the program you tried to launch is infected. The text of this alert is:

XP Defender Firewall Alert
Iexplore.exe is infected with Hoax.HTML.Agent.i. Private data can be stolen by third parties, including credit card details and passwords.

Your normal programs are not actually infected and you can ignore this alert.

While installed, XP Defender will also display fake security warnings that are that are designed to think that your data is at risk or that your computer is vulnerable to attacks. These messages include:

System Security Alert!
Vulnerabilities found
Background scan for security breaches has been finished. Serious problems have been detected. Safeguard your system against exploits, malware and viruses right now by activating Proactive Defence.

System Security Alert!
Unknown program is scanning your system registry right now! Identify the theft detected!

Just like the firewall alerts, these security warnings are all fake and can be ignored.

Without a doubt, XP Defender was created to scare you into thinking your infected so that you will then purchase the program. Please do 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 computer infection and a scam. To remove XP Defender and related malware please use the guide below.

 

Threat Classification:

 

Advanced information:

View XP Defender files.
View XP Defender Registry Information.

 

Entries for this program found in the Uninstall Programs control panel:

XP Defender

 

Tools Needed for this fix:

 

Guide Updates:

12/19/12 - Initial guide creation.

 


Automated Removal Instructions for XP Defender using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

 

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

  2. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Networking. To do this, turn your computer off and then back on and immediately when you see anything on the screen, start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard. Eventually you will be brought to a menu similar to the one below:


    MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Screen

    Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter on your keyboard. If you are having trouble entering safe mode, then please use the following tutorial: How to start Windows in Safe Mode

    Windows will now boot into safe mode with networking and prompt you to login as a user. Please login as the same user you were previously logged in with in the normal Windows mode. Then proceed with the rest of the steps.

  3. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to XP Defender so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this we will download a program called Rkill on a clean computer and then transfer the program to the infected computer. You can transfer the files via a CD/DVD, external drive, or USB flash drive.

    The download link for Rkill is:

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/rkill/ - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled Rkill.com. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

    If you do not have any removable media or another clean computer that you can download Rkill onto, you can try and download it to your infected computer using another method. On the infected computer, right click on the Internet Explorer's icon, or any other browser's icon, and select Run As or Run as Administrator. If you are using Windows XP, you will be prompted to select a user and enter its password. It is suggested that you attempt to login as the Administrator user. For Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you will be prompted to enter your Administrator account password. This should allow your browser to open where you can then download Rkill from the above link and save it to a folder that your infected account can access.


  4. Once it is downloaded or transferred to the infected computer, double-click on the Rkill.com icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with XP Defender 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 XP Defender 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 XP Defender . 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. All 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.

  5. Now you should 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. If MalwareBytes' prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  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 XP Defender 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 XP Defender 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 XP Defender 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 XP Defender Files:

%AllUsersProfile%\Desktop\XP Defender.lnk
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\<random>.exe
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\app.ico
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\config.bin
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\defs.bin
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\support.ico
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\uninst.ico
%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\vl.bin
%CommonStartMenu%\Programs\XP Defender\
%CommonStartMenu%\Programs\XP Defender\Remove XP Defender.lnk
%CommonStartMenu%\Programs\XP Defender\XP Defender Help and Support.lnk
%CommonStartMenu%\Programs\XP Defender\XP Defender.lnk

File Location Notes:

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

%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.

%CommonStartMenu% refers to the Windows Start Menu for All Users. Any programs or files located in the All Users Start menu will appear in the Start Menu for all user accounts on the computer. For Windows XP, Vista, NT, 2000 and 2003 it refers to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\, and for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 it is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\.

%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 XP Defender Windows Registry Information:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.exe "(Default)" = "<random>"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\pcdfdata
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.exe\shell\open\command "(Default)" = ""%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\<random>.exe" /ex "%1" %*"
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "pcdfsvc" = "%CommonAppData%\pcdfdata\<random>.exe /min"

 


 

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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