Remove Advanced Defender (Uninstall Guide)

  • February 8, 2010

Advanced Defender is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Personal Protector. This rogue is distributed through malware that will install the program onto your computer without your permission or knowledge. While being installed this program will also create fake and harmless malware files on your computer that will be detected by Advanced Defender when it scans your computer. The files it creates are:

c:\WINDOWS\certofsystem.exe
c:\WINDOWS\explorers.exe
c:\WINDOWS\microsoftdefend.dll
c:\WINDOWS\regp.exe
c:\WINDOWS\secureit.com
c:\WINDOWS\spoos.exe
c:\WINDOWS\system32\winscent.exe

Once installed, Advanced Defender will hide your desktop icons and then start scanning your computer for infections. When done it will list a variety of infections, including the fake ones above, but will not allow you to remove them until you first purchase the program. Many of the infections it states, though, are legitimate programs that if deleted would affect the proper operation of your computer. Therefore, please do not manually delete any of the files on your computer that it states are infections.

As a method to protect itself, Advanced Defender will terminate almost any executable that you run while stating that the file is an infection. It does this to stop legitimate anti-malware programs from removing it. When an executable is launched it will display a message that contains the following text:

Cmd.exe is infected with worm Lsas.Blaster.Keyloger. This worm is trying to send your credit card details using to connect to remote host.

Do not worry, though, your executables are not infected. This is just another fake alert of the program.

  • Advanced Defender screen shot
  • Scanning screen
  • Scan summary
  • Scan results
  • Fake Infection Alert

While the program is running you will also see fake security alerts stating that your computer is under attack or that malware has been detected that can steal your personal information. An example of one of these alerts is:

Attention! System detected a potential hazard on your computer that may infect executable files. Your private information and PC safety is at risk.
To get rid of unwanted spyware and keep your computer safe you need to update your Current security software.
Click Yes to download official intrusion detection system (IDS software)

Just like the scan results and fake infection messages, these security warnings are just another trick by Advanced Defender to make you think you are infected.

As you can see, Advanced Defender was created for one purpose; to scare you into thinking your computer has a security problem so that you will then purchase the program. It goes without saying that you should not purchase this program regardless of what it may state. If you have already purchased the program, then please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges. Finally, please use the guide below to remove this infection and any related malware for free.

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.
  1. Print out these instructions as we may 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. Before we can do anything we must first end the processes that belong to Advanced Defender so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please download RKill from the following link and save it to your desktop.

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

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

  4. As this infection hides the Windows desktop, we need to open up a window that allows us to see the icons.

    If you are using Windows XP perform the following steps:
    Click on the Start button and then click on the Run menu item. When the Run box opens, type %UserProfile%\desktop in the Open: field and then press Enter on your keyboard.
    If you are in Windows Vista or Windows 7 perform the following steps.
    Click on the Start button and type %UserProfile%\desktop in the Search field at the bottom of the start menu. Then press Enter on your keyboard.
  5. Once the Windows opens, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with Advanced 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 Advanced 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 RKkill again. By not closing the warning, this typically will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so that RKill can terminate Advanced 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. Both 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.

  6. 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:

    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 mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.0.6.1469.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 Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  10. MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.



    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware


    Please click on the Scan Now button to start the scan. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

  11. 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.



    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware


  12. 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.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    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.

  13. You can now exit the MBAM program.

Your computer should now be free of the AdvancedDefender 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.

View Associated Advanced Defender Files

c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Microsoft PData c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Microsoft PData\track.wid %UserProfile%\Desktop\Advanced Defender.lnk %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Advanced Defender %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Advanced Defender\Advanced Defender.lnk c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\advanceddefender.exe c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\base.wdb c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\baseadd.wdb c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\conf.wcf c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\quarant.wdb c:\Program Files\Advanced Defender\q c:\WINDOWS\certofsystem.exe c:\WINDOWS\explorers.exe c:\WINDOWS\microsoftdefend.dll c:\WINDOWS\regp.exe c:\WINDOWS\secureit.com c:\WINDOWS\spoos.exe c:\WINDOWS\system32\winscent.exe

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.

View Associated Advanced Defender Registry Information

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Advanced Defender HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Advanced Defender HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "DisableTaskMgr" = "1" HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "advanceddefender"

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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