Desktop Defender 2010 is a rogue security program from the Contraviro family. When installed this program will be configured to start automatically when Windows starts and will then create fake malware files that will be detected during the program's scans. Desktop Defender 2010 will not, though, remove any files that it states are malware until you first purchase the program. In reality, the scan results from this program are false and Desktop Defender 2010 is not actually finding any infections. Instead it displays the same scan results regardless of the computer that is run on. Therefore, please do not act upon anything that this program states are infections as it is possible you may delete a legitimate program.
While Desktop Defender 2010 is running you will also see security alerts appearing on your desktop. These alerts will include messages stating that there is spyware running, that you are at risk for losing data, or that your computer is sending SPAM. An example of one of the alerts you may see is:
You have been infected by a proxy-relay trojan server with new and danger "SpamBots".
You have a computer with a virus that sends spam.
This is a mass-mailing worm with backdoor thus allowing un-authorized access to the infected system.
It spreads by mass-mailing itself to e-mail addresses harvested from the local computer or by querying on-line search engines such as google.com.
The IP address that YOU are getting from Internet Service Provider (ISP) for YOU personal computer is on some major blacklist, like SpamHaus.
Your computer has been used to send a huge amount of junk e-mail messages during the last days.
You IP will be marked in the Police log file as mass-mailing spam assist.
Upgrading to the full version Desktop Defender 2010 it will eliminate the majority of Spam attempts.
This infection has morphed recently to show the above screen right after you login, and if you close it, may cause your computer to reboot. This effectively ransoms your computer so that if you do not purchase it, or use a guide like below to remove the infection, you will not be able to use your computer properly.
If you are infected with Desktop Defender 2010, then please do not purchase the program. If you have already purchased the program, then we suggest you contact your credit card company and dispute the charges while explaining that the program is fraudulent. To remove this infection and any related malware, please use the removal guide below.
Self Help Guide
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.
- Print out these instructions as we will need to close every window that
is open later in the fix.
- Reboot the infected computer, when the computer reboot login if you need
- You will now be at the ransom screen where Desktop Defender states that
your computer is sending out SPAM messages as shown below:
You should now press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete buttons on your computer at the same time. Do this by first pressing the Ctrl key, and holding it down, then the Alt key, and holding it down, and then finally press the the Delete key. So you should have Alt and Ctrl held down at the same time before pressing the Delete button on your keyboard.
- The Windows Task Manager should now come up on your screen as shown in the
Click on the Processes tab as shown by the blue arrow in the image above.
- You will now be at the Processes tab of the Task Manager as shown in the
Make sure there is a checkmark in the checkbox labeled Show processes from all users and then look through the list of running processes. When you find the process named Desktop Defender 2010.exe, click once on it to select. Then click on the End Process button to terminate it.
- An alert will be displayed asking if you are sure you want to terminate
this process. Please click on the Yes button.
- The Desktop Defender alert will now be gone and you will be at a blank screen
with the Task Manager still open. On the Task Manager, click on the File
menu option and then select New Task (Run...).
- When the Create New Task box opens, type explorer in the
Open: field and then press the OK button. The Windows desktop
will now appear and you can close the Task Manager.
- 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)
- Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including
- Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-22.214.171.1249.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 Launch
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.
- MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- You can now exit the MBAM program.
Your computer should now be free of the Desktop Defender 2010 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.