PC Defender 360 is a fake anti-spyware program from the Rogue.PCDefPlus family of computer infection. When installed, PC Defender 360 displays false scan results, fake security alerts, and does not allow you to run any application on your computer. This scareware is promoted through Trojans that pretend to be programs necessary to view online videos. You can also become infected by this software when visiting web sites that have been hacked with exploit kits that attempt to install this infection on your computer without your knowledge.
When installed, PC Defender 360 will be configured to start every time you try to launch a program on your computer. Once started it will begin a fake scan of your computer and then state that there are numerous infection present. If you attempt to remove them using the program it will state that you first need to purchase the program before being allowed to do so. As the scan results are all fake and the files it detects are legitimate, please ignore anything this program displays.
If you attempt to run any program on your computer, PC Defender 360 will terminate it and state that the program is infected. It does this by hijacking the .EXE extension in your Windows Registry. This allows PC Defender 360 to launch before any other application is started. It performs this behavior to scare you into thinking your legitimate programs are infected and also to protect itself from being removed by legitimate security programs. When PC Defender 360 blocks a program from running it will display an alert that states that the program is infected. The text of this message is:
PC Defender 360 Firewall Alert
An application cmd.exe is infected with Trojan-Downloader.JS.Agent.ftu. Private data can be stolen by third parties, including credit card details and passwords.
When you see these messages, please do not be concerned as your applications are not infected.
While the infection is started it will also show a variety of security warnings that are worded to scare you into thinking you have a serious security problem. Some of these alerts are:
Unknown program is scanning your system registry right now! Identity the theft detected.
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.
Just like the scan results, these security alerts are fake and should be ignored.
Without a doubt, this computer infection was created to trick you into thinking your computer is infected so that you will then purchase it. 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 PC Defender 360 and related malware please use the 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 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:
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.
- Now we must first end the processes that belong to
PC Defender 360
and clean up some Registry settings so they do not interfere with the cleaning
procedure. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following
RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)
When at the download page, scroll down and click on the click on the link labeled Rkill.com download link. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
- Once it is downloaded, double-click on the
icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated
PC Defender 360
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
PC Defender 360
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
PC Defender 360
. 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. If you continue
having problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions
of RKill from the rkill
download page. All of the 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.
Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.
- 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.
- 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 PC Defender 360 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.