Remove PrivacyCorrector (Uninstall Guide)

  • December 7, 2010

PrivacyCorrector is a security program that displays fake security alerts and scan results in order to make you think your computer has a serious computer problem. This rogue is installed on to your computer through the use of Trojans that display alerts pretending to be a legitimate Microsoft Security Essentials security alert. This alerts states that an Unknown Win32/Trojan has been detected and that you should scan your computer to attempt to clean it. The text of this alert is:

Microsoft Security Essentials Alert
Privacy violation threat detected.
Your personal data may be disclosed to a third party.

Microsoft Security Essentials detected potential threats that might compromise your privacy or damage your computer. Your access to these items may be suspended until you take an action. Click 'Show Details' to learn more.
Unknown Win32/Trojan

If you select the Clean or Apply actions button, the malware will display a screen that pretends to scan the infected file. When it is done it will state that a solution has been found that can be used to protect your computer and remove this infection. The text of this alert is:

Threat prevention solution found.
Security systems analysis has revealed critical file system vulnerability caused by severe malware attacks.

Risk of system files infection: High

The detected vulnerability may result in unauthorized access to private information and hard drive data with a serious possibility of irreversible data loss and unstable PC performance.

When you press the OK button, it will prompt you to install PrivacyCorrector on your computer and then to reboot it. The rogue will then be configured to act as your Windows Shell, so that when it reboots you will be presented with the PrivacyCorrector program instead of your normal Windows desktop. The fake scanner that you will see on reboot states:

Processing Unprotected Startup
Attention! A potential security vulnerability detected due to numerous virus attacks.
Unauthorized access to personal and proprietary information may occur.
Possible hardware-induced corruption with most or all of the file system damage may cause irreversible data loss.

After it has finished it will start the PrivacyCorrector program. If you manually close this program, your normal Windows desktop will appear again.

  • PrivacyCorrect screen shot
  • License manager screen
  • Installer
  • Fake Alert
  • Fake alert #2
  • Fake warning
  • Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert
  • Fake Microsoft Security Essentials Alert scan
  • Fake Microsoft Security Essentials solution found alert
  • PrivacyCorrector starting after reboot

Privacy Corrector will randomly terminate programs when you attempt to run them. When it terminates a program you will be shown an alert that states that the program is trying to perform some sort of malicious activity. The text of these alerts include:

Security alert
Name: taskmgr.exe
Location: C:\WINDOWS\System32
Attempt to modify register key entries is detected. Register entries analysis is recommended.
Deny or Enable Protection.

Security alert
Name: taskmgr.exe
Location: C:\WINDOWS\System32
Potentially harmful script execution is detected. It is strongly recommended to run total System scanning.
Deny or Enable Protection.

Regardless of the button you press, you will be brought to the main PrivacyCorrector screen where it will prompt you to purchase a license of the program.

While PrivacyCorrector is running you will also be shown numerous security alerts that state that your computer has a security problem. These text of the the alerts include:

Considerable System productivity decline is observed.
Total System scanning is recommended to remove all the reasons of productivity decline.

Suspicious software activity is detected.
Please start system files scanning for details.

Potentially harmful software is detected.
To enable the security mode and remove harmful software it is recommended to perform a cleanup.

Software without a digital certificate is detected. System files security is at risk.
It is strongly recommended to enable the security mode.

System Security warning!
Attempt to modify register key entries is detected.
Register entries analysis is recommended.
Potentially harmful script execution is detected.
It is strongly recommended to run total System scanning.

Critical vulnerability!
System information security is under risk. Total System scanning is recommended for removal possible PC work errors.
System information security is at risk.
Total System scanning is recommended to remove possible PC work errors.

Critical vulnerability!
Application that seems to be a key-logger is detected. System information security is at risk.
It is recommended to enable the security mode and run total System scanning.

Critical vulnerability!
Application that seems to be a trojan agent is detected. System information security is at risk.
It is recommended to enable the security mode and run total System scanning.

All of the alerts that this program displays are fake and should be ignored. Therefore when you see them do not become concerned as it is just another tactic that Privacy Corrector is using to scare you into purchasing the program.

As you can see, Privacy Corrector was created to display fake security alerts in order to scare you into purchasing the program. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase this program, and if you have, you should contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating that the purchase was actually a computer infection and a scam. To remove this infection and related malware, please follow the steps in the guide below.

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 not have access to them while performing the fix below.

  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. When you start your computer, the PrivacyCorrector infection will be displayed instead of your normal Windows desktop. Therefore, we will need to follow certain steps to close the infection process so that you can regain access to your desktop. When you first start your computer you will most likely be presented with the PrivacyCorrector start screen as shown below.

    <strong>PrivacyCorrector</strong> start screen

    When you see this screen, let the fake scanner finish and when you are presented with a scan summary, press the OK button to start the PrivacyCorrector program.

  4. When the PrivacyCorrector program appears on your screen, simply click the X in the top right corner of the window to close the program. Once you close the PrivacyCorrector program, your Windows desktop should appear.

  5. Now that we have the Windows desktop back, the first thing we have to do is fix your Windows Registry Shell value. If we do not fix this entry and is deleted, then your Windows desktop will not be displayed the next time you reboot.

    To fix the Shell entry, simple download the following file to your desktop. If you are having trouble downloading the file, try right-clicking on it and selecting Save as.

    Shell.reg Download Link

  6. Once Shell.reg has been downloaded, locate it on your desktop and double-click on it. When Windows asks if you would like the data to be merged, please allow it to do so.

  7. Before we continue we should also terminate any other infections that may be related to PrivacyCorrector so that it does not interfere with the cleaning procedure. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    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.

  8. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with PrivacyCorrector 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 PrivacyCorrector 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 PrivacyCorrector . 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 the files listed there 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.

  9. 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)

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

  11. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878- This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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 Privacy Corrector 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 PrivacyCorrector Files

%UserProfile%\Application Data\protect.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 PrivacyCorrector Registry Information

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon "Shell" = "%UserProfile%\Application Data\protect.exe"

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk. 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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