TrustDefender is a rogue anti-spyware from the Wini family of fake security programs. This programs is distributed through malware that pretends to be a video codec or via fake online anti-malware scanners that state your computer is infected. When the program is installed it will be configured to start automatically when Windows starts. While installing , TrustDefender will also create hundreds of fake and harmless malware files. These fake malware files are then detected as infections when TrustDefender scans your computer. The program will not remove them, though, until you purchase it. This is a scam as the files it detects are the files it created on your computer in the first place. Therefore do not be concerned by any of its scan results. Please note, that this program should not be confused with the legitimate company named TrustDefender.
When TrustDefender is installed it will also install a fake Windows Registry cleaning program called RegistryClever. This program will also be configured to start automatically when you login to Windows. If you scan the computer with RegistryClever it will display numerous problems that it states could cause your computer to not operate properly. It will not, though, fix these errors until you purchase the program. These supposed errors are nothing to be concerned about and are only being shown to scare you into purchasing the program. Therefore, ignore anything RegistryClever displays as well.
When TrustDefender is running it will also display a fake Windows Security Center window. This window will look exactly like the legitimate Windows Security Center, except that it suggests that you purchase TrustDefender to protect your computer. While TrustDefender is running it will also display fake security warnings and alerts that are designed to make you think that your computer has a serious computer problem or is under attack from a remote program. The text of these messages are:
Security Center Alert!
Your computer is being attacked by an Internet Virus. It could be a password-stealing attack, a trojan-dropper or similar.
Do you want TrustDefender to block this attack?
Your computer is infected with spyware. It could damage your critical files or expose your private data on the Internet. Click here to register your copy of TrustDefender and remove spyware threats from your PC.
Just like the fake scan results, these security alerts are all fake and should be ignored.
When infected with TrustDefender, Internet Explorer will become hijacked so that it displays warning messages when you browse the web. These messages are designed to make you think that the web sites you are visiting are insecure and that purchasing TrustDefender will protect your computer from being infected. The warning message that you will see is:
Reported Insecure Browsing: Navigation blocked
Insecure Internet activity. Thread of virus attack
Due to insecure Internet browsing your PC can easily get infected with viruses, worms and trojans without your knowledge, and that can lead to system slowdown, freezes, and crashes. Also insecure Internet activity can result in revealing your personal information. To get full advanced real-time protection for PC and Internet activity, register TrustDefender. We recommend you to protect your PC now continue safe Internet Browsing.
This is just another scare tactic being used by the program and can be ignored.
As you can see, TrustDefender was designed to scare you into purchasing it by display fake scan results, fake security alerts, and browser hijackings. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase TrustDefender, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and state that the program is a computer infection and a scam and that you would like to dispute the charge. To remove this infection and any related malware, please follow the steps in 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.
To remove TrustDefender, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Print out instructions before we begin.
- STEP 2: Use Rkill to terminate suspicious programs.
- STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes AntiMalware to Scan for Malware and Unwanted Programs
- STEP 4: Use HitmanPro to scan your computer for badware
- STEP 5: Run Secunia PSI to find outdated and vulnerable programs.
This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.
To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.
When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.
Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with TrustDefender and other malware. 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 a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have 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 infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:
Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.
Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-126.96.36.1993.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.
We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.
Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.
At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.
Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.
Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. 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, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items 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 selected items. 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.
Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:
When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.
Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.
Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.
You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.
Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.
As many malware and unwanted programs 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:
Your computer should now be free of the TrustDefender program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured 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:
Are Your Protected?
While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.
Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!
Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.