How Did the Rogue Security Software Install Itself on My Computer?

Sometimes a rogue spyware removal program, security program, or other unwanted program will suddenly appeared on your computer without your permission and want you to buy it to remove the fake alerts and other issues claiming your computer is infected. Most of these infections are described by the term "drive-by". In other words, you visited an infected website or clicked on an infected search engine result and you are presented almost immediately with alerts telling you that your computer is infected. The creators of such sites are very good at social engineering. They lure you into clicking on a link to install a removal program, or worse yet, entice you into paying for a program and thus stealing your money and possibly even your identity. Once you've clicked on their link or accepted the installation, the site might install a trojan that takes over your system, a rootkit that redirects your search engine results, or even a keylogger to record what you type. They might show popup ads, slow down your computer, disable Windows updates, antivirus programs, and firewalls. These programs can be very dangerous and need to be removed immediately.

Some of the infections may have come from you downloading an infected codec file when you were trying to watch a video online, like the Zlob trojan, or opening an infected PDF file. Malicous flash or java programs can also infect your computer with these rogue security software programs.

Finally browser exploits, security issues in the browser, can allow some of these infections to install themselves.

How Can I Protect Myself

There are a number of things you can do to protect your computer from becoming infected with a rogue security application.

  • Keep your Computer up-to-date with Windows Updates
  • Keep your Antivirus, AntiSpyware, and Firewall Applications up-to-date
  • Be careful when clicking on links in email or on social networking sites
  • Be aware of phishing scams and how to avoid them. Phishing scams are generally emails wanting you to go to a web page and enter personal information about your bank, credit card, or other private information that can be used in identity theft. No legitimate organization will ever instruct you to go to a web site and enter this info. If you have a question, stop and call the organization directly about the email.
  • Use a limited user account instead of an administrator account when surfing the net. Limited account will not allow you to install programs without asking for your permission and a password first.

Step by Step Directions for Removing Rogue Security Software Programs

Listed below you will find various pages on how to remove these fake spyware cleaner programs. Not every rogue security program is listed here, because most can be removed using a standard removal procedure in Windows Safe Mode with MalwareBytes AntiMalware.

AntivirusGolden or AntiViralGolden
Search and Destroy
Spy Sheriff
Spy Trooper
System Doctor
System Smart Security
Ultimate Cleaner 2007
Ultimate Defender
VirusProtect Pro
Virus Rescue
Win 7 Antispyware 2012
Windows Diagnostic
Windows Disk
Windows Repair
Windows Safe Mode
Windows Scan
Windows Restore

How to Remove Spyware, Adware, and Malware from Your Computer

Written by Mark Hasting

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