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AntiSpy Safeguard


1 November 2010 

Safeguarding Your Machine Against AntiSpy Safeguard

Almost every Microsoft user is aware of the company's ongoing concern for privacy and safety while online. They not only regularly release products related to their operating systems to address those kinds of concerns, but they also often release updates for their entire product line. What's more, though, is that users typically get a sense of peace of mind because all of the Microsoft marketing looks fairly similar. You can almost always tell you have a Microsoft product on your hands thanks to the colour schemes, fonts, and layouts of given products. The real problem here, though, is that rogue security software designers are also familiar with those soothing colors and layouts, and they use them to their advantage, as is the case with AntiSpy Safeguard.

What is AntiSpy Safeguard?

Primarily a product aimed at those looking for a more secure online experience, AntiSpy Safeguard is rogue antispyware software that works very hard to convince potential users that it can protect any computer from a variety of different online threats. The real problem, however, is that the nature of this program means it wasn't designed to actually deal with threats, so even purchasing the full version, as it suggests time and time again, means your machine won't have the level of protection you actually need.

Understanding What to Look For

If you do have AntiSpy Safeguard installed on your computer, you're likely to notice a number of different things almost right away.

One of the first things you may see is a slower boot up process than you normally do, and there's a good reason for this. AntiSpy Safeguard has the ability to boot as soon as your computer does, and that makes it almost impossible to stop through normal means. It constantly runs in the background and will often display false scan results as soon as you've turned your computer on. While many of the virus and malware names listed in the scan results seem quite harmful, it's important to note that the program isn't actually detecting those files on your computer. The coding behind the program simply creates the illusion that they've been installed on your hard drive.

Another unique aspect to this program is that it can actually keep your normal programs from running. While it does eat your system resources, as many rogue applications do, and help to slow everything down on your machine, it can actually shut programs down before they ever have a chance to load on your computer, which is frequently nothing short of frustrating for users. In many cases, once you click on a program, AntiSpy Safeguard will claim that the program is infected with a virus or other malware, and thus, you shouldn't run it on your computer. It may even go so far as to suggest that you should upgrade your level of protection with AntiSpy Safeguard so you can remove the malicious software from your machine. As with the falsified scan results, even here, it's important to remember that you may not have any viruses on your computer, and all of your legitimate programs are fine to leave installed on your machine.

There are a number of concerning messages many individuals have reported associated with this program. The goal of AntiSpy Safeguard is to get you to install the full version of the program, so in order to help convince you that you require that level of protection, messages like these are displayed again and again to help worry you that your system is infected. Here are a few of the messages you may see displayed on your computer.

  • The application [program name].exe was launched successfully but it was forced to shut down due to security reasons.
    This happened because the application was infected by a malicious program which might pose a threat for the OS.
    It is highly recommended to install the necessary heuristic module and perform a full scan of your computer to exterminate malicious programs from it.
  • Warning! Running trial version!
    The security of your computer has been compromised! Now running trial version of the software! Click here to purchase the full version of the software and get full protection for your PC
  • Warning! Database updated failed!
    Database update failed!
    Outdated viruses database are not effective can't guarantee adequate protection and security for your PC! Click here to get the full version of the product and update the database!

In most cases, these messages look exactly like a notification from your Windows Operating system. Clicking on them only leads you to a website where you can download the full version of the program for a fee.

Purchasing the Program

In some instances, people believe that purchasing the program as a whole might make the messages go away or at least provide them with some added measure of security. This, however, is not the case. Providing this company with your name, address, and credit card number may prove problematic, as the interface might not be as secure as it should be. As a result, transmitting personal data via that interface, or as long as the program is installed on your computer, could lead to identity theft.

Understanding the Transmission Method

For most individuals, understanding a bit more about how AntiSpySafeguard got installed on their computer is as important as knowing how to remove the program. More often than not, it was installed by what appeared to be a Microsoft Security Essentials alert on your machine while you were browsing the web. The alert suggests that you've been infected by a Trojan, and it even shows it at severe alert level. It further says that good antivirus protection is the only way to get rid of it, but clicking either the options of "Clean Computer" or "Apply Actions" only results in an additional message that suggests the program is unable to remove the threat. Then you're presented with a "Scan Online" option and given a list of programs that can help you scan your computer. The ones that suggest "Free Install" are clones of this program. The most commonly seen clones of this program are:

  • Red Cross Antivirus
  • Peak Protection 2010
  • Pest Detector 4.1
  • Major Defense Kit

In some cases, users have reported seeing several clones of the program installed at one time on their machine. Clicking to install the program installs the Trojan itself, and thus the entire program.

Removing AntiSpy Safeguard

If you do have this program installed on your computer, removal is the best possible option. However, for some, removing AntiSpy Safeguard isn't as easy as you might expect it to be. You can't simply log into the Add/Remove Programs interface on your operating system to eliminate it. It takes a bit more work than that. Moreover, you simply cannot rely on your current antivirus software to take care of this problem for you. Antivirus software is built to download definition files from the company that designed it, then eliminate any problems that match those definitions. However, AntiSpy Safeguard is not a virus. It's rogue antispyware, and as such, it won't be included in your antivirus program's definition files.

There are, however, two other ways to remove AntiSpy Safeguard. One of the best is to download and install a reputable antispyware solution. There are a number of different very good applications on the market, but two of the best are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes has free malware removal) and Enigma's SpyHunter. Once you've selected a program that will meet your needs and installed it, update the definition files, set it to scan your computer, and it will remove the program automatically from your system.

If, however, this doesn't seem like the right option to meet your needs, you can also remove the program manually. This type of removal can be a bit difficult for newer or non technical users, and if that's the case, please contact us for help or email us for more detailed instructions. A list of associated files and registry keys that must be eliminated to remove AntiSpy Safeguard appears at the end of this article. In order to manually remove any hidden files the program might install, you'll need to choose the "Show Hidden Files and Folders" option within the Windows Explorer Tools menu. You may need to reverse that setting after you've finished the process. Additionally, scanning your computer with a reliable antispyware solution after you've completed manual removal might not only help to clean up any files or folders you may have missed, but it may also prevent any future problems of this nature.

Associated Files, Folders, and Registry Keys

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\PAV

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnonBadCertRecving" = "0"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnOnPostRedirect" = "0"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "tmp"

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce "SelfdelNT"

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

%UserProfile%\Application Data\PAV\

%UserProfile%\Application Data\antispy.exe

%UserProfile%\Application Data\defender.exe

%UserProfile%\Application Data\tmp.exe

%UserProfile%\Local Settings\Temp\kjkkklklj.bat



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