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Red Cross Antivirus

  5th November 2010

Red Cross Antivirus

The red cross has been an international symbol of aid and help for generations, but one computer program named after this all important symbol isn't quite as helpful as you'd imagine. Dubbed "Red Cross Antivirus," it's a rogue security application, and it could have some serious consequences for you and your computer if you don't take care of it right away.

What Is It?  A Quick Definition

Red Cross Antivirus isn't a virus itself. It's simply an application that attempts to convince you that you need additional protection on your computer, but the tactics it uses to do so, as well as the product it's promoting, are the real problems. By popping up security messages, false scans, and preventing you from accessing the programs on your machine, it spends the bulk of its time scaring you instead of actually implementing solutions.

Purchasing it won't actually help you, either. Real security software has specific coding that allows it to understand what a threat looks like and how to deal with it when it appears. This, however, has none of that important information, so even if you bought it, there's no chance it could protect you from ongoing threats.

What's more, however, is that it is not a virus, so any antivirus software you currently have installed on your machine can't actually detect this program. Each day, you reliable antivirus program downloads updates from a secured source to help decide what is and is not a virus, and since this clearly is not a virus, even the best program won't be able to help you eliminate it from the machine.

In many cases, it was installed with the help of a Trojan. While you were browsing online at some point, you may have seen a pop up window that said "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert" in the top left corner. Usually that's followed by a window that says it found the file "Unknown Win 32/Trojan." It even offers the options of scanning online or cleaning your computer and takes you to a list of software that can help. Much of that list is legitimate software, but the ones that are linked are all clones of Red Cross Antivirus, and clicking on them leads to the installation itself. Other similar rogue programs include: Pest Detector 4.1, Peak Protection 2010, AntiSpy Safeguard, and Major Defense Kit.

An In-Depth Look at Red Cross Antivirus

Not sure if you actually have this program installed on your machine? There are a couple of different ways to tell. One of the most obvious occurs every time you turn on your machine. You may not only notice a complete lack of speed as your computer tries to boot, but you might also see a window displaying fake scan results. While you may not immediately know these results are fake, you'll be able to tell if the program window says "Red Cross Antivirus" in the top left corner and it displays an entire window filled with file names and results. It may even offer a number of menu options across the top like "Heuristic," "Firewall," and "Privacy." It is possible that you'll see this scan window several times while your computer is on. Here are two other fairly common signs this program is installed on your machine.

  • Pop Up Security Notifications: Throughout any given day, you may get a number of different security -related messages on your machine. Like the scan results, all of these will attempt to convince you that you need the full version of the program. Here is the text of the three most common warning messages:

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!

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.

  • The last security notification leads to the other big problem you might notice. While some rogue security applications make it hard to run the programs you click on because they use so many of your computer's resources, this one can actually stop applications before they start. You'll get the warning message above, making you think that the application is infected, but the simple truth is that Red Cross Antivirus wants to make it difficult for you to access any program that could eliminate it from your machine including antispyware solutions, task managers, and other important software.

Removing Red Cross Antivirus

Eliminating this program from your machine is the best possible choice you can make, and there are two very good ways to do it. The first method is to handle the removal on your own, but this can be a little risky if you're not interested or experienced with the more technical aspects of your computer. Because you'll actually be deleting registry keys and program files, things could be a bit tough. If you think this is the best way to go, however, a list of associated keys and files appears at the end of this program, and you can email us for help and a detailed set of instructions if you wish. You may also need to reveal hidden files to remove Red Cross Antivirus, but that can be done temporarily with a simple tweak in Windows Explorer.

If this seems a bit out of your range, your other option is to download and install a dependable antispyware solution, and for many, those solutions are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes has free malware removal) and PC Tool's Spyware Doctor. Both are good choices, but there are other good choices on the market too. No matter what you finally decide, install it, update it, then use it to scan your computer. It will help to eliminate the problems, and keep future programs like Red Cross Antivirus off your machine for good.

Associated Registry Keys and Files:

%UserProfile%\Application Data\PAV\
%UserProfile%\Application Data\antispy.exe

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


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