Rogue antivirus programs like Defense Center look on first glance as valid security software that protects a computer system from threats. On second glance though they usually displays non-existing infections deliberately, usually to convince users to upgrade to a premium version to remove those infections or to buy another software that cleans them.
Defense Center is just one of the many rogue antivirus available on the Internet. The interface looks like that of legit security programs, displaying security status, firewall, antivirus and antispyware protection, and more.
The program scans the computer system and display a number of non-existing infections to the user. Users can verify that the listed files are not infected by uploading them to services such as Virustotal, which checks the files using more than 40 different antivirus engines.
Defense Center displays a variety of warnings and alerts to the user, including:
The fake antivirus software is either installed deliberately by the user, or by trojans and other security exploits. The program tries to remove existing antivirus solutions from the operating system, to make the detection and removal more difficulty.
Defense Center can be removed manually or automatically.
Automatic removal of Defense Center is usually the better option, considering that it may be that additional malicious software has been loaded onto the computer system.
Free security tools that detect and remove Defense Center are for instance:
Please note that you may need to start your computer in Safe Mode to get rid of Defense Center completely. This can be done by pressing F8 during boot. Just tap the key until you see the Windows Advanced Options Menu, select Safe Mode from the list to boot into Safe Mode.
This requires the deletion of files and Registry entries. Some of these files may be locked if they are in use. The best option is to use a boot CD or boot the computer into Safe mode to remove the files and Registry entries:
Defense Center processes that may be running and need to be stopped: This can be done by pressing Ctrl-Shift-Esc to fire up the Windows Task Manager, switching to the Processes tab, selecting the processes and clicking End Process.
Make sure to delete all files in the commonprograms and programfiles directories.
%appdata%\microsoft\internet explorer\quick launch\Defense Center.lnk
%desktop%\Defense Center support.lnk
Open the Registry Editor with the shortcut Windows-R, type regedit in the runbox and hit enter.
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Defense Center”
Defense Center managed to get on your computer once, chance is that the security solutions in place are not efficient enough. Take a look at the following security measures to avoid future infections:
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.