Windows Guard Tools
Windows Guard Tools will attempt to imitate what good antivirus program does in order to deceive its victims. One can never tell about the programs best intention until you come face to face with this malware. All it wants from you is money. To achieve its goal, Windows Guard Tools will act the same as antivirus software. It will scan the system, provide reports and remove the threats. However, this rogue program fails in almost all aspects. It never scans the system, but rather plays trick on you to look like it was doing it. Provided reports by this malware are lies. Lastly, it does not have a capability to remove threats. Windows Guard Tools are lacking of modules that are commonly integrated to genuine security products.
You must be aware that this fake program is using every means to enter the computer. Do not be confident that your antivirus software may protect your system against this attack. Windows Guard Tools can actually bypass any security measures when it spots a weakness on the system. It often tries to get inside your computer through Internet browser exploits. Other way is to breach Windows security holes.
Once the malware is inside the computer, it starts the mission by tweaking the registry for the following reasons:
- Make sure that it will load every time Windows starts.
- Disable anti-virus programs.
- Blocks the Internet connection for software and antivirus updates.
The malware plans to stay in the computer until such time that you buy the full version of Windows Guard Tools. Remember, its main goal is to sell the program so that it can generate profit for its developers.
What are the Symptoms of Windows Guard Tools Infection?
Here is the snap shot of the rogue program’s virus scanner.
It will modify Windows Registry and add the following entries:
%AppData%\Protector-[random 3 characters].exe
%AppData%\Protector-[random 4 characters].exe
%CommonStartMenu%\Programs\Windows Safety Maintenance.lnk
%Desktop%\Windows Safety Maintenance.lnk
The threat will drop the following malicious files:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings “WarnOnHTTPSToHTTPRedirect” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableRegedit” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableRegistryTools” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableTaskMgr” = 0
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\system “EnableLUA” = 0
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Settings “net” = “u_2012-5-24_6″
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Settings “UID” = “wtycmiurps”
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\advxdwin.exe
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\SafetyKeeper.exe
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\titaninxp.exe
Follow these Procedures to Remove Windows Guard Tools
Procedure 1: Manual Removal
For users with technical skills in dealing with computer problems, executing this manual removal is enough to stop the malware. However, we highly recommend running anti-malware scan to remove other hidden files. For users who are not tech-savvy, you must skip this step. Start on Procedure 2 and proceed onwards. Automatic removal takes longer to accomplish but is less difficult to execute.
1. Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking
- After turning On the power of the computer, just before Windows start, press F8.
- From the selections, choose Safe Mode with Networking. Please use keyboard's arrow up/down to navigate between selections and press Enter to proceed.
2. Remove Registry entries that the threat added. You MUST BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY FIRST.
- Press [Windows Key] + [R] on your keyboard.
- Type regedit in the Open box.
- Navigate and look for the registry entries mentioned above and delete if found.
3. Delete malicious files that the threat added:
- Base on the given location above, browse and delete all Windows Guard Tools files.
- If cannot be deleted, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to access Task Manager.
- See if the file is running in the process. If it is, select the file and click End Process. Perform file delete again.
4. Scan computer with Antivirus Program
- Connect to the Internet and update your anti-virus program.
- Run a scan on the computer and delete all detected threats.
Procedure 2: Scan and remove Windows Guard Tools files with SuperAntiSpyware
We have provided a tool that you can use to remove Windows Guard Tools from the computer in a much simpler way. Click the Download SAS button below to obtain the free version from their official server.
1. Download the portable version of SuperAntiSpyware.
2. Save the file on your hard drive. SAS portable is using random filename so that it can elude malware from blocking your download. When finished downloading, double-click on the file to install the program.
3. There is no need to change anything on the setup process. Just install the program with its default configuration.
4. During installation, SuperAntiSpyware will check for database update from their server. It needs an Internet connection during this process.
5. After the setup. SAS will run and is now ready to scan the computer for harmful components related to Windows Guard Tools.
6. Click on Scan your Computer... to begin the process.
7. When done scanning, it will display a list of identified infected items. You may remove it directly or place them in quaratine folder.
8. You may now restart the computer.
Procedure 3: Run Another Scan Using RogueKiller
1. Click the button below to Download the program RogueKiller. This tool is effective in finding malware components left inside your computer.
2. After downloading the file, double-click on it to run the program.
Note: When using Internet Explorer 8 or 9, SmartScreen Filter will alert you that the file is "not commonly downloaded and could harm your computer." To proceed, please click on Actions. Select Run anyway from SmartScreen Filter pop-up.
3. During the first time of launching the software, it will run a scan check the computer for presence of threats. Let the scan to finish.
4. Click on the Scan button on right side of the console. See image below for reference. Be sure that you have check mark on MBR Scan, Check Faked, and AntiRootkit. RogueKiller will scan the computer for infected registry entries, driver, and files.
5. After scanning, the tool will display a list of identified threats. Please look at all the tabs to view infected components associated with Windows Guard Tools and other threats.
6. Select infected items and make sure that it has a check mark. Usually, the program will select all malicious items.
7. Click Delete on the Options area to remove selected items. Do the same on all tabs that contains infected elements.
8. Please restart Windows.
Protect your PC from Windows Guard Tools or Similar Attack
Turn On Security Features of your Internet Browser
Internet Explorer - Activate SmartScreen Filter
Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9 has this feature called SmartScreen Filter. It helps detect phishing web sites and protect you from downloading malicious files online. You may have avoided Windows Guard Tools virus if this has been active on your PC. To turn on SmartScreen Filter, follow these steps:
1. Please open Internet Explorer.
2. On top menu, select Tools (IE 9). For IE 8, please look for Safety menu.
3. Select SmartScreen Filter from the drop-down list and click on Turn on SmartScreen Filter.
4. Please restart Internet Explorer.
Google Chrome's Enable Phishing and Malware Protection
With Google Chrome's Phishing and Malware Detection feature, you will have lesser risks browsing the web. It will display a warning when the site you are trying to visit is suspicious. To enable Phishing and Malware Protection, please do these steps:
1. Open Google Chrome.
2. Click on the Customize and control Google Chrome (3-Bars Icon) located on top right corner of the browser.
3. Select Settings from the drop-down list.
4. Once on the settings page, click on Show advanced settings... at the bottom of the page to see the rest of the Chrome setup.
5. Locate Privacy section and mark 'Enable phishing and malware protection'.
6. Please restart Google Chrome. New settings keep your browser safe while surfing the web.
Mozilla Firefox - Block Attack Sites and Web Forgeries
Phishing and Malware Protection is a built-in feature on Firefox version 3 or later. It warns you when a page you are trying to visit contains phishing content or an attack site designed to drop threats on the computer. To help you keep safe while browsing the Internet using Firefox, please follow this guide:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
2. On top menu, click on Tools. Then select Options from the list.
3. Select Security and put a check mark on the following items:
- Warn me when sites try to install add-ons
- Block reported attack sites
- Block reported web forgeries