PCProtect PUP - What Is and How to Remove It from Windows
THREAT REMOVAL

PCProtect PUP – What Is and How to Remove It from Windows

This article has been created in order to help you by showing you how to remove the PCProtect PUP from your computer and how to stop it from showing fake detections.

Cyber-Security researchers have detected a potentially unwanted program which pretends to be an actual antivirus and system protection software. The program, called PCProtect performs scans on your computer and it may display fake detections of various different types of issues, like viruses or other type of performance issues on your computer that may not even be real. The end goal for this program is to get you to purchase it’s full version and generate profits to it’s creators. If you have the PCProtect PUP installed on your computer, recommendations are to read the following article in order to learn more about it and how to remove it from your computer system.

Threat Summary

NamePCProtect
TypeHoax antivirus, hoax system optimizer / PUP.
Short DescriptionThe program may display fake virus and performance issues for your computer and to remove them it asks you to purchase the full version.
SymptomsPCProtect may run automatic scans on your computer and may run on system start.
Distribution MethodBundled Installers. Fake detection pop-up web pages on your browsers.
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by PCProtect

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Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss PCProtect.

PCProtect PUP – Methods of Distribution

There are two main methods by which the PCProtect PUP could be spread onto your computer system. The primary one is believed to be a very particular method that prays on the fear of the inexperienced user. It may involve pop-ups that may appear on your computer, claiming it has been infected by viruses, similar to what the image below displays:

Such pop-ups may be introduced on your computer as a result of you visiting suspicious web sites without ad-blocking or if you already have adware or other unwanted programs which may have modified your web browser to introduce such advertisements.

In addition to this, the software may also be spread onto your computer as a result of a Bundling operation, which is basically to include the PCPRotect program in legitimate installers of free programs that you may have downloaded online. Such installers are often available on software-providing websites and via them, you may encounter PCProtected added “as a free extra” in one of the installation steps. The step is usually missed since often it is concealed within the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation modes.

PCProtect PUP – More Information

PCProtect is a program, published by SS Protect Limited and in general it does not do anything malicious on your computer. However, the program may display different types of detections on the computers of users. The first thing done after the program is installed on your computer is to drop it’s files in the %Program Files% directory, which are reported by Symantec researchers to be the following:

→ %ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\AppConfig.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\avgio.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\AviraLib.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\bins\subinacl.exe
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\brand.json
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Community.CsharpSqlite.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Community.CsharpSqlite.SQLiteClient.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\account.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\addon.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\avconfig.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\certs.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\details.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\gcld
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\idpro.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\prefs.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\sdet.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\ui.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\data\vpn_locations.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\DotNetZip.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\amd64\devcon.exe
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\amd64\OemWin2k.inf
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\amd64\tap0901.cat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\amd64\tap0901.map
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\amd64\tap0901.pdb
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\amd64\tap0901.sys
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\i386\devcon.exe
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\i386\OemWin2k.inf
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\i386\tap0901.cat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\i386\tap0901.map
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\i386\tap0901.pdb
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\driver\i386\tap0901.sys
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Engine.Win.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Engine.Win.dll.config
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Hardcodet.Wpf.TaskbarNotification.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\HtmlAgilityPack.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Ibt.Ortc.Api.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Ibt.Ortc.Api.Extensibility.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Ibt.Ortc.Plugin.IbtRealTimeSJ.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\installoptions.jdat
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Interop.IWshRuntimeLibrary.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Interop.NetFwTypeLib.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\Ionic.Zip.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\lib_SCAPI.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\LinqBridge.dll
%ProgramFiles%\PCProtect\locale\de_DE.mo

In addition to dropping the files, PCProtect also aims to modify the following Windows Registry sub-keys by adding the following Windows Registry entries on the victim’s computer:

→ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions\pmagdleikobihfikldcpmgfjcppcddnf
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\NativeMessagingHosts\com.pcprotect.passwordvaultassistant
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SystemCertificates\AuthRoot\Certificates\02FAF3E291435468607857694DF5E45B68851868
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\PCProtect
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts\com.pcprotect.passwordvaultassistant

After doing so, the application make sure that an automatic scan starts which displays different information on the victim’s computer of detections that may not even be real:

The app may also display different pop-ups above the system tray of Windows that aim to convince you that your computer is at risk. However, the actual surprise comes when you perform the removal action.

A pop-up appears which aims to convince you to purchase the full version of the software which can remove the “issues” on your PC. However, security analysts advise not to purchase the full version of the program, since it might as well scam you into purchasing a software that may not even be able to detect and remove actual malware.

Remove PCProtect Fully from Windows

In order to remove PCProtect from Windows, we advise you to follow the removal instructions down below. They are specifically designed to help you detect and remove all aspects and objects of this program either manually or automatically. If you lack the experience to remove this virus manually experts strongly recommend that your remove it automatically preferably by downloading an advanced anti-malware software. Such program will scan your computer and make sure that it is completely clean from all of the files, registry entries and other objects and settings, which may be modified by PCProtect plus ensure that your PC is protected against future infections as well.

Delete PCProtect from Windows and Your Browser

1.Remove or Uninstall PCProtect in Windows

Remove or Uninstall PCProtect in Windows.

Step 1: Remove/Uninstall PCProtect in Windows

Here is a method in few easy steps to remove that program. No matter if you are using Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program get left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, mistakes with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it. To do that:

  • Hold the Windows Logo Button and “R” on your keyboard. A Pop-up window will appear (fig.1).
  • uninstall-virus-fig1

  • In the field type in “appwiz.cpl” and press ENTER (fig.2).
  • uninstall-virus-fig2

  • This will open a window with all the programs installed on the PC.
    Select the program that you want to remove, and press “Uninstall” (fig.3).
  • uninstall-virus-fig3

    Follow the instructions above and you will successfully uninstall PCProtect.

    2.Remove PCProtect from Your Browser

    Remove PCProtect from Your Browser.

    Remove a toolbar from Mozilla FirefoxRemove a toolbar from Google Chrome Remove a toolbar from Internet Explorer Remove a toolbar from Safari
    Start Mozilla Firefox Open the menu window

    uninstall-fig4

    Select the “Add-ons” icon from the menu

    uninstall-fig5

    Select PCProtect and click “Remove

    uninstall-fig6

    After PCProtect is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Google Chrome and Open the drop menu

    uninstall-fig7

  • Move the cursor over “Tools” and then from the extended menu choose “Extensions
  • uninstall-fig8

  • From the opened “Extensions” menu locate PCProtect and click on the garbage bin icon on the right of it.
  • uninstall-fig9

  • After PCProtect is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red “X” in the top right corner and start it again.
  • Start Internet Explorer:

  • Click “‘Tools’ to open the drop menu and select ‘Manage Add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig10

  • In the ‘Manage Add-ons’ window, make sure that in the first window ‘Add-on Types’, the drop menu ‘Show’ is on ‘All add-ons’
  • uninstall-fig11

    Select PCProtect to remove, and then click ‘Disable’. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected toolbar, and some additional toolbars might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click ‘Disable’.

    uninstall-fig12

    After PCProtect has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red ‘X’ in the top right corner and start it again.

    Start Safari

    Open the drop menu by clicking on the sprocket icon in the top right corner.
    uninstall-fig13

    From the drop menu select ‘Preferences’
    In the new window select ‘Extensions’
    Click once on PCProtect
    Click ‘Uninstall’

    uninstall-fig14

    A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall PCProtect. Select ‘Uninstall’ again, and the PCProtect will be removed.

    Remove PCProtect automatically by downloading an advanced anti-malware program.

    1. Remove PCProtect with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    Remove PCProtect with SpyHunter Anti-Malware Tool

    1. Install SpyHunter to scan for and remove PCProtect.2. Scan with SpyHunter to Detect and Remove PCProtect.
    Step 1: Click here to go to SpyHunter’s download instruction page.
    Step 2: Guide yourself by the download instructions provided for each browser.
    Step 3: After you have installed SpyHunter, wait for it to automatically update.

    pets-by-myway-ads-virus

    Step1: After the update process has finished, click on the ‘Scan Computer Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step2: After SpyHunter has finished scanning your PC for any PCProtect files, click on the ‘Fix Threats’ button to remove them automatically and permanently.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step3: Once the intrusions on your PC have been removed, it is highly recommended to restart it.

    2. Back up your data to secure it against attacks related to PCProtect in the future

    Back up your data to secure it against attacks in the future

    IMPORTANT! Before reading the Windows backup instructions, we highly recommend to back up your data automatically with cloud backup and insure it against any type of data loss on your device, even the most severe. We recommend reading more about and downloading SOS Online Backup .

    1. For Windows 7 and earlier 1. For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 1. Enabling the Windows Defense Feature (Previous Versions)

    1-Click on Windows Start Menu
    backup-1
    2-Type Backup And Restore
    3-Open it and click on Set Up Backup
    w7-backup3
    4-A window will appear asking you where to set up backup. You should have a flash drive or an external hard drive. Mark it by clicking on it with your mouse then click on Next.
    backup-3
    5-On the next window, the system will ask you what do you want to backup. Choose the ‘Let Me Choose’ option and then click on Next.
    backup-4
    6-Click on ‘Save settings and run backup’ on the next window in order to protect your files from possible attacks by PCProtect.
    backup-5

    1-Press Windows button + R
    filehistory-1
    2-In the window type ‘filehistory’ and press Enter
    filehistory-2
    3-A File History window will appear. Click on ‘Configure file history settings’
    filehistory-3
    4-The configuration menu for File History will appear. Click on ‘Turn On’. After its on, click on Select Drive in order to select the backup drive. It is recommended to choose an external HDD, SSD or a USB stick whose memory capacity is corresponding to the size of the files you want to backup.
    filehistory-4
    5-Select the drive then click on ‘Ok’ in order to set up file backup and protect yourself from PCProtect.

    1- Press Windows button + R keys.
    sysdm
    2- A run windows should appear. In it type ‘sysdm.cpl’ and then click on Run.
    windows-defense2
    3- A System Properties windows should appear. In it choose System Protection.
    windows-defense3
    5- Click on Turn on system protection and select the size on the hard disk you want to utilize for system protection.
    6- Click on Ok and you should see an indication in Protection settings that the protection from PCProtect is on.
    windows-defense1
    Restoring a file via Windows Defense feature:
    1-Right-click on the encrypted file, then choose Properties.
    file-restore1
    2-Click on the Previous Versions tab and then mark the last version of the file.
    file-restore2
    3-Click on Apply and Ok and the file encrypted by PCProtect should be restored.

    Optional: Using Alternative Anti-Malware Tools

    Remove PCProtect Using Other Alternative Tools

    STOPZilla Anti Malware
    1. Download and Install STOPZilla Anti-malware to Scan for And Remove PCProtect.
    Step 1: Download STOPZilla by clicking here.
    Step 2: A pop-up window will appear. Click on the ‘Save File’ button. If it does not, click on the Download button and save it afterwards.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After you have downloaded the setup, simply open it.
    Step 4: The installer should appear. Click on the ‘Next’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 5: Check the ‘I accept the agreement’ check circle if not checked if you accept it and click the ‘Next’ button once again.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 6: Review and click on the ‘Install’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 7: After the installation process has completed click on the ‘Finish’ button.

    2. Scan your PC with STOPZilla Anti Malware to remove all PCProtect associated files completely.
    Step 1: Launch STOPZilla if you haven’t launched it after install.
    Step 2: Wait for the software to automatically scan and then click on the ‘Repair Now’ button. If it does not scan automatically, click on the ‘Scan Now’ button.
    pets-by-myway-ads-virus
    Step 3: After the removal of all threats and associated objects, you should Restart your PC.

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    Ventsislav Krastev

    Ventsislav has been covering the latest malware, software and newest tech developments at SensorsTechForum for 3 years now. He started out as a network administrator. Having graduated Marketing as well, Ventsislav also has passion for discovery of new shifts and innovations in cybersecurity that become game changers. After studying Value Chain Management and then Network Administration, he found his passion within cybersecrurity and is a strong believer in basic education of every user towards online safety.

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