3 Easy Ways to Remove “Smart Guard Protection” virus

Smart Guard Protection is a computer virus, which masquerades as genuine security software, while actually reporting non-existent malware threats in order to scare the user into paying for this rogue security software.
[Image: Smart Guard Protection virus]

What is Smart Guard Protection?

Smart Guard Protection is a rogue anti-virus program from the Rogue.WinWebSec family of computer infections. This program is classified as a rogue because it pretends to be an anti-virus program, but will instead displays bogus scan results, report non-existing computer infections, and does not allow you to run your normal applications.
In this case, not only is Smart Guard Protection going to disrupt your system, it’s going to try and trick you into making a purchase using your credit card.
Smart Guard Protection appears in the form of a fake Windows warning on your computer system that reads you have a specific number of viruses on your computer (usually in the hundreds) and that this software has detected those viruses. To get rid of them you must purchase the full-version of Smart Guard Protection. It’s important to remember that by purchasing the “claimed full version to remove the viruses” you will be submitting your personal information to unscrupulous persons and may also end up being a victim of credit card or identity fraud or theft.

How did Smart Guard Protection got on my computer?

Smart Guard Protection is distributed through several means. Malicious websites, or legitimate websites that have been hacked, can infect your machine through exploit kits that use vulnerabilities on your computer to install this rogue antivirus without your permission.
Another method used to propagate Smart Guard Protection is spam email containing infected attachments or links to malicious websites. Cyber-criminals spam out an email, with forged header information, tricking you into believing that it is from a shipping company like DHL or FedEx. The email tells you that they tried to deliver a package to you, but failed for some reason. Sometimes the emails claim to be notifications of a shipment you have made. Either way, you can’t resist being curious as to what the email is referring to – and open the attached file (or click on a link embedded inside the email). And with that, your computer is infected with the Smart Guard Protection virus.
The threat may also be downloaded manually by tricking the user into thinking they are installing a useful piece of software, for instance a bogus update for Adobe Flash Player or another piece of software.
The Smart Guard Protection infection is also prevalent on peer-to-peer file sharing websites and is often packaged with pirated or illegally acquired software.

Am I infected with Smart Guard Protection virus?

Some examples of the interface, fake alerts, fake scanning results, and pop-ups displayed by Smart Guard Protection are shown below:
[Image: Smart Guard Protection Malware Security Suite]

[Image: Smart Guard Protection Firewall Alert]

Activation codes for Smart Guard Protection

As an optional step,you can use any of the following license keys to register Smart Guard Protection and stop the fake alerts.
Smart Guard Protection Activation code: AA39754E-715219CE

Please keep in mind that entering the above registration code will NOT remove Smart Guard Protection from your computer , instead it will just stop the fake alerts so that you’ll be able to complete our removal guide more easily.


Activation codes for Smart Guard Protection

As an optional step,you can use any of the following license keys to register Smart Guard Protection and stop the fake alerts.
Smart Guard Protection Activation code: AA39754E-715219CE

Please keep in mind that entering the above registration code will NOT remove Smart Guard Protection from your computer , instead it will just stop the fake alerts so that you’ll be able to complete our removal guide more easily.

How to remove Smart Guard Protection virus (Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove the Smart Guard Protection infection from your your computer. Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance. To remove the Smart Guard Protection infection, we can use any of the below methods:
OPTION 1: Remove Smart Guard Protection virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Mawlare Free and HitmanPro
OPTION 2: Manually remove Smart Guard Protection virus from your computer
OPTION 3: Remove Smart Guard Protection virus with Windows System Restore

OPTION 1: Remove Smart Guard Protection virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Mawlare Free and HitmanPro

STEP 1: Remove Smart Guard Protection virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FREE

The Malwarebytes Chameleon utility will allow us to install and run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free without being blocked by Smart Guard Protection virus.

  1. Right click on the Internet Explorer icon, and select Run As or Run as Administrator. This should allow your browser to open so that we can then download Malwarebytes Chameleon.
    [Image: Starting web browse on infected computer]
    If you’ll see a “Warning! The site you are trying visit may harm your computer!” message in your web browser window, you can safely click on the Ignore warnings and visit that site in the current state (not recommended) link, because this a bogus alert from Smart Guard Protection.
    [Image: mart Guard Protection Warning]
  2. You can download Malwarebytes Chameleon from the below link, and extract it to a folder in a convenient location.
    MALWAREBYTES CHAMELEON DOWNLOAD LINK  (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Malwarebytes Chameleon)
    [Image: Extract Malwarebytes Chameleon utility]
  3. Make certain that your infected computer is connected to the internet and then open the Malwarebytes Chameleon folder, and double-click on the svchost.exe file.
    [Image: Double click  on svchost.exe]
    IF Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will not start, double-click on the other renamed files until you find one will work, which will be indicated by a black DOS/command prompt window.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to press a key to continue and Chameleon will proceed to download and install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for you.
    Malwarebytes Chameleon press key
  5. Once it has done this, it will update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and you’ll need to click OK when it says that the database was updated successfully.
    Malwarebytes Chameleon updating its database
  6. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now attempt to kill all the malicious process associated with Smart Guard Protection.Please keep in mind that this process can take up to 10 minutes, so please be patient.
    Malwarebytes Chameleon killing malware
  7. Next, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically open and perform a Quick scan for Smart Guard Protection malicious files as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for Smart Guard Protection]
  8. Upon completion of the scan, click on Show Result
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  9. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected.
    Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked),then click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image:Malwarebytes removing virus]
  10. After your computer will start in Windows regular mode, open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform a Full System scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 2: Remove Smart Guard Protection infection with HitmanPro

Some variants of the Smart Guard Protection virus will install on victims computers a ZeroAccess rootkit. To remove this nasty piece of malware, we will perform a system scan with HitmanPro.
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.).

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. Double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
    When HitmanPro will start, click on the Next button, to install this program on your computer.
    HitmanPro scanner
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Smart Guard Protection trojan.
    HitmanPro detecting for Smart Guard Protection virus
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the Next button, to remove Smart Guard Protection virus.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click on the Activate free license button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro 30 days activation button]


OPTION 2: Manually remove Smart Guard Protection virus from your computer

When Smart Guard Protection has infected a computer, it will drop it’s malicious files in the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\random folder (Windows XP) or C:\ProgramData\random folder (Windows Vista, 7 or 8) folder, and add on your desktop a Smart Guard Protection.lnk shortcut. In the following steps, we will rename this malicious folder thus disabling this infection.

STEP 1: Display the hidden files and folders on your computer

Because the C:\ProgramData\ path is hidden by default, we will need to enable the Show hidden files and folders option.

  1. Click on the Start button, and click on Computer.
  2. Click Organize and choose Folder and Search Options. (Tools > Folder Options for Windows XP Users).
    Folder and Search Option
  3. Click the View tab, select Show hidden files, folders and drives, then click on Apply and then OK.
    Show hidden files, folders and drives

STEP 2: Rename the malicious folder to disable Smart Guard Protection virus

  1. Right click on the Smart Guard Protection icon on your desktop, click Properties in the drop-down menu, then click the Shortcut tab. In the Target box there is a path to the Smart Guard Protection malicious file.
    [Image: Smart Guard Protection malicious files path]
  2. Browse to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ (For Windows XP) or C:\ProgramData\ (For Windows Vista, 7 or 8), and find the Smart Guard Protection malicious folder. In our case it was named hVma7xi, however its name is randomly generated, so you might have a different name.
  3. Right click on the hvma7xi folder, and select Rename from the context menu.
    [Image: Rename the Smart Guard Protection malicious folder]
  4. Add a unique variation to the folder name, such as _old (for example, hvma7xi_old) or something random.
    [Image: Rename the Smart Guard Protection disabled]
  5. Restart your computer, then perform a system scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro to remove Smart Guard Protection malicious files from your computer.

OPTION 3: Remove Smart Guard Protection virus with System Restore

System Restore helps you restore your computer’s system files to an earlier point in time. It’s a way to undo system changes to your computer without affecting your personal files, such as e‑mail, documents, or photos.

  1. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode with Command Prompt. To do this, turn your computer off and then back on and immediately when you see anything on the screen, start tapping the F8 key on your keyboard.
    [Image: F8 key]
    If you are using Windows 8, the trick is to hold the Shift button and gently tap the F8 key repeatedly, this will sometimes boot you into the new advanced “recovery mode”, where you can choose to see advanced repair options. On the next screen, you will need to click on the Troubleshoot option, then select Advanced Options and select Windows Start-up Settings. Click on the Restart button, and you should now be able to see the Advanced Boot Options screen.
  2. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt and press Enter on your keyboard.
    [Image: Starting computer in Safe Mode with Command Prompt]
  3. At the command prompt, type rstrui.exe, and then press ENTER.
    [Image: Start System Restore to remove Smart Guard Protection virus]
    Alternatively, if you are using Windows Vista, 7 and 8, you can type: C:\windows\system32\rstrui.exe , and press Enter. And if you are a Windows XP user, type C:\windows\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, then press Enter.
  4. System Restore should start, and you will display also a list of restore points. Try using a restore point created just before the date and time the Smart Guard Protection virus has infected your computer.
    [Image: Restore settings to remove ransomware]
  5. When System Restore has completed its task, start your computer in Windows regular mode, and perform a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro.

Your computer should now be free of the Smart Guard Protection infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Smart Guard Protection from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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THE 411 ON ME

FC Barcelona fan, Starbucks addicted and super geek.
I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

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  • Megan

    Thanks I chose option 3, seems to be cleared. Running the malware bytes scan now!

  • Sadique

    GREAT… I choose option 3….worked fine…Thanks a lot

  • Andy

    Thank you so much for this :)

  • kurt

    Thank you, this was very helpfull. There was only one thing I had to work out myself and that was with renaming the virus file it would not rename because the programme was running continually in the backround so I started the PC up in safemode which allowed me to rename the file. Thanks again for your help :)

  • Rizwan Zaheer

    It worked for me like a charm!!
    Thank you so much !!

  • Elizete Santos

    Thank you so much !! Your tips saved me! God bless you . Thank youuuuuu