Remove System Protection “designed to protect” virus (Removal Guide)

System Protection (designed to protect) is a computer virus, which pretends to be a legitimate security program and claims that malware has been detected on your computer. If you try to remove these infections, System Protection will state that you need to buy its full version before being able to do so.

System Protection (designed to protect) trojan targets users browsing Internet websites, and rely on social engineering to deliver its payload.
On infected or hacked websites users are prompted by a pop-up window that has been carefully crafted to resemble a legitimate security warning. These pop-up windows typically alert a user of a computer infection, and then prompt the user to download and install System Protection to resolve the apparent issue.
Some of the infections may have come from users downloading an infected codec file when they were trying to watch a video online, or users who receive a spam email and open an infected email attachment.

Once installed, System Protection (designed to protect) will display fake security alerts that are designed to think that your data is at risk or that your computer is severely infected.These messages include:

Security Warning
Malicious program has been detected. Click here to protect your computer.

Firewall Warning
Hidden file transfers to remote host has been detected.
has detected a leak of your files through the Internet. We strongly recommend that you block the attack immediately.

In reality, none of the reported issues are real, and are only used to scare you into buying System Protection (designed to protect) and stealing your personal financial information.

As part of its self-defense mechanism, System Protection (designed to protect) virus has disabled the Windows system utilities, including the Windows  Task Manager and Registry Editor, and will block you from running certain programs that could lead to its removal.
This rogue antivirus has also modified your Windows files associations, and now whenever you are trying to open a program, System Protection virus will block this operation and display a bogus notification in which will report that the file is infected.

notepad.exe can not start
File notepad.exe is infected by W32/Blaster.worm. Please activate System Protection 2012 to protect your computer.

If your computer is infected with System Protection virus, then you are seeing the following screens:

[Image:  System Protection virus]

[Image:  System Protection Firewall Warning]

[Image:  System Protection Warning]
System Protection (designed to protect) is a scam, and you should ignore any alerts that this malicious software might generate.
Under no circumstance should you buy System Protection (designed to protect) as this could lead to identity theft,and if you have, you should contact your bank and dispute the charge stating that the program is a scam and a computer virus.

Registration codes for System Protection
As an optional step,you can use the following license key to register System Protection and stop the fake alerts.

System Protection (designed to protect) Activation code: SL55J-T54YHJ61-YHG88
Please keep in mind that entering the above registration code will NOT remove System Protection virus from your computer, instead it will just stop the fake alerts so that you’ll be able to complete our removal guide more easily.

System Protection (designed to protect) – Virus Removal Guide

STEP 1 : Start your computer in Safe Mode with Networking

  1. Remove all floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs from your computer, and then restart your computer.
  2. Press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts.Please keep in mind that you need to press the F8 key before the Windows start-up logo appears.
    Note: With some computers, if you press and hold a key as the computer is booting you will get a stuck key message. If this occurs, instead of pressing and holding the “F8 key”, tap the “F8 key” continuously until you get the Advanced Boot Options screen.
  3. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Safe Mode with Networking , and then press ENTER.
    [Image: Safemode.jpg]

STEP 2: Run RKill to terminate the malicious processes associated with System Protection (designed to protect).

RKill is a program that will attempt to terminate all malicious processes associated with System Protection (designed to protect), so that we will be able to perform the next step without being interrupted by this malicious software.
Because this utility will only stop System Protection (designed to protect) running process, and does not delete any files, after running it you should not reboot your computer as any malware processes that are configured to start automatically will just be started again.

  1. While your computer is in Safe Mode with Networking ,please download the latest official version of RKill.Please note that we will use a renamed version of RKILL so that System Protection (designed to protect) won’t block this utility from running.
    RKILL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download RKILL renamed as iExplore.exe)
  2. Double click on iExplore.exe to start RKill and stop any processes associated with System Protection (designed to protect).
    [Image: RKILL Program]
  3. RKill will now start working in the background, please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and tries to terminate them.
    [Image: RKILL stoping malware]
    IF you are having problems starting or running RKill, you can download any other renamed versions of RKill from here.
  4. When Rkill has completed its task, it will generate a log. You can then proceed with the rest of the guide.
    [Image: RKill Report]

WARNING: Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware process will start again , preventing you from properly performing the next step.


STEP 3: Remove System Protection (designed to protect) malicious files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware FREE

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a powerful on-demand scanner which will remove System Protection (designed to protect) malicious files from your computer.

  1. You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link,then double click on it to install this program.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process.
    DO NOT make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware checked,then click on the Finish button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware final installation screen]
  3. On the Scanner tab,select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Quick Scan]
  4. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for System Protection (designed to protect) malicious files as shown below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for System Protection (designed to protect)]
  5. When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed,click on Show Result.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan results]
  6. You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
    [Image:Malwarebytes removing virus]
  7. After your computer will restart in Normal mode, open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform a Full System scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 4: Remove System Protection (designed to protect) rootkit with HitmanPro

In some cases, System Protection (designed to protect) will also install a rootkit on victims computer.To remove this rootkit we will use HitmanPro.

  1. Download HitmanPro from the below link,then double click on it to start this program.
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
    IF you are experiencing problems while trying to start HitmanPro, you can use the Force Breach mode.To start HitmanPro in Force Breach mode, hold down the left CTRL-key when you start HitmanPro and all non-essential processes are terminated, including the malware process. (How to start HitmanPro in Force Breach mode – Video)
  2. HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
    HitmanPro scanner
    HitmanPro installation
  3. HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for System Protection (designed to protect) malicious files as seen in the image below.
    HitmanPro scan after System Protection (designed to protect)
  4. Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove this malicious files.
    HitmanPro scan results
  5. Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    HitmanPro 30 days activation button

If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove System Protection (designed to protect) from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

How to protect yourself from malware attacks

Here are 10 basic security tips to help you avoid malware and protect your device:

  1. Use a good antivirus and keep it up-to-date.

    Shield Guide

    It's essential to use a good quality antivirus and keep it up-to-date to stay ahead of the latest cyber threats. We are huge fans of Malwarebytes Premium and use it on all of our devices, including Windows and Mac computers as well as our mobile devices. Malwarebytes sits beside your traditional antivirus, filling in any gaps in its defenses, and providing extra protection against sneakier security threats.

  2. Keep software and operating systems up-to-date.

    updates-guide

    Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Whenever an update is released for your device, download and install it right away. These updates often include security fixes, vulnerability patches, and other necessary maintenance.

  3. Be careful when installing programs and apps.

    install guide

    Pay close attention to installation screens and license agreements when installing software. Custom or advanced installation options will often disclose any third-party software that is also being installed. Take great care in every stage of the process and make sure you know what it is you're agreeing to before you click "Next."

  4. Install an ad blocker.

    Ad Blocker

    Use a browser-based content blocker, like AdGuard. Content blockers help stop malicious ads, Trojans, phishing, and other undesirable content that an antivirus product alone may not stop.

  5. Be careful what you download.

    Trojan Horse

    A top goal of cybercriminals is to trick you into downloading malware—programs or apps that carry malware or try to steal information. This malware can be disguised as an app: anything from a popular game to something that checks traffic or the weather.

  6. Be alert for people trying to trick you.

    warning sign

    Whether it's your email, phone, messenger, or other applications, always be alert and on guard for someone trying to trick you into clicking on links or replying to messages. Remember that it's easy to spoof phone numbers, so a familiar name or number doesn't make messages more trustworthy.

  7. Back up your data.

    backup sign

    Back up your data frequently and check that your backup data can be restored. You can do this manually on an external HDD/USB stick, or automatically using backup software. This is also the best way to counter ransomware. Never connect the backup drive to a computer if you suspect that the computer is infected with malware.

  8. Choose strong passwords.

    lock sign

    Use strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts. Avoid using personal information or easily guessable words in your passwords. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your accounts whenever possible.

  9. Be careful where you click.

    cursor sign

    Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. These could potentially contain malware or phishing scams.

  10. Don't use pirated software.

    Shady Guide

    Avoid using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file-sharing programs, keygens, cracks, and other pirated software that can often compromise your data, privacy, or both.

To avoid potential dangers on the internet, it's important to follow these 10 basic safety rules. By doing so, you can protect yourself from many of the unpleasant surprises that can arise when using the web.

3 thoughts on “Remove System Protection “designed to protect” virus (Removal Guide)”

  1. Hello Mary,
    You can click on the Activate Now window, or choose to remove threats and manually activate the rogue antivirus program. Enter one of the following codes:

    Y68REW-T76FD1-U3VCF5A
    Y86REW-T75FD5-U9VBF4A
    Y76REW-T65FD5-U7VBF5A
    Y86REW-T75FD5-9VB4A
    SL55J-T54YHJ61-YHG88

    (and fake email) to “activate” this infection.

    Then, please run a scan with the tools from this guides.

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