Protection Center is a malicious program that is related to the notorious rogue programs Digital Protection, Dr. Guard, Your Protection and Data Protection. It tries to trick users into paying for a license to its ‘full’ version. Protection Center gets installed on user systems via Trojan viruses that get downloaded from malicious websites which claim to contain malware scanning services. Once installed, it immediately blocks any legitimate security software that the user may have installed on their computer. Protection Center also runs endless fake virus scans and reports that the user’s system is infected with dangerous malicious software. It also displays fake warning pop-ups from the Windows taskbar. Meanwhile it constantly requests the user to upgrade to the ‘full’ version of Protection Center by paying for a software license, claiming that the currently installed ‘trial’ version is incapable of properly removing the detected false ‘threats’. However, users should not allow themselves to be tricked into buying this software, as the ‘full’ version of Protection Center is just as incapable of cleaning a computer system as the ‘trial’ version is.

Protection Center

As soon as you find a copy of this malicious software installed on your computer, you should take steps to delete Protection Center. Protection Center removal involves the stopping of processes, the unregistering of DLL files, the removal of files and folders and the deletion of registry entries.

File Removal Procedures

The first step in Protection Center removal is the stopping of the following processes:

  • cntprot.exe
  • Uninstall.exe

Next, it is necessary to unregister the following DLL files which belong to Protection Center:

  • cntext.dll
  • cnthook.dll

The final step in the file deletion phase of Protection Center removal is the actual deletion of the following files and folders:

  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\about.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\activate.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\buy.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\cnt.db
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\cntext.dll
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\cnthook.dll
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\cntprot.exe
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\help.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\scan.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\settings.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\splash.mp3
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\Uninstall.exe
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\update.ico
  • c:\Program Files\Protection Center\virus.mp3
  • %UserProfile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Protection Center.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Desktop\Protection Center Support.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Desktop\Protection Center.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\About.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Activate.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Buy.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Protection Center Support.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Protection Center.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Scan.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Settings.lnk
  • %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\Protection Center\Update.lnk

Now no instances of Protection Center reside on your hard disk any longer. Even if in most cases your system should be clean at this point it is still a good idea to make sure of this fact by scanning the entire PC using legitimate antivirus software such as Spyware Doctor with Antivirus.

Registry Removal Procedures

In order to completely remove Protection Center, it is necessary to remove the following keys and settings from the Windows Registry:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\secfile
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Malware Defense
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Paladin Antivirus
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\5E2121EE-0300-11D4-8D3B-444553540000
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\SimpleShlExt
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\secfile
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Malware Defense
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Protection Center
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Paladin Antivirus
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Protection Center
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System “DisableTaskMgr” = “1”
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Protection Center”

Conclusion

Manual Protection Center removal is not recommended for inexperienced users, as any mistake made during removal could potentially damage the operating system of the computer. Therefore inexperienced users are advised to use a legitimate antivirus program such as Spyware Doctor with Antivirus or a web-based system scanner such as www.onlinecomputerrepair.org to ensure safe Protection Center removal.

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