How to remove rogue antispyware

by Alice Woods - - Updated | Type: Rogue Antispyware

Rogue anti-spyware (sometimes referred to as rogue security software) is a term used to describe fake anti-spyware programs. These programs can also be categorized as malware and viruses. The primary intention of rogue anti-spyware is to infiltrate computers, display aggressive security notifications, and coerce the users into purchasing its “full” or “licensed” version to fix the system. In reality, the only thing that needs to be eliminated is the rogue security software itself.

When encountering fake anti-spyware, users may be misled into believing it is a reliable security application capable of detecting malicious files on the system because such programs often appear very professional.

Unfortunately, despite their sophisticated appearance, these programs lack a genuine virus database necessary for conducting proper system scans and identifying malicious files on the computer.

In most cases, they falsely report legitimate system components as threats, claiming that the user must remove them. This is how rogue anti-spyware programs manipulate people into purchasing their “licensed” versions.

Once hackers receive the payment, they temporarily disable their rogue anti-spyware applications. However, sooner or later, the virus resumes its activity, attempting to extort more money from the victim.

Removing rogue anti-spyware from the system is crucial because such programs can also be used to introduce additional viruses. They may collect various information needed for identity theft and similar crimes.

Furthermore, they can cause significant issues related to the computer’s functionality, such as system slowdowns and crashes. Each virus that belongs to the rogue anti-spyware category can be removed with the help of reliable anti-malware software.

Routes used by rogue anti-spyware for infiltration:

The most of rogue anti-spyware programs infiltrate computers without users’ approval. Here are the main methods used for infecting computers:

  • Malicious websites and pop-ups. Rogue anti-spyware often spreads through malicious websites and pop-up advertisements. These pop-ups typically display fake security warnings, claiming that the user's computer is infected with malware. They then prompt the user to download and install the rogue software to “fix” the non-existent issues.
  • Bundling with other software. Rogue anti-spyware can be bundled with legitimate software or free downloads. When users download and install the software package, they inadvertently install the rogue anti-spyware as well. This method is often used in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and file-sharing websites.
  • Email attachments and phishing scams. Cybercriminals distribute rogue anti-spyware through email attachments and phishing scams. Emails may appear to come from legitimate sources, urging recipients to open an attachment or click a link to address a supposed security threat, leading to the installation of the rogue software.
  • Other malware. There are lots of other threats that can be used for the distribution of rogue anti-spyware. The most popular of them are Trojan horses, worms, and backdoors. These threats can open the back door of the system and install needed files without the victim's interaction and approval. Also, the rogue anti-spyware trojan can hide these files in needed locations and then launch them as soon as a required moment comes.

Typical activity of such malware:

Programs that are categorized as Rogue anti-spyware seek to convince their victims that their computers are seriously infected and that the only tool that can be used for removing dangerous viruses is the licensed version. If a rogue manages to infiltrate the system, it starts seeking its aim with the help of such activities:

  • Blocking legitimate security software and websites. This is an important task in the functionality of rogue anti-spyware because it helps the virus prevent its elimination from the system. The only way to unblock legitimate websites and launch legitimate anti-spyware is to remove the threat.
  • Causing continuous system scanners and warning messages. It may seem that Rogue anti-spyware software is capable of scanning computers just like legitimate anti-spyware. However, this activity is corrupted and used just to mislead the victim into thinking that their computer is infected with tens or even hundreds of different threats. If the victim ignores the warning, rogue software continues pretending to scan the system and keeps displaying its fake warning messages.
  • Slowing down the PC functionality. In trying to convince its victim that the computer is seriously infected, the rogue anti-spyware can cause system slowdowns, system crashes, and similar performance-related issues.
  • Initiating redirects to its purchase page. From time to time, you can be redirected by a rogue anti-spyware to its purchase page. Most such websites can be very dangerous, so it is not recommended to visit them.

The most dangerous examples of rogue anti-spyware:

System Tool. Since the day this rogue anti-spyware showed up in the PC world, System Tool has infected thousands of different computers. It is known that it started spreading around in 2010 and kept doing that for more than three years.

This program caused lots of various issues for its victims, including the loss of their money and the infiltration of other malware. The main method that was used for distributing it involved fake notifications offering people to check their computers for free. 

Security Defender This rogue anti-spyware showed up in 2011. Since then, it has been infecting poorly protected PC systems. Once inside the computer, it looks like it is capable of defending the system from malware. Unfortunately, this image is used just to steal money from unaware PC users.

Security Defender has no uninstall option. It can be removed only with the help of reliable anti-spyware, which sometimes can be blocked because of the malware hiding inside the system.

The removal of rogue anti-spyware:

If you want to see what the real danger is, you must check your computer with legitimate anti-spyware. The most reliable way to remove rogue anti-spyware from the system is to run a full system scan with FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. After launching one of these programs, you should see that system scanners and security notifications of rogue anti-spyware programs are filled with invented information. 

Beware that rogue anti-spyware can block legitimate software to prevent its removal from the computer. To avoid this issue, you should try the following:

  • Disconnecting the PC from the internet.
  • Rebooting to Safe Mode with networking.
  • Using a trusted anti-malware tool.
  • Resetting browser settings.
  • Updating all applications and the operating system to the latest version.

Latest rogue antispyware added to the database

Information updated: 2024-05-31

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