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Removal instructions for ProtectInfo

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Content is republished with permission from Malwarebytes.

What is ProtectInfo?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that ProtectInfo is a fake anti-malware application. These so-called "rogues" use intentional false positives to convince users that their systems have been compromised. Then they try to sell you their software, claiming it will remove these threats. In extreme cases the false threats are actually the very trojans that advertise or even directly install the rogue. You are strongly advised to follow our removal instructions below.

How do I know if I am infected with ProtectInfo?

This is how the main screen of the rogue application looks:

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You will find these icons on your desktop and in your taskbar:

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And see these warnings:

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How did ProtectInfo get on my computer?

Rogue programs use different methods for spreading themselves. This particular one was downloaded from their site.

How do I remove ProtectInfo?

Our program Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware can detect and remove this rogue application.
  • Please download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to your desktop.
  • Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  • At the end, be sure a check-mark is placed next to the following:

    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
  • If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Perform quick scan, then click Scan.
  • When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
  • Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected. Reboot your computer if prompted.
  • When completed, a log will open in Notepad. The rogue application should now be gone.

Is there anything else I need to do to get rid of ProtectInfo?
  • The shortcut called Ʈ on the desktop (look at the picture shown earlier to be sure, since the name may look different) can be deleted if it belonged to the rogue.

How would the full version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware help protect me?

We hope our application has helped you eradicate this malicious software. If your current security solution let this infection through, you might please consider purchasing the FULL version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware for additional protection.

As you can see below the full version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware would have protected you against the ProtectInfo rogue. It would have warned you before the rogue could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.

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Technical details for experts

Signs in a HijackThis log:
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\protectinfo.exe
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfowcher.exe

O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [protectinfo] C:\Program Files\protectinfo\protectinfo.exe

Alterations made by the installer:
File System
	In the existing folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Desktop
	  Adds the file ������Ʈ����.lnk"="21:10 30/06/10 720 bytes
	Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Local Settings\Temp\nsi2.tmp
	  Adds the file stack.dll"="21:10 30/06/10 10240 bytes
	Adds the folder C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Start Menu\Programs\������Ʈ����
	  Adds the file ������Ʈ����.lnk"="21:10 30/06/10 732 bytes
	  Adds the file ������Ʈ���� ����.lnk"="21:10 30/06/10 1738 bytes
	Adds the folder C:\Program Files\protectinfo
	  Adds the file protectinfo.exe"="07:22 23/06/10 1502208 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfowcher.exe"="09:46 16/04/10 741376 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfoupdater.exe"="11:51 10/02/10 275456 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfosc.dat"="21:10 30/06/10 4 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfopopd.dll"="10:19 10/02/10 43008 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfoli.ini"="21:10 30/06/10 53 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfohk.dll"="07:22 23/06/10 571904 bytes
	  Adds the file pnfoai.ini"="21:10 30/06/10 337 bytes
	Adds the folder C:\Program Files\Common Files\protectinfo
	  Adds the file pnfouninst.exe"="21:10 30/06/10 236448 bytes

	  "AppPath"="'C:\Program Files\protectinfo'"
	  "protectinfo"="'C:\Program Files\protectinfo\protectinfo.exe'"
	  "UninstallString"="'C:\program files\common files\protectinfo\pnfouninst.exe'"

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware log:
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.46

Database version: 4262

Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 6.0.2900.5512

6/30/2010 9:21:18 PM
mbam-log-2010-06-30 (21-21-18).txt

Scan type: Quick scan
Objects scanned: 112471
Time elapsed: 3 minute(s), 29 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 2
Memory Modules Infected: 1
Registry Keys Infected: 2
Registry Values Infected: 1
Folders Infected: 2
Files Infected: 9

Memory Processes Infected:
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\protectinfo.exe (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Unloaded process successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfowcher.exe (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Unloaded process successfully.

Memory Modules Infected:
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfohk.dll (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Delete on reboot.

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\���������� (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\protectinfo (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\protectinfo (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Folders Infected:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\protectinfo (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Files Infected:
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\protectinfo.exe (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfohk.dll (Trojan.FakeAlert) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\Common Files\protectinfo\pnfouninst.exe (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfoai.ini (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfoli.ini (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfopopd.dll (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfosc.dat (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfoupdater.exe (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\protectinfo\pnfowcher.exe (Adware.ProtectInfo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

As mentioned before the full version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware could have protected your computer against this threat.
We use different ways of protecting your computer(s):
  • Dynamically Blocks Malware Sites & Servers
  • Malware Execution Prevention
Save yourself the hassle and get protected.
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