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Removal instructions for SpecialGuard

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What is SpecialGuard?

The Malwarebytes research team has determined that SpecialGuard 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 SpecialGuard?

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


They even spelled their own name wrong here.

You will find this icon in your taskbar (flashing and issuing warnings):


And see these warnings:




How did SpecialGuard get on my computer?

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

How do I remove SpecialGuard?

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 SpecialGuard?

  • No, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware removes SpecialGuard completely.

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 SpecialGuard rogue. It would have warned you before the rogue could install itself, giving you a chance to stop it before it became too late.


Technical details for experts

Signs in a HijackThis log:

C:\Program Files\specialguard\specialguardstart.exe
C:\Program Files\specialguard\specialguard.exe

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

Alterations made by the installer:

File System
Adds the folder C:\Program Files\specialguard
Adds the file specialguardu.exe"="20:18 21/02/11 120192 bytes
Adds the file specialguardstart.exe"="20:22 21/02/11 16248 bytes
Adds the file specialguardlog.txt"="20:27 21/02/11 72 bytes
Adds the file specialguardd.dll"="20:21 21/02/11 583272 bytes
Adds the file specialguard.exe"="20:20 21/02/11 813944 bytes
Adds the file EGutil.dll"="20:22 21/02/11 62832 bytes
Adds the folder C:\Program Files\specialguard\SpeedBackup
In the existing folder C:\WINDOWS\system32
Adds the file uninst_specialguard.exe"="20:22 21/02/11 184200 bytes

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility]
"specialguardstart.exe"="'C:\Program Files\specialguard\specialguardstart.exe'"
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\International]

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware log:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Database version: 5831

Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 6.0.2900.5512

2/21/2011 8:33:00 PM
mbam-log-2011-02-21 (20-33-00).txt

Scan type: Quick scan
Objects scanned: 125090
Time elapsed: 2 minute(s), 11 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 2
Memory Modules Infected: 1
Registry Keys Infected: 2
Registry Values Infected: 4
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 10

Memory Processes Infected:
c:\program files\specialguard\specialguardstart.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> 1852 -> Unloaded process successfully.
c:\program files\specialguard\specialguard.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> 2020 -> Unloaded process successfully.

Memory Modules Infected:
c:\program files\specialguard\EGutil.dll (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Delete on reboot.

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\specialguard (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SPECIALGUARD (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\specialguardstart.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Value: specialguardstart.exe -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\specialguard_specialguard (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Value: specialguard_specialguard -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\SpecialGuard\UninstallString (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Value: UninstallString -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SpecialGuard\specialguard_nic (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Value: specialguard_nic -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
c:\program files\specialguard\specialguardstart.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\program files\specialguard\specialguard.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\program files\specialguard\EGutil.dll (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\documents and settings\{username}\Desktop\specialguardsetup.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\WINDOWS\system32\uninst_specialguard.exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\documents and settings\{username}\local settings\temporary internet files\Content.IE5\18GY3K5D\uninst_specialguard[1].exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\documents and settings\{username}\local settings\temporary internet files\Content.IE5\OAPPQD53\egutil[1].dll (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\documents and settings\{username}\local settings\temporary internet files\Content.IE5\OAPPQD53\specialguard[1].exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\documents and settings\{username}\local settings\temporary internet files\Content.IE5\VAD23EEL\specialguardstart[1].exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
c:\documents and settings\{username}\local settings\temporary internet files\Content.IE5\VAD23EEL\specialguardu[1].exe (Rogue.SpecialGuard) -> 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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