Recently I did a tech support call with a customer who having some serious computer problems. He was reporting receiving a barrage of notifications from some program called Windows Advanced Security Center. It reported finding some infected files that required an upgrade to the full version to clean up. Right away I knew this was a piece of malware even though I had never even heard of Advanced Security Center before.
A quick search took me to this page which has some basic information on this menace. From reviewing the information, I can only conclude that this has got to be the most evil piece of malware ever created. It’s installed without your knowledge and looks exactly like the Security Center included with Windows. It kills legitimate anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and fools you into thinking it’s protecting your computer with fake alerts and notifications. It also takes over some of Windows’ functions such as Automatic Updates and the built-in Firewall. To make matters worse, there isn’t even a full version of this program.
Worst of all, this program is very hard to remove. There is no entry in Add/Remove Programs, nothing in the start menu or the Program Files folder. The customer I was working with on this issue couldn’t even do a system restore. Unfortunately it looks like he’ll have to re-install his operating system from scratch and be more careful of where his online travels take him.
In the long run, the best way to get rid of Advanced Security Center is to not get it in the first place.