PUP.Optional.PCProtect

Short bio

PUP.Optional.PCProtect is Malwarebytes’ detection name for a system optimzer called PC Protect published by Protected Antivirus Limited for Windows systems.

GUI PC Protect

Symptoms

Users of affected systems may have seen these warnings during install:

installing PC Protect

this entry in their list of installed Programs and Features:

PC Protect installed

these icons in their taskbar, startmenu and on their desktop:

icons PC Protect

and these warnings when the software detects problems on their system:

detections PC Protect

Aftermath

PC Protect detects false positives which may result in the removal of these files.

false positives PC Protect

Type and source of infection

PUP.Optional.PCProtect is a so-called system optimizer. These so-called “system optimizers” use exaggerated scan results or sometimes even intentional false positives to convince users that their systems have problems. Then they try to sell you their software, claiming it will remove these problems.
PUP.Optional.PCProtect is usually installed by users themselves under false pretences and can be downloaded from their website:

website PC Protect

Protection

Malwarebytes protects users from PUP.Optional.PCProtect by using real-time protection.

Malwarebytes blocks PC Protect

Malwarebytes blocks PC Protect

Remediation

Malwarebytes can detect and remove PUP.Optional.PCProtect without further user interaction.

  1. Please download Malwarebytes to your desktop.
  2. Double-click MBSetup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
  3. When your Malwarebytes for Windows installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
  4. Click on the Get started button.
  5. Click Scan to start a Threat Scan.
  6. Click Quarantine to remove the found threats.
  7. Reboot the system if prompted to complete the removal process.

Malwarebytes removal log

A Malwarebytes log of removal will look similar to this:

Malwarebytes
www.malwarebytes.com

-Log Details-
Scan Date: 3/18/19
Scan Time: 11:00 AM
Log File: b0f901a2-4964-11e9-8294-00ffdcc6fdfc.json

-Software Information-
Version: 3.7.1.2839
Components Version: 1.0.538
Update Package Version: 1.0.9728
License: Premium

-System Information-
OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1
CPU: x64
File System: NTFS
User: {computername}\{username}

-Scan Summary-
Scan Type: Threat Scan
Scan Initiated By: Manual
Result: Completed
Objects Scanned: 235366
Threats Detected: 29
Threats Quarantined: 29
Time Elapsed: 4 min, 4 sec

-Scan Options-
Memory: Enabled
Startup: Enabled
Filesystem: Enabled
Archives: Enabled
Rootkits: Enabled
Heuristics: Enabled
PUP: Detect
PUM: Detect

-Scan Details-
Process: 2
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\PCProtect.exe, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\SECURITYSERVICE.EXE, Quarantined, [653], [503747],1.0.9728

Module: 8
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\PCProtect.exe, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\SECURITYSERVICE.EXE, Quarantined, [653], [503747],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\PROTOCOLFILTERS.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\SCAPI.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\NFAPI.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\X86\SQLITE.INTEROP.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\X86\SQLITE.INTEROP.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\LIB_SCAPI.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728

Registry Key: 2
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\SECURITYSERVICE, Quarantined, [653], [503747],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432NODE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\UNINSTALL\PCProtect, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728

Registry Value: 1
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, HKLM\SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\SECURITYSERVICE|IMAGEPATH, Quarantined, [653], [503747],1.0.9728

Registry Data: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Data Stream: 0
(No malicious items detected)

Folder: 0
(No malicious items detected)

File: 16
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\Windows\System32\drivers\webshieldfilter.sys, Quarantined, [653], [652430],0.0.0
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\PCPROTECT.LNK, Quarantined, [653], [354599],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\PasswordExtension.Win.exe, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\USERS\{username}\APPDATA\ROAMING\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PCProtect.lnk, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\PCProtect.exe, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\SECURITYSERVICE.EXE, Quarantined, [653], [503747],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\uninst.exe, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\Update.Win.exe, Quarantined, [653], [503746],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\PROTOCOLFILTERS.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\SCAPI.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\NFAPI.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\X86\SQLITE.INTEROP.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\LIB_SCAPI.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\MSVCM90.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\PROGRAM FILES (X86)\PCPROTECT\SYSTEM.DATA.SQLITE.DLL, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728
PUP.Optional.PCProtect, C:\USERS\{username}\DESKTOP\PCPROTECT_SETUP.EXE, Quarantined, [653], [652430],1.0.9728

Physical Sector: 0
(No malicious items detected)

WMI: 0
(No malicious items detected)


(end)

Add an exclusion

Should users wish to keep this program and exclude it from being detected in future scans, they can add the program to the exclusions list. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open Malwarebytes for Windows.
  • Click the Detection History
  • Click the Allow List
  • To add an item to the Allow List, click Add.
  • Select the exclusion type Allow a file or folder and use the Select a folder button to select the main folder for the software that you wish to keep.
  • Repeat this for any secondary files or folder(s) that belong to the software.

If you want to allow the program to connect to the Internet, for example to fetch updates, also add an exclusion of the type Allow an application to connect to the internet and use the Browse button to select the file you wish to grant access.

Traces/IOCs

You may see these entries in FRST logs:

(Protected Antivirus Limited -> PCProtect) C:\Program Files (x86)\PCProtect\PCProtect.exe
(Protected Antivirus Limited -> PCProtect) C:\Program Files (x86)\PCProtect\SecurityService.exe
R2 SecurityService; C:\Program Files (x86)\PCProtect\SecurityService.exe [4980480 2019-03-06] (Protected Antivirus Limited -> PCProtect)
R1 webshieldfilter; C:\Windows\System32\drivers\webshieldfilter.sys [87904 2019-03-05] (Protected Antivirus Limited -> Windows (R) Win 7 DDK provider)
C:\Users\{username}\Documents\PCProtect
C:\ProgramData\SecuritySuite
C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\PCProtect
C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\PCProtect.lnk
(Windows (R) Win 7 DDK provider) C:\Windows\system32\Drivers\webshieldfilter.sys
C:\Program Files (x86)\PCProtect
C:\Users\{username}\Desktop\PCProtect.lnk

PCProtect (HKLM-x32\...\PCProtect) (Version: 4.13.39 - PCProtect)
(The OpenSSL Project, hxxp://www.openssl.org/) [File not signed] C:\Program Files (x86)\PCProtect\SSLEAY32.dll
(The OpenSSL Project, hxxp://www.openssl.org/) [File not signed] C:\Program Files (x86)\PCProtect\LIBEAY32.dll

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