Another branch of the FakeHDD family of rogues has appeared, and its name is Smart HDD. There is no dispute over the name of the rogue – it is Smart, indeed, but it is not an optimization and analysis tool. Smart HDD, just like all other members of this corrupt family, is a fake program, which has been created by cyber criminals who want to gain profit by selling the fake licensed versions of such malware pieces.
Smart HDD manages to sneak inside vulnerable computers with the help of Trojans, which come as part of hacked websites. When you click through the website, the Trojans exploit any possible security loop-hole in your security in order to break inside. A great part of security vulnerabilities is caused by outdated software. Therefor, security experts recommend keeping all your programs up-to-date. Once Trojans sneak into the system, they download Smart HDD and assist it in its installation process.
Upon its installation, Smart HDD configures itself to start automatically every time you turn on your computer. It also immediately begins to produce counterfeit security alerts. They appear to be coming from your Task Bar, and this is why a lot of people tend to believe they are real. In fact, these warnings are all made-up just to scare you into believing there is a number of errors in your PC and them prompt you to buy Smart HDD.
The S.M.A.R.T. Check is just another trick, used by Smart HDD. It uses this trick to convince you that you need to spend your money on its licensed version. The S.M.A.R.T. Check pretends to be looking for hard drive errors, but it is not. However, at the end of the scan, it shows a whole list of them. The diagnostic report displayed is a big con. If you decide to repair these errors with Smart HDD’s help, it would ask you to activate its full version. Keep in mind that the presumable full version is fake, and you will only send your money away to hackers if you obtain it.
Hiding random files in your PC is also part of Smart HDD’s scam-game, but it includes deleting shortcuts, as well. The backups of the deleted shortcuts are stored in your %Temp%\smtmp folder. Therefore, in case of a Smart HDD infection, you should be very careful not to delete any files from this folder. As for the missing files from your computer – do not panic, they are only hidden, and everything will fall back to place when you get rid of the malware.
Smart HDD may also block some of your other programs. The alerts you see below are used by the malware to make you think that you cannot start the applications due to hard drive errors.
Windows detected a hard drive problem.
A hard drive error occurred while starting the application.
Windows cannot find notepad. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.
To sum up, Smart HDD should not be let to operate undisturbed on your PC, because it can only harm your computer system and open various cracks in your computer security so that other viruses can sneak inside. Use a real AV tool and remove Smart HDD now.
UPDATE (April 05 2012)
Security specialists again report about a new release of the malicious attacker Smart HDD. This creation of hackers is known to have appeared again in March 2012, and since then it has been targeting computers. There are some changes in the way this deceitful application works in comparison to its earlier version. Smart HDD pretends to make a S.M.A.R.T. Check of the user’s hard drive and then wants to mislead the victim into thinking this tool can repair hard drive problems. Smart HDD also relies on its trustworthy layout to mislead unaware users into thinking they can entrust the safety of their machines to the full version of this bogus software.
Although Smart HDD pretends to be a hard drive optimization tool, all of the information displayed by this program is fake. Smart HDD mimics reliable scan results and system warnings. However, all of the hard drive errors do not exist and, in fact, legitimate scanners would not report about them in the same way as Smart HDD.
Smart HDD reports about the following hard drive errors and problems:
Hard drive boot sector reading error
During I/O system initialization, the boot device driver might have failed to initialize the boot device. File System initialization might have failed because it did not recognize the data on the boot device.
Your computer is in a critical state. Hard disk error detected.
As a result, it can lead to hard disk failure and potential loss of data. It is highly recommended to repair all found errors to prevent loss of files, applications and documents stored on your computer.
Error 0x00000024 – NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM
If you are scared by all of these frightening messages about serious hard drive errors, do not be. In fact, if a hard drive boot sector error is displayed, you will not be able to start your PC at all. What is more, if there are problems with your hard drive, they will not be reported by some unknown application. A blue screen will be displayed, and a warning about the hard drive error that has occurred will be shown. As you can see, there is no need to worry about the errors reported by Smart HDD, as they do not exist.
Another trick used by Smart HDD is that the deceitful intruder hides some of your icons in the Start Menu, as well as other files. This is done to mislead you into thinking some of your documents and programs have been deleted. There is no need to panic, because your information is not lost. You can use a reliable tool to get all your files back in place.
In order to stop the fake messages and temporary disable Smart HDD, use a registration key found by our resaerchers. To register this key you can use a fake email address. Do not submit your personal email. This is the registry code you can use for the new version of Smart HDD:
Know that even if you register Smart HDD, the attacker is still present on your computer and it has to be removed. Although you do not see the annoying messages and scan reports, Smart HDD still hides in the computer system and poses a great risk at your PC and information. To protect your personal and financial details, as well as all the information stored on your computer, use a trustworthy AV program. Also, to stop other malicious creations of hackers from entering your computer, you have to get rid of Smart HDD as soon as possible.
To remove Smart HDD and fix your system, use a reliable and effective security program to scan your PC.
Smart HDD Manual Removal Instructions:
Stop These Smart HDD Processes:
(Learn how to do this)
(random letters).exe like 2362636.exe and pigrfbngn.exe
Find and Delete These Smart HDD Files:
(Learn how to do this)
%Documents and Settings%\[User_Name]\Desktop\Smart HDD.lnk
%Documents and Settings%\[User_Name]\Start Menu\Programs\Smart HDD
%Documents and Settings%\[User_Name]\Start Menu\Programs\Smart HDD\Smart HDD.lnk
%Documents and Settings%\[User_Name]\Start Menu\Programs\Smart HDD\Uninstall Smart HDD.lnk
Remove These Smart HDD Registry Values:
(Learn how to do this)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “(random letters)”
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “(random letters).exe”