Good news! As of January 4th, 2018, Malwarebytes (the best FREE anti-malware program available) has come up with a fix for the Palladium Pro malware that’s been infecting computers since January 2nd. I myself was infected with Palladium Pro on January 2nd and none of my anti-malware programs could find and remove it, so I had to remove it manually, which was a real pain in the butt. I just downloaded the latest Malwarebytes update and scanned my computer and it found a Palladium entry in my registry that I failed to delete. So, if your computer has been infected with Palladium Pro you now have three options for removing it: get Malwarebytes and it’s latest update and have it do the work for you; do a “system restore” to an earlier point before you were infected; or manually remove Palladium Pro. In this article I will detail how to remove Palladium Pro with these three options.
I first noticed I was infected with Palladium Pro on January 2nd, 2011 after I had been surfing the internet for a short spell. After closing down my Firefox web browser I discovered I had several fake “Security Essentials” alerts open — all claiming my computer was infected with a trojan. I immediately knew this must be the work of a malware program, and trying to close down all these fake Security Essentials pop-up boxes was impossible. I made the mistake of clicking on the “more information” button on one of the fake alerts and suddenly a program started downloading. I immediately tried to stop the process and had to resort to shutting down my computer by holding down the power button. When I restarted my computer I was greeted by a “Palladium Pro” start screen which prevented me from getting to my desktop. The Palladium Pro screen had two buttons — one was to go ahead “unprotected” by Palladium Pro, and the second button was to proceed in “safe” mode. Of course, only the second button worked — I clicked on it and Palladium Pro started “scanning” my system and of course starting finding all sorts of trojans and other threats on my computer. I knew this Palladium Pro program was just another fake anti-virus program and I was pissed that it had installed itself on my computer without my authorization. It was impossible to stop Palladium Pro from “scanning” my system so I was forced to manually shut down my computer again with the power button.
Apparently, I was not the only one who was infected with Palladium Pro. The same day — January 2nd, 2011– scores of people had posted on forums all over the internet about this new virus, and most of the posters claimed they were infected with Palladium Pro after visiting Myspace. I’m not sure if that’s where my computer was infected with Palladium Pro, but it is likely I had stopped by myspace to check for messages, as I do that each day.
How to remove Palladium Pro with Malwarebytes:
This should be your FIRST option for removing Palladium Pro before doing a system restore or trying to remove Palladium Pro manually, I must stress this:
1) Start up your computer in “safe mode with networking” by holding down the “F8” key while booting up. Log in as “administrator” (not “owner”) to avoid getting the Palladium Pro start screen. If you don’t already have Malwarebytes on your computer you can download it here: http://www.malwarebytes.org Get the free version, it works great and has helped me out a ton over the past couple years.
2) Once you have Malwarebytes downloaded and installed, UPDATE the program to get the latest fixes. Then run a “full scan” and simply follow the instructions to remove all rouge agents found on your system. Once finished, you will need to restart your computer. Done!
How to remove Palladium Pro with a “system restore”:
1) Start your computer up in “safe mode” by holding down the “F8” key when booting up. Log into the “administrator” account (not the “owner” account) to proceed.
2) In safe mode, run “system restore” (which should be accessible under “Programs / accessories / System tools / system restore”) and restore your system to an earlier restore point. This apparently works for most users infected with Palladium Pro.
If you are unable to do a system restore, as I was, here’s how to manually remove Palladium Pro:
1) Start up your computer normally
2) When the Palladium Pro start screen appears (keeping you from accessing your desktop) do NOT click on it’s buttons. Instead, press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys. This will open up the Windows Task Manager. In Task Manager, click on the Processes tab, look for the Palladium.exe process and select it. Then click on the END PROCESS command. Confirm you want to end this process, and once done Palladium pro will be temporarily disabled on your computer so that you can proceed to remove it for good.
3) Open Windows Explorer, type “%AppData%” into the address and hit “enter” — this will show you all the files inside your “Application Data” folder which contains two program files you need to delete: Palladium.exe and z.exe. Using this method I was able to find those two files on my computer here: C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data. Rename both the files, delete them into your trash, then empty your trash.
4) You will still need to remove any Palladium Pro registry entries. Hold CTRL + ALT + DELETE to open Task Manager again. Click on Applications, New Task, then type REGEDIT and click OK. Hold the keys CTRL + F and search for the word “Palladium”. The registry will search for the word Palladium and you must delete any registry entries that come up “Palladium” — I think I came up with just one on my computer: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run “Palladium”
There you go, three ways to remove Palladium Pro from your computer for FREE. I hope this helps others who have been infected with this malware.