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Redirect virus - freecause?


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#1 Saffy

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:41 PM

I seem to have picked up a virus. Sometimes when I search the results come up in a strange window called Freecause. On closing down a window I got a weird error message (which I forgot to write down) which looked like a microsoft one but wasn't because it said "Sorry for inconvinience caused." and microsoft don't do spelling mistakes. It didn't have an X in the corner and asked me to send in a report. I had to go to the task manager to close it down. My internet explorer window keeps closing down too. Avast hasn't picked anything up or Ad-aware.

I use Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Vista Home Premium 6.0.

How do I get rid of this?

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 Saffy

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:04 PM

Sorry for replying to my own post but I think maybe the freecause thing is part of the Nectar toolbar so is ok? Don't know about the other message so will wait and see if anything else happens.

#3 boopme

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 11:03 PM

Hello Saffy,this sounds like ad and spyware to me. if you installed that toolbar you may have agreed to it.
http://www.freecause.com/solutions_affinitytoolbar/

Next run MBAM (MalwareBytes):

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
Download Link 1
Download Link 2MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
    For instructions with screenshots, please refer to the How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Guide.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

Troubleshoot Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
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#4 Saffy

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 09:30 AM

I downloaded and ran this yesterday and the logfile was as below. I just ran it again and it came up clear. I did install the Nectar toolbar and it does look like thats the problem. I don't normally install toolbars but this one was recommended to me.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.50.1.1100
www.malwarebytes.org

Database version: 5419

Windows 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2
Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18999

30/12/2010 13:19:06
mbam-log-2010-12-30 (13-19-06).txt

Scan type: Full scan (C:\|D:\|)
Objects scanned: 288323
Time elapsed: 40 minute(s), 15 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 1
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Ext\Stats\{3AA42713-5C1E-48E2-B432-D8BF420DD31D} (Rogue.AntiVirus2008) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

#5 boopme

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 11:01 AM

OK, let's just get one more and see if there are any others left behind.

Please perform a scan with Eset Online Antiivirus Scanner.
This scan requires Internet Explorer to work. Vista/Windows 7 users need to run Internet Explorer as Administrator.
To do this, right-click on the IE icon in the Start Menu or Quick Launch Bar on the Taskbar and select Run As Administrator from the context menu.
  • Click the green Posted Image button.
  • Read the End User License Agreement and check the box:
  • Check Posted Image.
  • Click the Posted Image button.
  • Accept any security warnings from your browser.
  • Check Posted Image
  • Check Remove found threats and Scan potentially unwanted applications. (If given the option, choose "Quarantine" instead of delete.)
  • Click the Start button.
  • ESET will then download updates for itself, install itself, and begin scanning your computer.
  • If offered the option to get information or buy software at any point, just close the window.
  • The scan will take a while so be patient and do NOT use the computer while the scan is running. Keep all other programs and windows closed.
  • When the scan completes, push Posted Image
  • Push Posted Image, and save the file to your desktop as ESETScan.txt.
  • Push the Posted Image button, then Finish.
  • Copy and paste the contents of ESETScan.txt in your next reply.
Note: A log.txt file will also be created and automatically saved in the C:\Program Files\EsetOnlineScanner\ folder.
If you did not save the ESETScan log, click Posted Image > Run..., then type or copy and paste everything in the code box below into the Open dialogue box:

C:\Program Files\ESET\EsetOnlineScanner\log.txt
  • Click Ok and the scan results will open in Notepad.
  • Copy and paste the contents of log.txt in your next reply.
-- Some online scanners will detect existing anti-virus software and refuse to cooperate. You may have to disable the real-time protection components of your existing anti-virus and try running the scan again. If you do this, remember to turn them back on after you are finished.

NOTE: In some instances if no malware is found there will be no log produced.
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#6 Saffy

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:57 PM

I have run the scan and nothing was found. No log was produced. Looks like everything is ok.

#7 boopme

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 08:41 PM

Looks good to me. If there are no more problems or signs of infection, you should Create a New Restore Point to prevent possible reinfection from an old one. Some of the malware you picked up could have been saved in System Restore. Since this is a protected directory your tools cannot access to delete these files, they sometimes can reinfect your system if you accidentally use an old restore point. Setting a new restore point AFTER cleaning your system will help prevent this and enable your computer to "roll-back" to a clean working state.

The easiest and safest way to do this is:
  • Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools and click "System Restore".
  • Choose the radio button marked "Create a Restore Point" on the first screen then click "Next". Give the R.P. a name, then click "Create". The new point will be stamped with the current date and time. Keep a log of this so you can find it easily should you need to use System Restore.
  • Then use Disk Cleanup to remove all but the most recently created Restore Point.
  • Go to Start > Run and type: Cleanmgr
  • Click "Ok". Disk Cleanup will scan your files for several minutes, then open.
  • Click the "More Options" tab, then click the "Clean up" button under System Restore.
  • Click Ok. You will be prompted with "Are you sure you want to delete all but the most recent restore point?"
  • Click Yes, then click Ok.
  • Click Yes again when prompted with "Are you sure you want to perform these actions?"
  • Disk Cleanup will remove the files and close automatically.
Vista Users can refer to these links: Create a New Restore Point and Disk Cleanup.

Tips to protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection:Avoid gaming sites, pirated software, cracking tools, keygens, and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs. They are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections, remote attacks, exposure of personal information, and identity theft. Many malicious worms and Trojans spread across P2P file sharing networks, gaming and underground sites. Users visiting such pages may see innocuous-looking banner ads containing code which can trigger pop-up ads and malicious Flash ads that install viruses, Trojans and spyware. Ads are a target for hackers because they offer a stealthy way to distribute malware to a wide range of Internet users. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid these types of web sites and not use any P2P applications. Read P2P Software User Advisories and Risks of File-Sharing Technology.

Keeping Autorun enabled on USB and other removable drives has become a significant security risk due to the increasing number of malware variants that can infect them and transfer the infection to your computer. To learn more about this risk, please read:
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#8 Saffy

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 08:41 AM

Thank you very much for your help!

#9 katiekins

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:35 PM

It is likely the freecause search is linked to the nectar toolbar.

I am not sure if I can put links on here but if you go to Nectar tool bar - Frequently Asked Questions you will find links to freecause in their installation guide and privicy policy. So obviously linked!

It does quote that it

does not contain any spyware, adware, or malware.


Edited by katiekins, 15 January 2011 - 10:37 PM.


#10 boopme

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:34 PM

does not contain any spyware, adware, or malware.

This beause thet ARE the spyware and adware,no need to cantain it. Which is why I will remove it.

They recently began a "toolbar" program where they encouraged everyone to download & use their toolbar to make "free money" for the organization.

toolbars hijacking affiliate commissions by overwriting the original affiliate id with the toolbar's affiliate id.


the toolbar continues to be fully operational when it is "disabled". They acknowledged this and said the toolbar must be completely removed to stop functioning.



How can we stop Freecause
How do I get help? Who is helping me?
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#11 katiekins

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:41 AM

This beause thet ARE the spyware and adware,no need to cantain it. Which is why I will remove it.


So you have the nectar toolbar too?

It confuses me because they use yahoo search so how is this linked with freecause? I know it is from the nectar website and surely if it was spyware and adware why would nectar uses it.

I have found the nectar toolbar helpfull in collecting points from the search and seeing if my orders from amazon, ebay etc are collecting points.

So in your opinion how safe is it to use?

I am torn into removing it or keeping it! :huh:

#12 boopme

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:22 PM

Hello, I do not use it. I would say it is safe in the environment. As they are not using extra ad/spyware. But they are sharing info amonst many retailers. If it is a service you like and use often then continue. It's like using Coupon sites. You agree to allow ads, that their price for free.
I do not like that they hijack affiliate commissions by overwriting the original affiliate thus redirecting the funds from one non profit into their coffers in a way that makes them sound like thy are helping.
How do I get help? Who is helping me?
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#13 katiekins

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 05:47 AM

So what kind of info are they sharing? Personal info about me? What info can they personally get from me?


I don't quite understand how it all works and how they make their money (I have read the links on here but I just don't get it!!!)




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