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Newbie Needs Urgent Help With Infected Laptop


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#1 Rajat Gupta

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:42 PM

Hi,

My laptop appears to have been infected a couple of days back and has been giving a variety of problems. I have McAfee Anti-Virus Corporate Edition installed on my machine and it did detect a virus which it claimed to have cleaned.

However, soon after I started getting the "Windows Security Alert" messages (Warning! Potential Spyware Operation! Your computer is making unauthorized copies of your ...". I downloaded and installed AVG Anti-Spyware on my laptop and ran a full scan. It detected 5-8 trojans/ infected files and claimed to have cleaned/ or deleted them.

However, things have only gotten worse since then. I see a variety of problems:

1. I can't run most programs - when I try to run something, it automatically gets killed. I can't even run AVG Anti-spyware anymore. I also downloaded HijackThis, but I can't install it because the minute I fire it up, it gets killed.

2. I can't see "Control Panel" in my "Start" Menu.

3. When I try to right-click on "My Computer" and click on "Properties", I get a message saying "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator."

4. Every now and then, I get a pop-up window saying something like "NT system has initiated a shutdown" and the system boots after a timer of 60 seconds expires. This only happens sometimes and I haven't been able to detect a pattern that would explain what makes it shutdown sometimes and not others.

I have been searching the web and found some solutions around resetting the Group Policy. I was able to do that and see the control panel yesterday, but today, I can't see it at all.

Also, when I reboot the machine and it comes back up, everything is reset - I don't have access to the registry and I can't see the control panel and I can't see "Properties" under "My Computer".

This forum really got my hopes up high and I wanted to get a HijackThis log, but as I mentioned, it won't run since it gets killed!

I can't run it in "Safe Mode" either.

Someone please help! I have way too much critical data on this system to even think of reinstalling the OS at this point.

I'm running Windows XP Media Center, SP2 on a Dell XPS m1210 and McAfee Viruscan Enterprise 7.0 updated to latest DAT files and virus signatures.


Thanks.

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#2 Master5270

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 08:55 PM

Hello Rajat Gupta, Please follow these instructions. Your having Problems with HJT, You may need to change the name to something else because some malware kills the program as it starts. Rename HiJackThis.exe to something else, like Analyse.exe



Download and scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free for Home Users

* Double-click SUPERAntiSpyware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
* An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
* If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download and unzip them from here.)
* When done, select "Scan for Harmful Software".
* There are three scanning options. Choose "Perform Complete Scan" and click "Next".
* When done, a Scan Summary will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
* Make sure they all have a checkmark next to them and click "Next".
* A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
* Click Preferences and then click the statistics/logs tab.
* Click the dated log and press View log. A text file will appear so you can see the results.
* Select close to exit the program.
* Scan in SAFE MODE
Then
* Clean your Cache and Cookies in IE:
* Close all instances of Outlook Express and Internet Explorer
* Go to Control Panel > Internet Options > General tab
* Under Browsing History, click "Delete".
* Click "Delete Files", "Delete cookies" and "Delete history"
* Click Close below.

* Clean your Cache and Cookies in Firefox (In case you also have Firefox installed):

* Go to Tools > Options.
* Click Privacy in the menu..
* Click the Clear now button below.. A new window will popup what to clear.
* Select all and click the Clear button again.
* Click OK to close the Options window

* Clean other Temporary files + Recycle bin

* Go to start > run and type: cleanmgr and click ok.
* Let it scan your system for files to remove.
* Make sure Temporary Files, Temporary Internet Files, and Recycle Bin are the only things checked.
* Press OK to remove them.

If that does not clear up matters than please read and follow all instructions in the pinned topic titled "Preparation Guide For Use Before Posting A Hijackthis Log". You may have performed some of these steps already. About half way down are instructions for downloading HijackThis and creating a log.

When you have done that, post a log in the HijackThis Logs and Analysis Forum, NOT here, for assistance by the HJT Team Experts. A member of the Team will walk you through, step by step, on how to clean your computer. If you post your log back in this thread, the response from the HJT Team will be delayed because your post will have to be moved. This means it will fall in line behind any others posted that same day.

Start a new topic, give it a relevant title and post your log along with a brief description of your problem, a summary of any anti-malware tools you have used and a summary of any steps that you have performed on your own. Please include the top portion of the HijackThis log that lists version information. An expert will analyze your log and reply with instructions advising you what to fix.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the HJT Team members are very busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the HJT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.

If after 5 days you still have received no response, then post a link to your HJT log here.

After posting a log you should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc.) unless advised by a HJT Team member. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show it the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make may cause confusion for the member assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

After you have run the cleanmanager, prior to go over the steps for HiJackThis please post back how this computer is running now

#3 Rajat Gupta

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:22 PM

Hi Master5270,

Thanks for your reply. I had downloaded SuperAntiSpyware on my laptop and tried running that too (both in normal and safe modes) but it would get killed as soon as I clicked on it (during installation) just like HJT would get killed.

Since my original post, I downloaded and ran combofix on my laptop in safe mode. That was able to run. It generated a log and appears to have fixed at least some problems since I was able to run HJT after combofix finished.

However, I'm not sure my laptop is entirely clear at this point - probably not. Also, I don't know if any cleanup or system restoration steps need to be done.

I can attach my combofix and HJT logs if you like. I don't see an "attachment" feature on this page. Please advise.

Thanks a ton for your help!

#4 Master5270

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:27 PM

Post The HJT log and the Combofix log in the HJT Sub-Forum as in the links provided on my last post. Please give the best description of your problem, and i have one more question have you been getting advertisements on your computer, if so, what type? Ex. Download Software, eDating.

#5 Rajat Gupta

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:33 PM

I'm not getting any advertisements now.

However, before I ran combofix, I would get Windows Security Alerts and a yellow triangle along with an "!" in it in the lower right corner of my screen with a message saying I should download spyware software to fix it. The initial couple of times when I clicked on it, it would take me to www.amaena.com or something like that and then I would get redirected to some other site with a URL I don't remember.

I also remember sometimes seeing winantispyware or something similar in the URL it would try to take me to. Sorry, things have just been chaotic and changing on my machine so I don't remember the exact details.

Thanks - I'll post the logs in the forum you pointed me to.

#6 tg1911

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 11:45 PM

Rajat Gupta,

Now that you have an open HJT log posted in the HijackThis Logs and Analysis forum, you shouldn't make any changes to your system.
Doing so, could change the results of the posted log, making it difficult to properly clean your system.

At this point, the HJT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

I'm closing this topic until you are cleared by the HJT Team.
If, after your log has been cleaned, you still need help, please PM a Moderator and we will re-open this topic.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a PM.
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