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Desktop Background Taken Over


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11 replies to this topic

#1 brindize

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:22 AM

After clicking on a compromised myspace page my desktop background is changed to an advertising and tracker display.
The only thing I have control over is the icon name background color strip. At times the invading background will turn bright white and then later come back to its graphic display. I have run Spybot Search and Destroy, Ad-aware, SpyBlaster, Winpatrol, AVG Pro, and Zone Alarm firewall. Whatever got me is invisible to these programs.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:15 AM

What OS (Win 2K, XPsp1, XPsp2, Vista) are you using? Have you tried doing your scans in "Safe Mode"?

You need to start there first. If rescanning in Safe Mode does not help, then do this:

Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop. DO NOT use yet.
Please download and install SUPERAntiSpyware Free
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSypware.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 them from here and unzip into the program's folder.)
  • Under the "Configuration and Preferences", click the Preferences... button.
  • Click the "General and Startup" tab, and under Start-up Options, make sure "Start SUPERAntiSpyware when Windows starts" box is unchecked.
  • Click the "Scanning Control" tab, and under Scanner Options, make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.
    • Terminate memory threats before quarantining.
  • Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen and exit the program.
  • Do not run a scan just yet.
Reboot your computer in "Safe Mode" using the F8 method. To do this, restart your computer and after hearing your computer beep once during startup (but before the Windows icon appears) press the F8 key repeatedly. A menu will appear with several options. Use the arrow keys to navigate and select the option to run Windows in "Safe Mode".

Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
  • Under Main "Select Files to Delete" choose: Select All.
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
  • If you use Firefox browser click Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • If you use Opera browser click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
  • Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
  • Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
Note: On Vista, "Windows Temp" is disabled. To empty "Windows Temp" ATF-Cleaner must be "Run as an Administrator".

Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware as follows:
  • Launch the program and back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
  • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
  • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan and click "Next".
  • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
  • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it 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.
  • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes" and reboot normally.
  • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.
Perform an Online Virus Scan like BitDefender.
(These require Internet Explorer to work. Watch the Address bar in IE. You may receive alerts that "This site might require the following ActiveX control...Click here to install...". Click on that alert and then Click Install ActiveX component. If given the option, choose "Quarantine" instead of delete.)
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#3 brindize

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:25 PM

Thank you. I am running Windows XP Home, SP2. I performed all the tasks above in Safe Mode in this order-- AVG Antivirus, Spy Sweeper, Spyware, Blaster, AdAware, Spybot Search and Destroy, and Panda Anti-Rootkit-- and still have the problem. AdAware could not remove 6 tracking cookies with this description--index.dat adopt.euroclick.....

I then ran ATF Cleaner and SuperAntiSpyware in Safe Mode.

Here is the Scan Log from SUPERAntiSpyware:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

Generated 04/04/2008 at 03:07 PM

Application Version : 4.0.1154

Core Rules Database Version : 3431
Trace Rules Database Version: 1423

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:26:05

Memory items scanned : 195
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 5612
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned : 11542
File threats detected : 0

Edited by brindize, 04 April 2008 - 02:26 PM.


#4 quietman7

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:28 PM

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on Download_mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • 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 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 Acan" 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 and you may be prompted to restart your computer. (see Note below)
  • 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 and exit MBAM.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be presented with 1 of 2 prompts. Click OK to either and let MBAM proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
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#5 brindize

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 04:55 PM

Making some progress. The desktop is now a shade of blue and I am able to change the strip of color behind the icon names. I am still unable to change the actual background. This is a lot better.

Here is the MBAM log:

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.10
Database version: 591

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 30165
Time elapsed: 3 minute(s), 56 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 3
Registry Values Infected: 1
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 2
Files Infected: 6

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\winvi (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\The Weather Channel (Adware.Hotbar) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Weather Services (Adware.Hotbar) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Cpls\wxfw.dll (Adware.Hotbar) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
C:\Program Files\winvi (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\winvi\dsktp (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Files Infected:
C:\Program Files\winvi\Uninst.exe (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\winvi\version.ini (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\winvi\dsktp\AC_RunActiveContent.js (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\winvi\dsktp\desktop.html (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\winvi\dsktp\internetDetection.swf (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\Program Files\winvi\dsktp\settings.sol (Adware.SoftMate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

#6 brindize

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 05:25 PM

I restarted my system and I think the desktop is back to its original blue color where the strip behind the icon names blends in and is the same as the desktop. In display properties the theme was changed to XP modified, but I returned it to XP. My screen saver was also changed back to XP.

I still do not have control of the desktop background, but it is where I would have it set anyway. I will keep an eye on the settings and appearance and post again if anything changes. If you feel that there still remains anything intrusive, I will follow your next advice.

Thank you for your help and expertise.

Edited by brindize, 04 April 2008 - 05:27 PM.


#7 quietman7

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:17 PM

I still do not have control of the desktop background

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Can you be more specific especially since you say things are set the way you would have set it.
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#8 brindize

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 07:57 AM

When I open Display Properties and click on Desktop, I am unable to click on Background or Browse or Position. This leaves me with choosing a solid color as my only background choice. What I mean by "that is the way I would set it" is that I usually use a solid background. I wonder if my intruder still has some control of my display? In the future, if I ever want to use another background image or graphic, it appears that I am unable. I may just not understand how to use the display background function to add a background other than a solid color.

Edited by brindize, 05 April 2008 - 08:00 AM.


#9 quietman7

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 05:05 PM

Go to Start > Control Panel > Display. Click on the "Desktop" tab, then the "Customize Desktop..." button.
Click on the "Web" tab, then under Web Pages, uncheck everything and look for any of the following:
  • Security Info
  • Warning Message
  • Security Desktop
  • Warning Homepage
  • Desktop Uninstall
If present, select each entry and click the Delete button.
Also, make sure the Lock desktop items box is unchecked. Click "Ok", then "Apply" and "Ok".
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#10 brindize

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:15 PM

I did what you recommended. Nothing was checked so I left everything as is. On the Desktop screen it seems that the word 'Background', 'Browse', and 'position' are not dark and are not clickable. They are faded looking in appearance. Don't they have to be darkened for them to be active?

#11 quietman7

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:44 PM

Browse... should be clickable. Background, Position and Color, you select from the drop down boxes underneath by clicking on your choice.

Customizing Your Desktop Settings
Make Windows look the way you want
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#12 brindize

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 04:41 PM

That is what I do not understand, that the things that should be clickable are not.




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