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The Memory Could Not Be Read Error Message


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11 replies to this topic

#1 vitald

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 07:41 PM

Hello,

I was wondering if somebody can help me fix the following problem:

It looks like I've got a virus - everytime when I try to start any program (Windows Update, IE, etc) I would get the "The memory could not be read" error message. I was trying to use the "Windows Recovery Console" - restarted computer and selected "Recovery Console" but it crashed with the "blue screen of death".

Running Windows XP SP3.

Thank a lot,
Vitaliy

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#2 DaChew

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 10:35 PM

Would you test safe mode and see which options if any work

http://www.malwareremoval.com/tutorials/safemodeboot.php

Don't attempt any changes

I suspect you have a security program locked in a battle to the death with your infection or more than one infection
Chewy

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#3 vitald

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 11:34 AM

Hi Chewy,

Thank you for your reply. It seems like I was able to fix it. I rebooted PC one more time and was able to start the McAfee antivirus. It detected the spy-agent.bw!mem trojan and deleted it. It also mentioned that system32\ntos.exe is infected as well but it could not fix it. I also found a "a.exe" in the System32 folder and renamed it. Then rebooted PC again. I was able to run the Windows System Restore. I had a System Checkpoint that was made yesterday around 6 AM. So, I restored the system from that checkpoint, rebooted PC and everything went back to normal again. Re-ran the McAfee - it did not find anything.

I was wondering, is there something else I can run in order to verify that there are no other viruses on my PC.

Thanks,
Vitaliy

#4 quietman7

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 12:09 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 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 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 and exit MBAM.
Note:
-- If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you may be asked to reboot your computer so it can proceed with the disinfection process. Regardless if prompted to restart the computer or not, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

-- MBAM may make changes to your registry as part of its disinfection routine. If you're using other security programs that detect registry changes (like Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere with the fix or alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please disable such programs until disinfection is complete or permit them to allow the changes.


If you're using Windows 2000/XP, please print out and follow these instructions: "How to use SDFix". <- for Windows 2000/XP ONLY.
When using this tool, you must use the Administrator's account or an account with "Administrative rights"
  • Disconnect from the Internet and temporarily disable your anti-virus, script blocking and any real time protection programs before performing a scan.
  • Please be patient as the scan may take up to 20 minutes to complete.
  • When the process is complete, the SDFix report log will open in Notepad and automatically be saved in the SDFix folder as Report.txt.
  • If SDFix is unable to run after rebooting from Safe Mode, run SDFix in either Mode, and type F, then press Enter for it to finish the final stage and produce the report.
  • The SDFix report log (Report.txt) will open in Notepad and automatically be saved in the SDFix folder.
  • Please copy and paste the contents of Report.txt in your next reply.
  • Be sure to re-enable you anti-virus and and other security programs before connecting to the Internet.
IMPORTANT NOTE: ntos.exe is an Infostealer. Backdoor Trojans, IRCBots and Infostealers are very dangerous because they provide a means of accessing a computer system that bypasses security mechanisms and steal sensitive information like passwords, personal and financial data which they send back to the hacker. Remote attackers use backdoor Trojans as part of an exploit to gain unauthorized access to a computer and take control of it without your knowledge. Read Danger: Remote Access Trojans.

If your computer was used for online banking, has credit card information or other sensitive data on it, all passwords should be changed immediately to include those used for banking, email, eBay, paypal and online forums. You should consider them to be compromised. They should be changed by using a different computer and not the infected one. If not, an attacker may get the new passwords and transaction information. If using a router, you need to reset it with a strong logon/password so the malware cannot gain control again. and credit card institutions should be notified of the possible security breach. Because your computer was compromised please read How Do I Handle Possible Identify Theft, Internet Fraud and CC Fraud?

Although the infection was identified and removed, your PC has likely been compromised and there is no way to be sure the computer can ever be trusted again. It is dangerous and incorrect to assume that because this malware has been removed the computer is now secure. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. The malware may leave so many remnants behind that security tools cannot find them. Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat and reinstall the OS. Please read:

"When should I re-format? How should I reinstall?"
"Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?"
"Where to draw the line? When to recommend a format and reinstall?"
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#5 vitald

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 06:48 AM

Hello Quietman7

Thank you for the reply. I ran both Malwarebytes and SDFix, below are their logs. The description of "ntos" sounds very serious, is there anything else I should run to check my PC?

Thanks,
Vitaliy

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.28
Database version: 1225
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3

10/2/2008 9:02:36 PM
mbam-log-2008-10-02 (21-02-36).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 76427
Time elapsed: 16 minute(s), 41 second(s)

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

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
C:\WINDOWS\system32\clkcnt.txt (Trojan.Vundo) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.



SDFix: Version 1.230
Run by Murzik on Fri 10/03/2008 at 06:57 AM

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
Running From: C:\SDFix

Checking Services :


Restoring Default Security Values
Restoring Default Hosts File

Rebooting


Checking Files :

No Trojan Files Found






Removing Temp Files

ADS Check :



Final Check :

catchme 0.3.1361.2 W2K/XP/Vista - rootkit/stealth malware detector by Gmer, http://www.gmer.net
Rootkit scan 2008-10-03 07:07:13
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 NTFS

scanning hidden processes ...

scanning hidden services & system hive ...

scanning hidden registry entries ...

scanning hidden files ...

scan completed successfully
hidden processes: 0
hidden services: 0
hidden files: 0


Remaining Services :




Authorized Application Key Export:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\currentcontrolset\services\sharedaccess\parameters\firewallpolicy\standardprofile\authorizedapplications\list]
"C:\\Program Files\\Dell Network Assistant\\ezi_hnm2.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Dell Network Assistant\\ezi_hnm2.exe:*:Disabled:Dell Network Assistant"
"C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\sessmgr.exe"="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\sessmgr.exe:*:Disabled:@xpsp2res.dll,-22019"
"C:\\Program Files\\Graphisoft\\ArchiCAD 10\\ArchiCAD.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Graphisoft\\ArchiCAD 10\\ArchiCAD.exe:*:Enabled:ArchiCAD 10.0.0 Component"
"C:\\Program Files\\Messenger\\msmsgs.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Messenger\\msmsgs.exe:*:Enabled:Windows Messenger"
"C:\\Program Files\\Trillian\\trillian.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Trillian\\trillian.exe:*:Enabled:Trillian"
"C:\\Program Files\\BitTorrent\\bittorrent.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\BitTorrent\\bittorrent.exe:*:Disabled:BitTorrent"
"%windir%\\Network Diagnostic\\xpnetdiag.exe"="%windir%\\Network Diagnostic\\xpnetdiag.exe:*:Enabled:@xpsp3res.dll,-20000"
"%windir%\\system32\\sessmgr.exe"="%windir%\\system32\\sessmgr.exe:*:enabled:@xpsp2res.dll,-22019"
"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\McAfee\\MNA\\McNASvc.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\McAfee\\MNA\\McNASvc.exe:*:Enabled:McAfee Network Agent"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\system\currentcontrolset\services\sharedaccess\parameters\firewallpolicy\domainprofile\authorizedapplications\list]
"%windir%\\system32\\sessmgr.exe"="%windir%\\system32\\sessmgr.exe:*:enabled:@xpsp2res.dll,-22019"
"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\AOL\\ACS\\AOLacsd.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\AOL\\ACS\\AOLacsd.exe:*:Enabled:AOL"
"C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\AOL\\ACS\\AOLDial.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\Common Files\\AOL\\ACS\\AOLDial.exe:*:Enabled:AOL"
"C:\\Program Files\\America Online 9.0\\waol.exe"="C:\\Program Files\\America Online 9.0\\waol.exe:*:Enabled:AOL"
"%windir%\\Network Diagnostic\\xpnetdiag.exe"="%windir%\\Network Diagnostic\\xpnetdiag.exe:*:Enabled:@xpsp3res.dll,-20000"

Remaining Files :



Files with Hidden Attributes :

Wed 20 Dec 2006 209 A.SHR --- "C:\BOOT.BAK"
Fri 3 Oct 2008 6,108,728 A..H. --- "C:\Program Files\Picasa2\setup.exe"
Fri 12 Sep 2008 20,487 A.SHR --- "C:\Program Files\McAfee\MQC\MRU.bak"
Fri 12 Sep 2008 265 A.SHR --- "C:\Program Files\McAfee\MQC\qcconf.bak"
Sun 17 Dec 2006 8 A..H. --- "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GTek\GTUpdate\AUpdate\Channels\ch1\lock.tmp"
Sun 17 Dec 2006 8 A..H. --- "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GTek\GTUpdate\AUpdate\Channels\ch2\lock.tmp"
Sun 17 Dec 2006 8 A..H. --- "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GTek\GTUpdate\AUpdate\Channels\ch3\lock.tmp"
Sun 17 Dec 2006 8 A..H. --- "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GTek\GTUpdate\AUpdate\Channels\ch4\lock.tmp"
Sun 17 Dec 2006 8 A..H. --- "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GTek\GTUpdate\AUpdate\Channels\ch5\lock.tmp"
Sun 17 Dec 2006 8 A..H. --- "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\GTek\GTUpdate\AUpdate\Channels\ch6\lock.tmp"

Finished!

#6 quietman7

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 07:20 AM

Lets do another scan to see if we find anything else that MBAM may have missed.

Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune & save it to your desktop. alternate download link 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.)
  • In the Main Menu, 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.

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#7 vitald

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:42 PM

Sorry for the delay. I am traveling this week and wil be out of the town for several days. I won't be able to run this test until next Thursday. Is it possible to keep this post "open" until Thursday or Friday?

Thanks,
Vitaliy

#8 quietman7

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:37 AM

Is it possible to keep this post "open" until Thursday or Friday?

Yes. Safe travels.
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#9 vitald

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 07:09 AM

Hello,

I've run both ATF Cleaner and SuperAntiSpyware and here is the log file from AntiSpyware:

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

Generated 10/10/2008 at 07:53 AM

Application Version : 4.21.1004

Core Rules Database Version : 3594
Trace Rules Database Version: 1581

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:50:34

Memory items scanned : 219
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 5888
Registry threats detected : 1
File items scanned : 82305
File threats detected : 2

Adware.Vundo Variant
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellExecuteHooks#{B3102264-D09D-4322-B625-503FBF18DD7E}

Trojan.Unclassified/Loader-Suspicious
C:\DOWNLOADS\NEWSBIN\LOADER.EXE
C:\VIDIEHT\LOADER.EXE

#10 quietman7

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:07 AM

How is your computer running now? Any more reports/signs of infection?
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#11 vitald

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:16 AM

It seems to be running OK and I don't see any indication that there is a virus or something like that. Do I need to do anything with the Adware.Vundo Variant that SuperAntiSpyware had found? It is still listed in the Quarantined Items.

Thanks.

#12 quietman7

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 10:07 AM

When an anti-virus or anti-malware program quarantines a file, that file is essentially disabled and prevented from causing any harm to your system. The quarantined file is safely held there and no longer a threat until you take action to delete it. One reason for doing this is to prevent deletion of a crucial file that may have been flagged as a "false positive". If that is the case, then you can restore the file and add it to the exclusion or ignore list. Doing this also allows you to view and investigate the files while keeping them from harming your computer. Quarantine is just an added safety measure. When the quarantined file is known to be bad, you can delete it at any time.

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.

.
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