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.
Tips to protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection:
- 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.
• "Simple and easy ways to keep your computer safe
• "How did I get infected?, With steps so it does not happen again!
• "Hardening Windows Security - Part 1 & Part 2
• "IE Recommended Minimal Security Settings
" - "How to Secure Your Web Browser
• Avoid gaming sites
, underground web pages, pirated software, crack sites, 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 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
.Why use safe mode
? The Windows operating system protects files
when they are being accessed by an application or a program. Malware writers create programs that can insert itself and hide in these protected areas
when the files are being used. Using "Safe Mode" reduces the number of modules requesting files to only the essentials to make your computer functional. This in turn reduces the number of hiding places for malware
, making it easier to find and delete the offending files when performing scans with anti-virus and anti-malware tools. In most cases, performing your scans in "Safe Mode" speeds up the scanning process.
• "Beginners Guides: Windows XP Safe Mode Explained
• "What is 'Safe Mode' used for and why?
Flash (usb, pen, thumb, jump) drive infections usually involve malware that loads an autorun.inf
file into the root folder of all drives
(internal, external, removable). When the removable media is inserted, autorun looks for autorun.inf and automatically executes another malicious file to run on your computer. When a flash drive becomes infected, the Trojan will infect a system when the removable media is inserted if autorun has not been disabled.
" is the feature built into Windows that automatically
runs a program specified by an "autorun.inf
" file whenever a CD-ROM, DVD or USB drive is plugged into a Windows-based computer. Autorun is intended as a convenience to automatically start an installer when removable media is inserted into the computer.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. Read USB-Based Malware Attacks
and Please disable Autorun asap!
You can hold down the Shift
key when inserting the drive into your computer until Windows detects it to keep autorun.inf
from executing automatically. However, I recommend disabling the Autorun feature
on USB and removable drives as a method of prevention. This should keep the malicious file from automatically running upon insertion and infecting your system while allowing you to safely perform a scan.
The easiest way to disable Autorun on a specific drive is to download and use Tweak UI PowerToy
- After installation, launch Tweak UI, double-click on My Computer in the tree menu on the left, then click on AutoPlay > Drives. This will allow you to change the system settings for AutoPlay/autorun.
- Uncheck the drives you want to disable AutoPlay on and click on Apply.
- Next, click on the Types in the left tree. This allows you to control whether Autoplay is enabled for CD and DVD drives and removable drives. You may need to restart Tweak UI if it closes after step 2.
- Uncheck the box to disable Autoplay for a particular type of drive.
- Click Apply.
If needed, see Disable Autorun/AutoPlay in XP with Tweak UI
" for instructions with screenshots.Note 1: When Autorun is disabled, double-clicking a drive which has autorun.inf in its root directory may still activate Autorun so be careful.
Note 2: Disabling autorun/autoplay does not prevent you from accessing your media sources. They are still available by opening My Computer and accessing the source drive (CD, DVD, usb/flash drive or external hard drive). Pictures on a camera can still be accessed through My Pictures and selecting "Get Pictures" from a scanner or camera. Media can also be accessed via the program you normally use it with such as music CDs accessed via Media Player, blank CDs via burning software, image handling software provided with the camera, etc. I strongly recommend you leave the autorun feature disabled and get into the habit of accessing your media devices manually.
Always scan USB Flash Drives after they have been used in other computer systems, even your own. An easy way to do this is to download "ClamWin Portable Antivirus
", put it on your USB Flash Drive, update its definition files and perform a scan.
Another prevention measure you can use is Flash_Disinfector.exe
. This is a specialized fix tool created by sUBs to remove infections that load an autorun.inf file on removable media. After running the tool, it will also create a hidden folder named autorun.inf in each partition and every USB drive that is plugged to stop it from spreading. This folder will help protect all drives
from future infection.
And you can use Symantec's NoScript
utility. Scroll down to the section "How to disable (or re-enable) the Windows Scripting Host" to find the link and follow the instructions
. Noscript will disable the Windows Scripting Host and prevent VBScripts from running on your machine until you run the utility again. Firefox also has a free NoScript Add-on
for its browser.