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Google results hijacked


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#1 darkslategrey

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:59 PM

On one of our computers, Google and Yahoo search results are affected on both Firefox 3 and IE7. Other search engines (Dogpile, etc) are unaffected. The other computer is unaffected. I'm planning to install Chrome on the other computer and see if it is affected as well.

Specifically, affected search results return normal page titles and descriptions, but the page URL below the result is changed and the result itself links to various scam and phishing pages.

I'm not sure what's common practice on this forum. Previously I have been told to post a malwarebytes log but it was for a completely different problem.

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#2 boopme

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 11:46 PM

Hello that;s a good start.

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. Alternatively, you can update through MBAM's interface from a clean computer, copy the definitions (rules.ref) located in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware from that system to a usb stick or CD and then copy it to the infected machine.
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 using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you after scanning with MBAM. Please temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
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#3 darkslategrey

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:38 PM

Okay, I've run Malwarebytes, here is the log file.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.32
Database version: 1638
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2

1/10/2009 4:36:32 PM
mbam-log-2009-01-10 (16-36-32).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 95784
Time elapsed: 25 minute(s), 32 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 3
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_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{e4e3e0f8-cd30-4380-8ce9-b96904bdefca} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{fe8a736f-4124-4d9c-b4b1-3b12381efabe} (Adware.PopCap) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution Units\{df780f87-ff2b-4df8-92d0-73db16a1543a} (Adware.PopCap) -> 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)


Posted Image
Also, if it helps, this is a screenshot of the typical results of the google search being hijacked.
Another symptom I didn't notice before: Firefox's status bar reads "Waiting for 7.7.7.0" before loading the hijacked page.

I also read that a temporary fix for this is to delete a fake audio driver file at C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/wdmaud.sys. I checked on the other (uninfected) computer, which has the same internal hardware, and should, in theory, have the same audio drivers. A file exists there at C:/WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/wdmaud.drv. I went back to the infected computer and found that both wdmaud.sys and wdmaud.drv exist on this computer. I'll reboot, then try deleting wdmaud.sys.

#4 boopme

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Hello this is probably the legit location of the driver, I think that a rookit is harboring it self there though.

Before performing a Anti rootkit scan it is recommended to do the following to ensure more accurate results and avoid common issues that may cause false detections.

Disconnect from the Internet or physically unplug you Internet cable connection.
Close all open programs, scheduling/updating tasks and background processes that might activate during the scan including the screensaver.
Temporarily disable your anti-virus and real-time anti-spyware protection.
After starting the scan, do not use the computer until the scan has completed.
When finished, re-enable your anti-virus/anti-malware (or reboot) and then you can reconnect to the Internet.

Please navigate to the download page of Avira AntiRootkit and click on Download to save it to your Destop.
  • You should now find a file called: antivir_rootkit.zip on your Desktop.
  • Extract the file to your Desktop (you may then delete the zip file).
  • You should now have a folder with Setup.exe and some other files within it on your Desktop.
  • Double-click Setup.exe.
  • Click Next.
  • Highlight the radio button to acceppt the license agreement and then click Next.
  • Then click Next and Install to finalise the installation process.
  • Click Finish (you may now also delete the folder with the extracted files from the zip archive)
You successfully installed Avira AntiRootkit!
  • Please now navigate to Start > All Programs > Avira RootKit Detection. Then select: Avira RootKit Detection
  • Click OK when a message window pops up
  • Click Start scan and let it run
  • Click View report and copy the entire contents into your next reply.

How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook

#5 darkslategrey

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:30 PM

Oops. I already deleted it.
Don't worry, though, it fixed the problem and the sound card still functions normally.
I deleted it because the driver for the sound card was already there and the .sys file was NOT present on the other computer which had the exact same internal hardware.
My theory is (and correct me if I'm wrong) this:
Upon seeing the infection, I ran several virus scans, two of which picked up infected registry entries, etc. I removed those, and the problem persisted. One of the infected files (probably the CoolWebSearch variant we picked up) had placed the fake driver and only served to replace it when it was gone. Upon removal of the fake driver, google functioned normally.

#6 boopme

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 11:00 PM

You did well then as you had all the information. I would advise you in the future to ALWAYS backup the registry before you change it. If there are no further issues on this pC then...
Now 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.
  • 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.
How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook

#7 darkslategrey

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 10:29 AM

We had a system restore point set up before the infection that we were planning to use as a last resort. Thanks for all your help.

#8 boopme

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:36 PM

That was good,but replace it with the clean one now as that one may be infected.
How do I get help? Who is helping me?For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear....Become a BleepingComputer fan: Facebook




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