Yesterday I was on MySpace before noon ~ this is the only site I had visited that is out of the norm for me. I'm pretty boring and regular with what I visit...and I do not download or click 'yes' on just any old box that pops up. Having said that, I absolutely did not download anything yesterday until well after the problem first cropped up. My protection settings are medium-high, and I was running AVG 8.0 (free).
The problem: I began having trouble with some of my webpages freezing. It would seem to load, the little green bar at the bottom would be all green, I could see the web page, but the scroll bar would not move, neither the 'back' nor 'refresh' button would work, and I could not close or "x" out of IE. (I was using IE 7, my OS is Window XP, with Service Pack 3. I downloaded and am now using IE8.) In fact, I could do nothing at all except hit the power button on my laptop.
The first time I assumed it was the site I was visiting, so when I got back online I went to a different site. It seemed slow to me, as did several other sites, and then the same freezing thing happened on another site. This was the second time I had to power off and then power back on.
On the power on I noticed that a small window popped up. It was C:\Program Files\Common. The contents were: helper.dll and helper.sig. I had not seen this before and was concerned enough to google it. I found lots and lots of information, most of which I didn't understand. I understood enough to know that I had a problem and that it might be hard to fix.
Per some of the sites that I read, I downloaded Ad-Aware Free and ran it. It didn't find anything. (My AVG hadn't found anything either, even after I made sure it was updated.) I then downloaded Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (free) and ran it. I kept a copy of the log it produced, showing me that I had 19 infected files - 15 of those are now in "Quarantine" and 4 were "deleted upon reboot". After the reboot, the "Common" folder was still on my C:drive; following a the advice of one the sites I had read earlier, I deleted the empty folder. (not the Common Files folder, just the Common folder) I ran a second Malwarebytes scan after deleting the folder and it found zero infected files.
I downloaded the Ad-Aware and the Malwarebytes through CNet. I also downloaded and ran HijackThis, keeping a copy of the log, because from my reading about this issue it seems that you might ask to see this info. I cleaned up my computer some by using "Add/remove" programs to remove items I was absolutely sure I could ~ extras that came with my computer that I had never used. I also just finished a "degrag" of my computer.
My concerns: Is it likely I'm still infected with something? Can I safely visint my banking and other password protected & sensitive information sites? What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again? I thought I was safe by using AGV, but it never noticed anything. How often should I run the Ad-Aware and the Malwarebytes?
Many, many thanks for any information you can give me.
Edited by beaglesrule, 22 March 2009 - 12:02 PM.