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Win32/Tanatos Virus causing disabled Task Manager on Vista


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#1 emeraldstar

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 04:21 AM

Hi,
I have just bought a new laptop a few days ago with Vista Home Premium installed and noticed I cannot open Task Manager - it is greyed out when I right-click on the bottom windows bar or it says I don't have admin permissions to open it if I run 'taskmgr' in desktop search, but I am the admin account on the machine.

So I installed AVG free 8.5 and ran it and it found the Win32/Tanatos virus infection on my new pc - it listed it once and did not find anything else other than this. So AVG quarantined the virus for me. Then I ran AVG in safe mode again to make sure and it did not find it again so it looks as if the virus is gone. However I am still unable to access the Task Manager so I fear the pc may still be infected?

Background:
For the first 2 days no antivirus was installed on the computer but it had an internet connection active and I had surfed the internet.

I had also copied all my .dbx outlook express files to my new laptop from my old laptop via an external harddisk flash drive around the time this virus happened, but a scan of my old laptop since using CA Antivirus 09 Paid Verison does not find anything and shows the old laptop as clean. (I have not yet scanned the external harddisk flash drive).

I read this thread with interest: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/177279/please-help-infected-with-win32heur-and-win32tanatosm/ and noticed it mentions utorrent. I had also downloaded an .exe utorrent file but did not execute it (I stupidly thought I might install it at a future date so I just saved the .exe file on my desktop - have never used it before on any pc otherwise). Could this effecting things?

Please advise what I should do as I'm afraid to start using my new laptop in case it's still infected and need TaskManager functionality restored!

Thanks in advance for your help,

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:03 AM

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (v1.40) and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2

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. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • 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 definition 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. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.

-- If Malwarebytes Anti-Malware results in any error messages, please refer to Fixes for common problems and Error Codes. Some issues with errors can be related to malware infection but others are not.

-- Some types of malware will disable Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and other security tools. If MBAM will not install, try renaming it first.
  • Right-click on the mbam-setup.exe file file and rename it to mysetup.exe.
  • Double-click on mysetup.exe to start the installation.
  • If that did not work, then try renaming and changing the file extension. <- click this link if you do not see the file extension
  • Right-click on the mbam-setup.exe file, rename it to mysetup and change the .exe extension to .scr, .com, .pif, or .bat.
  • Then double-click on mysetup.scr (or whatever extension you renamed it) to begin installation.
If after installation, MBAM will not run, open the Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware folder in Program Files.
  • Right-click on mbam.exe, rename it to myscan.exe.
  • Double-click on myscan.exe to launch the program.
  • If that did not work, then try renaming and change the .exe extension in the same way as noted above.
  • Double-click on myscan.scr (or whatever extension you renamed it) to launch the program.
If using Windows Vista, refer to How to Change a File Extension in Windows Vista.
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#3 emeraldstar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:43 AM

Hi and thanks a lot for your help. I followed your instructions exactly and it ran fine and piced everything up straight away incl. the effected taskmanager, registry and windows updates. I clicked remove and restarted as prompted. Then reopened the software and here is the log copy

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.40
Database version: 2570
Windows 6.0.6000

8/6/2009 5:36:58 PM
mbam-log-2009-08-06 (17-36-58).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 76011
Time elapsed: 6 minute(s), 6 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 5
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

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:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableRegistryTools (Hijack.Regedit) -> Bad: (1) Good: (0) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableTaskMgr (Hijack.TaskManager) -> Bad: (1) Good: (0) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\AntiVirusDisableNotify (Disabled.SecurityCenter) -> Bad: (1) Good: (0) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\FirewallDisableNotify (Disabled.SecurityCenter) -> Bad: (1) Good: (0) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Security Center\UpdatesDisableNotify (Disabled.SecurityCenter) -> Bad: (1) Good: (0) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

#4 emeraldstar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:45 AM

Great my taskmanager functionality is also now restored! Does this mean I am fixed

#5 quietman7

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:51 AM

Now rescan again with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware but this time perform a Full Scan in normal mode and check all items found for removal. Don't forgot to check for database definition updates through the program's interface (preferable method) before scanning and to reboot afterwards. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware. When done, click the Logs tab and copy/paste the contents of the new report in your next reply.

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

Please download TFC by Old Timer and save it to your desktop.
alternate download link
  • Save any unsaved work. TFC will close ALL open programs including your browser!
  • Double-click on TFC.exe to run it. If you are using Vista, right-click on the file and choose Run As Administrator.
  • Click the Start button to begin the cleaning process and let it run uninterrupted to completion.
  • Important! If TFC prompts you to reboot, please do so immediately. If not prompted, manually reboot the machine anyway to ensure a complete clean.
Then 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 it will not start, go to Start > All Prgrams > SUPERAntiSpyware and click on Alternate Start.
  • 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. Double-click on the hyperlink for Download Installer and save SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to your desktop. Then double-click on SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to install the definitions.)
  • 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".

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.
If you cannot boot into safe mode, then perform your scans in normal mode.

-- Some types of malware will disable SUPERAntiSpyware and other security tools. If SAS will not install, please refer to these instructions for using the SAS Installer (SAS_FREE.EXE). If SAS is already installed but will not run, then follow the instructions for using RUNSAS.EXE to launch the program.
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#6 emeraldstar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:26 PM

ok all done exactly as instructed and here are the logs

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.40
Database version: 2570
Windows 6.0.6000

8/6/2009 10:33:03 PM
mbam-log-2009-08-06 (22-33-03).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|D:\|E:\|)
Objects scanned: 231812
Time elapsed: 2 hour(s), 36 minute(s), 32 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: 0

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:
(No malicious items detected)

#7 emeraldstar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:27 PM

tfc.exe was also completed then next log....


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

Generated 08/06/2009 at 11:48 PM

Application Version : 4.27.1000

Core Rules Database Version : 4042
Trace Rules Database Version: 1982

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:51:31

Memory items scanned : 284
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 4693
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned : 138897
File threats detected : 13

Adware.Tracking Cookie
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\dell@ad.yieldmanager[2].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\dell@media6degrees[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\dell@tribalfusion[2].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\dell@collective-media[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\dell@atdmt[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\dell@doubleclick[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@ad.istanbul[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@cnetaustralia.122.2o7[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@collective-media[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@imrworldwide[2].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@media6degrees[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@microsoftwindows.112.2o7[1].txt
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Cookies\Low\dell@statcounter[1].txt

#8 emeraldstar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:34 PM

P.S. After each of the 3 software install and runs completed above, my pc rebooted fine into normal mode after the first 2 softwares and from scanning in safe mode back to normal mode for the 3rd. I had no problem opening or running these 3 programs either.

#9 quietman7

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:21 PM

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 backed up, renamed and 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.
Vista users can refer to these links: Create a New Restore Point in Vista and Disk Cleanup in Vista.
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#10 emeraldstar

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 08:52 AM

Ok I will do these next....

A short and maybe silly question first that I'm not sure of - If I do the disk cleanup, will all system restore points be removed, including those that were made before the infection? Or can I keep any restore points prior to infection (if these would be clean) or could these be infected also?

The reason I ask is because I bought this laptop initially with Vista Basic & Turkish language installed as the core language but the maintenance tech guy at the store very kindly updated it to Vista Home Premium in English (as I needed my native language!) - the update was for free it seems, so it means I don't have a cd or repair for re-installing the English version - I can only do a complete reinstall in the Turkish version, if I ever needed, that's why I created some extra restore points after he added the English version...

But I guess if I restore to the new created point I create now, on the cleaned pc, I can always restore to this point safely and it'll work fine as it does now, and this'll be the first possible point of restore available from now on correct? Restoring will keep in English right?

Just wanted to check your advice but of course I don't want to restore a virus and will do this otherwise...

Thanks again for the ongoing support....

#11 quietman7

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:02 AM

If I do the disk cleanup, will -all- system restore points be removed, including those that were
made -before- the infection?

Yes. You will only have the most current RP that you created yourself after cleaning the system as it is now.

There is no way for me to know what, if any, malware may have been backed up in restore points prior to the recent infection. Further, removing files individually (manually) from restore points can cause problems with System Restore. Restore points are chained (linked) together with previous restore points. When a restore point is chosen, all restore points created prior to that restore point are also required to complete the restoration. During the process, a log is created or updated that tracks the consistency between the files System Restore is monitoring, and the files that are actually backed up. If an inconsistency is found between the log file and the files located in the SVI folder, restore point corruption can occur. This causes a break in the chain and any prior restore points become useless resulting in System Restore failing to work properly.
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#12 emeraldstar

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 05:28 AM

Thanks I really appreciate the extra info and I have completed this step now also... I created a new restore point and then used cleanmgr to delete all previous ones and rebooted as initially advised...

#13 quietman7

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:37 AM

You're welcome.

Tips to protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection:Keep Windows and Internet Explorer current with all critical updates from Microsoft which will patch many of the security holes through which attackers can gain access to your computer. If you're not sure how to do this, see Microsoft Update helps keep your computer current.

Avoid gaming sites, porn sites, pirated software, cracking tools, keygens, and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs (i.e. Limewire, eMule, uTorrent). 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. Malicious worms, backdoor Trojans IRCBots, and rootkits spread across P2P file sharing networks, gaming, porn and underground sites. Users visiting such pages may see innocuous-looking banner ads containing code which can trigger pop-up ads and malicious 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.Keeping Autorun enabled on USB (pen, thumb, jump) 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. To learn more about this risk, please read:Many security experts recommend you disable Autorun asap as a method of prevention. Microsoft recommends doing the same.

...Disabling Autorun functionality can help protect customers from attack vectors that involve the execution of arbitrary code by Autorun when inserting a CD-ROM device, USB device, network shares, or other media containing a file system with an Autorun.inf file...

Microsoft Security Advisory (967940): Update for Windows Autorun

• Finally, if you need to replace your anti-virus, firewall or need a reliable anti-malware scanner please refer to:
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#14 emeraldstar

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 02:29 PM

Thanks so much, I have read many of these articles today and they are v. helpful. Also I have applied some of the changes like disabling autorun on usb flash drives and tightening up my browser security. I also updated to SP1 and all the other windows updates with that.

So just 2 last questions I think!

1. The Tanatos Virus is currently in the Quarantine of AVG where it removed it to. As I will probably be replacing AVG with CAs antivirus paid software, how can I best get rid of this quarantine file? Is it enough to just delete it as instucted by AVG there and reboot?

2. For the usb flash drive that I had used to transfer files earlier to this infected laptop - I scanned this usb drive on another pc with CA antivirus and Adaware Free version only. Should I also run all the software mentioned in this thread on that usb drive just in case?

Many thanks again for your time.

#15 quietman7

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:15 PM

Is it enough to just delete it as instucted by AVG there and reboot?

Yes. When an anti-virus or security program quarantines a file by moving it into a virus vault (chest), 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" especially if the scanner uses heuristic analysis technology. Heuristics is the ability of a scanning program to detect possible new variants of malware before the vendor can get samples and update the program's definitions for detection. Heuristics uses non-specific detection methods to find new or unknown malware which allows the anti-virus to detect and stop if before doing any harm to your system. The disadvantage to using heuristics is that it is not as reliable as signature-based detection (blacklisting) and can potentially increase the chances that a non-malicious program is flagged as suspicious or infected. 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 malicious, you can delete it at any time.

Should I also run all the software mentioned in this thread on that usb drive just in case?

You should always scan USB Flash Drives after they have been used in other computer systems, even your own. Another 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.
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