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Removal of Windows PC Defender


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#1 agilulf

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 12:51 PM

One of our branch managers got Windows PC Defender a scarware or rogue anti-spyware application on his laptop yesterday at 4:19pm. I had one of the local users update malwarebytes and run a scan, it found the program and put about 746 files in quarantine, after a reboot the nasty critter came back.

I found the removal instructions posted here this morning and I updated the malwarebytes application again, because for some reason yesterday, when the guy ran the application he was still using the 9/10/09 definitions. anyway I ran safemode w/networking and updated to 9/18 signatures and it found the pesky applicaiton again. and quarantined another 746 files.

I also manually searched for remnants of the rogue application in the registry and user profiles in the locations listed in your removal instructions and I found the hosts file modified and some registry keys and other files in the all users application data folder.

I believe i have this PC cleaned up, but what I am wondering is if I can delete all of the quarantined files.

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#2 Computer Pro

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 07:15 PM

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Yes, those files can be removed from Quarantine. But lets run another scanner to make sure that Malwarebytes didn't miss anything:

Please run ATF and SAS:
Credits to Boopme

Note.. SAS doesn't open the registry hives for other user accounts on the system, so scans should be done from each user account.

Note 2: On Vista, "Windows Temp" is disabled. To empty "Windows Temp" ATF-Cleaner must be "Run as an Administrator".

From your regular user account..
Download Attribune's ATF Cleaner and then SUPERAntiSpyware, Free Home Edition

Save both to desktop ..
DO NOT run yet.
Open SUPER from icon and install and Update it
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 yet.

Now reboot into Safe Mode: How to enter safe mode(XP)
Using the F8 Method
Restart your computer.
When the machine first starts again it will generally list some equipment that is installed in your machine, amount of memory, hard drives installed etc. At this point you should gently tap the F8 key repeatedly until you are presented with a Windows XP Advanced Options menu.
Select the option for Safe Mode using the arrow keys.
Then press enter on your keyboard to boot into 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 or Opera browser click that browser 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.

NOW Scan with SUPER
Open from the desktop icon or the program Files list
On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
Perform a Complete scan. After scan,Verify they are all checked.
Click OK on the summary screen to quarantine all found items.
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.
Computer Pro

#3 agilulf

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 09:41 AM

Okay an update to this thread.

I ran SuperAntiSpyware in Safemode and it found nothing. I had run ATF cleaner prior to this as instructed.

However, the PC will not open Taskmanager. I renamed a copy of C:\windows\system32\taskmanager.exe to another name and was able to launch it, but I cannot launch it from Ctrl Alt or Dlt or from right clicking on the taskbar.

I am trying to decide whether to backup all user data and re-install windows or if there is something else I can do to get Taskmanager to run again.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 01:46 PM

It's been over two weeks so you should rescan again with MBAM after updating its database.

Some malware infections target and place restrictions on files such as regedit.exe, cmd.exe, msconfig and taskmgr.exe.

Click on the link below:
http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm
Scroll down to #275 and click "Lift Restrictions - TM, Regedit and CMD" in the left column. Go to File, choose "Save page as" All Files and save regtmcmdrestore.vbs to your desktop. Double-click on that file to allow the script to run and reboot when done. Since the script modifies certain registry settings your anti-virus package may warn you about it. Ignore the warning and allow it to run.

If that does not resolve the issue, try this:

Please download SREng2 (System Repair Engineer) and save to your desktop.
  • Create a new folder on your hard drive called Sreng2 (C:\Sreng2) and extract (unzip) the file there. (click here if you're not sure how to do this. Vista users refer to this link.)
  • Open the folder and double-click on SREngLdr.EXE to launch it.
  • Select System Repair from the left pane.
  • Click on Windows Shell/IE.
  • Put a check mark in the box next to Enable using Task Manager in Windows...
  • Click Repair.
  • The Status should now show Ok.
  • Exit SREng and reboot the computer.

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#5 agilulf

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:54 AM

Of course I did rescan with malwarebytes and I made sure it was updated. I also ran other scans, and had already tried a similar tweak to make sure task manager wasn't disabled. and checked the registy but mostly looking at group policy.

Every other command would work (i.e. regedit, msconfig, etc...) but task manager


Before I saw your post, I had already decided the safest thing to do was back up all his data and format and re-install. It took quite a bit of time, but I felt like the PC was so compromised previously that would be the only way to be sure it was clean.


Thx

Edited by agilulf, 09 October 2009 - 10:57 AM.


#6 quietman7

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 12:54 PM

Sometimes a reformat/factory restore is the best solution. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned, repaired or trusted. The malware may leave so many remnants behind that security tools cannot find them. Starting over by wiping your drive, reformatting, and performing a clean install of the OS removes everything and is the safest action.
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