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Extreme slowdowns; possible malware infection


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#1 Azael

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:02 AM

First time poster, thankful for any assistance.


My OS: Windows XP Professional SP3
Processor: Intel Core2Duo 3.00 GHz
2 GB RAM
500 GB Harddrive
Security programs on my computer before the problems started: F-Secure AV, SpyBot SD with TeaTimer realtime protection, Windows Firewall


Quick description of my problem: Yesterday my computer started acting up and I experienced extreme slowdowns and lack of responsiveness which I couldn't seem to resolve without a forced reboot. The computer works fine in Safe Mode with Network, which is where I'm posting from now and also works just fine in regular mode as long as I have my DSL modem switched off. Naturally, this makes me suspect some form of malware, but I haven't been able to track the cultprit down. I've also cleaned up my hardrive from old files that took unnecessary place and defragged it-

So far, I've tried scanning with SpyBot, F-Secure, SUPERAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes and even ComboFix in both safe mode and regular mode (without Internet access) without getting rid of the problem or even finding any sign of malware outside of harmless tracking cookies. Are there optional diagnoses which does not include malware and are there other programs I could try running?

Thankful for any helps or tips.

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#2 quietman7

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:14 AM

Please note the message text in blue at the top of this forum.

No one should be using ComboFix unless instructed to do so by a Malware Removal Expert. Please read the pinned topic ComboFix usage, Questions, Help? - Look here.

Slowness and performance issues as you describe are not uncommon. If you're not finding any malware, please refer to Slow Computer/Browser? Check here first; it may not be malware. There are reasons for slowness and poor performance besides malware - i.e. disk fragmentation, disk errors, corrupt system files, too many startup programs, unnecessary services running, too many browser Add-ons (toolbars), failure to clear browser cache, not enough RAM, dirty hardware components, etc. As your system gets older it becomes filled with more files/programs and has a natural tendency to slow down so cleaning and regular maintenance is essential.

Edited by quietman7, 11 January 2010 - 08:15 AM.

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#3 Azael

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:38 AM

Thanks for the reply, I used ComboFix before joining this forum on the recommendation from another (non-tech) forum where I'm a member and wasn't aware that it was a tool that should be used with caution. My mistake for not properly researching before trying an unknown program.

The reason why I'm suspecting malware is because the computer works just fine in regular mode until I turn on my modem and go online. In safe mode, it works just fine when I'm online as well. I'll try the tips in the thread you linked to since it can't hurt to clean up some things either way.

#4 quietman7

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 09:32 AM

If you continue to have problems after doing that, please reply back in this thread and we can continue to investigate for possible malware.
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#5 Azael

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:00 PM

OK, an update:

I've defragged my harddrive again, gone over the list of possible other slowdowns in the thread you linked to and run various anti-malware programs without much to show for. I've also tested running games like Dragon Age on high settings (when off-line) and noticed no decline in normal performance. Also, I've tested if the problem is related to Firefox, but I get the same problem if I use Internet Explorer or just leave the computer inactive with no browser opened or other programs which connect to the internet running. Shortly after a connection is established, in normal mode, the computer slows down to a slow crawl and becomes virtually totally unresponsive. In Safe Mode, there are no problems at all, modem running or not. I've tested things over and over and the only conclusion I can come to is that something is affecting my computer only after I've established an Internet connection while running Windows in normal mode. What that something is beats me.

Anti-malware programs I've tried so far: Spybot SD, SUPERAntiSpyware, F-Secure AV, Windows Defender, Kaspersky online scan and Malwarebytes. From what I've read into it, all they've found are "harmless" tracking cookies.

Here's the log from my latest scan with Malware bytes:
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.44
Database version: 3537
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.13

2010-01-11 22:00:30
mbam-log-2010-01-11 (22-00-30).txt

Scan type: Full Scan (C:\|)
Objects scanned: 257468
Time elapsed: 52 minute(s), 25 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: 3

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:
C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP186\A0057467.sys (Malware.Trace) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP188\A0058545.sys (Malware.Trace) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP188\A0058728.sys (Malware.Trace) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

I've pretty much run out of ideas now and would greatly appreciate any assistance I can get. If it is malware causing this, how do I find and remove it? If it's not malware, what else could be causing these problems and how do I rectify them? Thanks in advance.

#6 quietman7

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 05:12 PM

Please download TFC (Temp File Cleaner) 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.
  • TFC will clear out all temp folders for all user accounts (temp, IE temp, Java, FF, Opera, Chrome, Safari), including Administrator, All Users, LocalService, NetworkService, and any other accounts in the user folder.
  • Important! If TFC prompts you to reboot, please do so immediately. If not prompted, manually reboot the machine anyway to ensure a complete clean.
Note: It is normal for the computer to be slow to boot after running TFC cleaner the first time.

Please download Dr.Web CureIt and save it to your desktop. DO NOT perform a scan yet.
alternate download link
Note: The file will be randomly named (i.e. 5mkuvc4z.exe).

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 Dr.Web CureIt as follows:
  • Double-click on the randomly named file to open the program and click Start. (There is no need to update if you just downloaded the most current version
  • Read the Virus check by DrWeb scanner prompt and click Ok where asked to Start scan now? Allow the setup.exe to load if asked by any of your security programs.
  • The Express scan will automatically begin.
    (This is a short scan of files currently running in memory, boot sectors, and targeted folders).
  • If prompted to download the Full version Free Trial, just ignore and click the X to close the window.
  • If an infected object is found, you will be prompted to move anything that cannot be cured. Click Yes to All. (This will move any detected files to the C:\Documents and Settings\userprofile\DoctorWeb\Quarantine folder if they can't be cured)
  • After the Express Scan is finished, put a check next to Complete scan to scan all local disks and removable media.
  • In the top menu, click Settings > Change settings, and uncheck "Heuristic analysis" under the "Scanning" tab, then click Apply, Ok.
  • Back at the main window, click the green arrow "Start Scanning" button on the right under the Dr.Web logo.
  • Please be patient as this scan could take a long time to complete.
  • When the scan has finished, a message will be displayed at the bottom indicating if any viruses were found.
  • Click Select All, then choose Cure > Move incurable.
  • In the top menu, click file and choose save report list.
  • Save the DrWeb.csv report to your desktop.
  • Exit Dr.Web Cureit when done.
  • Important! Reboot your computer because it could be possible that files in use will be moved/deleted during reboot.
  • After reboot, post the contents of the log from Dr.Web in your next reply. (You can use Notepad to open the DrWeb.cvs report)
If you cannot boot into safe mode or complete a scan, then try doing it in normal mode. Be aware, this scan could take a long time to complete..
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#7 Azael

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:25 PM

I ran TLC and then did a scan with the DrWeb tool, but forgot to uncheck Heuristic Analysis. I'll do another scan over night and post the results of that one in the morning. In the meantime, if it's any help at all, here's the report of the scan with heuristic analysis. Again, thanks for the assistance.

[codebox]Process.exe;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer\SmitfraudFix;Tool.Prockill;Incurable.Moved.;
restart.exe;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer\SmitfraudFix;Tool.ShutDown.14;Incurable.Moved.;
ComboFix.exe\32788R22FWJFW\List-C.bat;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer\ComboFix.exe;Probably BATCH.Virus;;
ComboFix.exe;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer;Archive contains infected objects;Moved.;
SmitfraudFix.exe\SmitfraudFix\Process.exe;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer\SmitfraudFix.exe;Tool.Prockill;;
SmitfraudFix.exe\SmitfraudFix\restart.exe;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer\SmitfraudFix.exe;Tool.ShutDown.14;;
SmitfraudFix.exe;C:\Documents and Settings\Administratör\Mina dokument\Hämtade filer;Archive contains infected objects;Moved.;
bec100cr_valendrian.fsb;C:\Program\spel\Dragon Age\modules\single player\audio\vo\en-us\vo;Modification of Win32.Kriz.4050;Moved.;
bed100cr_duncan.fsb;C:\Program\spel\Dragon Age\modules\single player\audio\vo\en-us\vo;Modification of Win32.Kriz.4050;Moved.;
lite_red_jetta.fsb;C:\Program\spel\Dragon Age\modules\single player\audio\vo\en-us\vo;Modification of Win32.Kriz.4050;Moved.;
pre100_knight.fsb;C:\Program\spel\Dragon Age\modules\single player\audio\vo\en-us\vo;Modification of Win32.Kriz.4050;Moved.;
A0037212.exe\data010;C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP160\A0037212.exe;BackDoor.BlackHole.origin;;
A0037212.exe;C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP160;Container contains infected objects;Moved.;
A0057447.bat;C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP186;Probably BATCH.Virus;Incurable.Moved.;
A0058568.bat;C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP188;Probably BATCH.Virus;Incurable.Moved.;
A0058630.bat;C:\System Volume Information\_restore{2CFE89C5-8188-44CB-A3F4-5C85BC877EEE}\RP188;Probably BATCH.Virus;Incurable.Moved.;
[/codebox]

#8 Azael

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 06:37 AM

I did another scan with DrWeb over night without heuristic analysis and the scan turned up empty. The problem is still there though. If it is malware causing these issues, it's very sneaky. Right now, I'm also trying to look for alternative solutions and see if there could be a legit program which is malfunctioning. No luck so far though. At this point nothing has changed, I can still access the internet in Safe Mode and do everything else in regular mode.

#9 quietman7

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 07:51 AM

Please read the pinned topic titled "Preparation Guide For Use Before Posting A Hijackthis Log". If you cannot complete a step, then skip it and continue with the next. In Step 6 there are instructions for downloading and running DDS which will create a Pseudo HJT Report as part of its log.

When you have done that, post your log in the HijackThis Logs and Malware Removal forum, NOT here, for assistance by the HJT Team Experts. A member of the Team will walk you through, step by step, on how to clean your computer. If you post your log back in this thread, the response from the HJT Team will be delayed because your post will have to be moved. This means it will fall in line behind any others posted that same day.

Start a new topic, give it a relevant title and post your log along with a brief description of your problem, a summary of any anti-malware tools you have used and a summary of any steps that you have performed on your own. An expert will analyze your log and reply with instructions advising you what to fix. After doing this, we would appreciate if you post a link to your log back here so we know that your getting help from the HJT Team.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the HJT Team members are very busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT "bump" your post or make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the HJT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.
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#10 Azael

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:15 AM

Thanks, I'll try doing that. Hopefully that will help.

#11 quietman7

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 10:39 AM

Your DDS/HijackThis log is posted here.

Now that your log is posted, you should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc) unless advised by a HJT Team member, nor should you continue to ask for help elsewhere. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show it the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make on your own may cause confusion for the member assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

From this point on the HJT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

To avoid confusion, I am closing this topic until you are cleared by the HJT Team. If you still need assistance after your log has been reviewed and you have been cleared, please PM me or another moderator and we will re-open this topic.

Good luck with your log.
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