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pc infected; can't figure it out on my own (frustrating)

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#1 bry4n


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Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:48 AM

well it's happened before and usually the easiest thing to do is reformat and start over. well this time i would like to avoid that, if possible. there's a lot of stuff on here that i don't care to track down & install again.

whenever i load up google and enter in anything into the search box, any result that i click on brings up a searchclick8 webpage. if i hit stop and go back, and click on the cached version of the page, i do not have the searchclick8 page come up. this happens in IE8, firefox 3.6, and chrome 4.0.

i am worried about this because i have done online banking from this pc (not since this started, however!), and would like to continue doing so. curiously, i noticed in IE7 that in the internet options under the advanced tab, the phishing filter was turned off and ghosted out, so that i could not turn it back on. the bottom of the window said some kind of group policy was in effect. i found on google a way to go into the registry via regedit and switch the values from 0 (off) to 2 (automatic). since i've upgraded to IE8, the phishing filter option has moved from the internet options and i'm not sure where it went to see if it's been disabled. other symptoms have been the windows automatic update service being turned off, which i've since been able to turn back on (and it appears to stay on, now).

online, i have tried microsoft windows onecare safety scanner, trendmicro's housecall, and one other that i don't remember. locally, i have tried ad-aware, spybot, HJT, windows defender, and microsoft's malicious software removal tool. originally, spybot and trendmicro's housecall would return hits of a vundo variant called virtumonde (i think). these problems would be "fixed" by the programs that found them, but i still have the same problems.

i consider myself better than average when it comes to computer know-how (my first computer was a commodore amiga, many years ago), but this one is beyond me and i need to sincerely ask for help. having been on the other side of helpdesk now and then, i know what it feels like so that is how i really would be appreciative for someone's assistance.

i'm running XP with SP3. i have not had trouble getting microsoft updates recently but a few scans/fixes ago, i was unable to install the february microsoft malicious software removal tool definitions. i have been able to do that yesterday, though. the only obvious sign left that i have "something" on my pc that is unwanted is the searchclick8 thingie.

thanks everyone. i'll subscribe to the thread so i can act on any replies.

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#2 boopme


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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:50 PM

Hello. let's try these tools.. afterwards we can remove some tools a too many will also give you a headache..

Next run MBAM (MalwareBytes):

NOTE: Before saving MBAM please rename it to zztoy.exe....now save it to your desktop.

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.

alternate download link

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.

Next run ATF and SAS: If you cannot access Safe Mode,run in normal ,but let me know.

Note: 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 Version. 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.

Please ask any needed questions,post logs and Let us know how the PC is running now.
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#3 bry4n

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:18 PM


i did everything as you instructed and am so happy to be able to say everything is back to normal! clicking through links from google no longer results in any searchclick8 nonsense, and i've noticed that my OS feels speedier. almost as if a weight has been lifted!

thank you so much for your time, effort, and very detailed help. it was invaluable, as were the tools we used. i might keep them around?

thank you sincerely. i am so grateful everything could be fixed without having to reformat/reinstall!


here are the logs. perhaps after reading them, could you tell me the workings of how this malware was able to do what it did?

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.44
Database version: 3751
Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18702

2/17/2010 12:18:05 PM
mbam-log-2010-02-17 (12-18-05).txt

Scan type: Quick Scan
Objects scanned: 129967
Time elapsed: 7 minute(s), 39 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 0
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 2
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_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{50b8be63-170c-4585-b72f-5d5d0fa80d51}\NameServer (Trojan.DNSChanger) -> Data:, -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces\{725f0fcc-9384-43cc-9592-ea2ffcb28149}\NameServer (Trojan.DNSChanger) -> Data:,, -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log

Generated 02/17/2010 at 04:47 PM

Application Version : 4.33.1000

Core Rules Database Version : 4596
Trace Rules Database Version: 2408

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 03:58:21

Memory items scanned : 217
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 5255
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned : 42426
File threats detected : 1


#4 boopme


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Posted 17 February 2010 - 10:43 PM

Hello bruan good to hear this.. About your malware..
DNS changers
Once downloaded and installed, DNSChanger changes the DNS settings on the computer, redirecting websites entered by the user to malicious sites. If personal information is entered on these malicious websites, it can lead to identity theft.

If you do any banking or other financial transactions on the PC or if it should contain any other sensitive information,change all passwords where applicable, and it would be wise to contact those same financial institutions to apprise them of your situation.

But they are gone now.. These are commonly found in sites asking you to install a Codec to view their file..

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 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 and Windows 7 users can refer to these links: Create a New Restore Point in Vista or Windows 7 and Disk Cleanup in Vista.
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 bry4n

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:03 PM

i have removed all the old restore points. thank you so much.


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