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Internet connection and search result problems after malware removal..

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#1 taylormah


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  • Local time:12:15 PM

Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:09 AM

I have a long description of the problem that happened. If you find it too long to read, just jump to last para.

I am using Windows 7 Ultimate. I was browsing internet using latest Google Chrome Beta and suddenly I saw Sun Java splash screen. After about a minute, I got two UAC prompts to allow couple of files in Appdata/Local/Temp folder to which I clicked "No". Immediately after that windows rebooted, and after restarting, I started getting the messages that system is infected and some fake scans started running. I found out the location of the files in task manager and manually deleted all the files. There was one "C:\settingsxx.exe\settingsxx.exe" in my startup files list (checked using CCleaner) which was not showing in explorer, so I booted into ubuntu (I have wubi installation) and deleted the settingsxx folder. Then rebooted into Win7, and ran CCleaner. At this point, my internet was acting wonky - search results were getting redirected to some google-like page but url read 'search.search-star.com'. No other site was opening. I unchecked the proxy options in IE options which this malware must have enabled, but still no help. Then I ran a full scan using MS Security Essentials. It caught many malwares and I removed them all. A restart later, internet works and search does not get redirected, but search results dont look right anymore. First, while all other website open pretty fast, it takes quite long to fetch search results from google/bing/yahoo, which used to be instantaneous. Then once the results do appear, they clearly look fishy. For example this is link to google search results to query 'hello' on my system right now, whereas this is what normal results look like. Similar issues are appearing with Bing and Yahoo search results too. Here for example is bing result to search query 'hello' and this is another example of google's messed up search results. I ran the SuperAntiSpyware complete-scan and it did not find anything significant. So looks like I am free of malware, but some setting got changed which is causing this whole issue.

Another weird thing is that as soon as I run portable ubuntu inside my windows (so that I could use firefox in that environment), internet and search seem to work fine inside portable ubuntu, but after a few seconds internet completely breaks, and stops working altogether (in portable ubuntu as well as my Win7). It needs a full system restart to get the internet to start working again, logging-off and back on does not help.

One interesting thing throughout this whole issue was that while all programs that access internet stop working (e.g. IE, Firefox, Chome, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Update etc), my VoIP SIP client X-Lite has always been able to stay connected to internet. It never experienced the internet breakage issue that other programs were experiencing since the start of this whole issue, and even now when internet on all else stops working, it can still stay connected.

So, in short, here is my problem - After removing the malware which infected my system in the first place, I am left with broken search (takes 10-14 seconds to return results even though results are being generated in less than one second) and wonky internet (breaks when portable ubuntu is run and needs restart to start working again) which does not somehow effect my VoIP SIP app. I have tried everything I could possibly do to help myself, but now I have no way but to ask for help from people who know better than me. Please guide me!! TIA

Edited by Andrew, 05 August 2010 - 12:52 PM.
Mod Edit: Moved to AII - AA

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