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Digging deeper to find potential malware problem


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19 replies to this topic

#1 usanzac

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:03 AM

I'll try and keep this brief. I've been having stability issues with a Thinkpad T60p running WinXP+SP3 and the usual remedies either do not find anything to fix or fix things that make no difference (Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Comodo Internet Security, CCleaner, HJT, CHKDSK, Advanced System Care, etc, etc).

I followed the Preparation Guide carefully before posting. The DSS logs are attached. I have not been able to get GMER to complete. It has led to some perhaps unrelated BSODs, even running in safe mode. When I finally got it to apparently complete a scan, I was able to hit save but then the system essentially froze at the Save dialog and I was not able to save anything, end the program, or even shut down cleanly. On another occasion, I didn't even get to that point and the system essentially ground to a halt. And yes, I've been very patient.

Key symptoms are these:
  1. Random restarts after a day or two, perhaps after a BSOD which I do not see; nothing obvious in Event Viewer
  2. Lousy bandwidth on a wireless connection that should be capable of 10MBps downloads (getting <1 according to speedtest.net)
  3. Occasional complete loss of Internet connectivity necessitating a reboot; pinging the router was OK and other machines on the network had no problems.
  4. Out of memory errors, Chrome plug-ins crashing ultimately necessitating a reboot
So as I said, I'm being brief. I hope that someone's interest is sufficiently piqued to be able to help me with next steps.

Many thanks in advance for all help.

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#2 gringo_pr

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:57 PM

Hello and Welcome to the forums!

My name is Gringo and I'll be glad to help you with your computer problems.

Somethings to remember while we are working together.
  1. Do not run any other tool untill instructed to do so!
  2. Please Do not Attach logs or put in code boxes.
  3. Tell me about any problems that have occurred during the fix.
  4. Tell me of any other symptoms you may be having as these can help also.
  5. Do not run anything while running a fix.

In the upper right hand corner of the topic you will see a button called Options. If you click on this in the drop-down menu you can choose Track this topic. By doing this and then choosing Immediate E-Mail notification and then clicking on Proceed you will be advised when we respond to your topic and facilitate the cleaning of your machine.

We apologize for the delay in responding to your request for help. Here at Bleeping Computer we get overwhelmed at times, and we are trying our best to keep up. Please note that your topic was not intentionally overlooked. Our mission is to help everyone in need, but sometimes it takes just a little longer to get to every request for help. No one is ignored here.

In order for me to see the status of the infection I will need a new set of logs to start with.

Please print out or make a copy in notpad of any instructions given, as sometimes it is necessary to go offline and you will lose access to them.

DeFogger:
    Please download DeFogger to your desktop.

    Double click DeFogger to run the tool.
    • The application window will appear
    • Click the Disable button to disable your CD Emulation drivers
    • Click Yes to continue
    • A 'Finished!' message will appear
    • Click OK
    • DeFogger may ask you to reboot the machine, if it does - click OK
    Do not re-enable these drivers until otherwise instructed.

Download DDS:
    Please download DDS by sUBs from one of the links below and save it to your desktop:


    Download DDS and save it to your desktop

    Link1
    Link2
    Link3

    Please disable any anti-malware program that will block scripts from running before running DDS.
    • Double-Click on dds.scr and a command window will appear. This is normal.
    • Shortly after two logs will appear:
      • DDS.txt
      • Attach.txt
    • A window will open instructing you save & post the logs
    • Save the logs to a convenient place such as your desktop
    • Copy the contents of both logs & post in your next reply

Scan With RKUnHooker
  • Please Download Rootkit Unhooker Save it to your desktop.
  • Now double-click on RKUnhookerLE.exe to run it.
  • Click the Report tab, then click Scan.
  • Check (Tick) Drivers, Stealth,. Uncheck the rest. then Click OK.
  • Wait till the scanner has finished and then click File, Save Report.
  • Save the report somewhere where you can find it. Click Close.
Copy the entire contents of the report and paste it in a reply here.

Note** you may get this warning it is ok, just ignore

"Rootkit Unhooker has detected a parasite inside itself!
It is recommended to remove parasite, okay?"


MBRCheck

Please also download MBRCheck to your desktop
  • Double click MBRCheck.exe to run (vista and Win 7 right click and select Run as Administrator)
  • It will show a Black screen with some data on it
  • a report called MBRcheck will be on your desktop
  • open this report
  • Right click on the screen and select > Select All
  • Press Control+C
  • now please copy that report to this thread


information and logs:
    In your next post I need the following
      1.logs from DDS
      2.log from RKUnHooker
      3. report from MBRchecker
      4.let me know of any problems you may have had

Gringo


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#3 usanzac

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 10:54 PM

Ola Gringo! Appreciate your help. Requested logs attached.

Thanks!

Attached Files



#4 gringo_pr

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 01:07 AM

Hello

I Would like you to do the following.

Please print out or make a copy in notpad of any instructions given, as sometimes it is necessary to go offline and you will lose access to them.

Run Combofix:
    Please visit this webpage for download links, and instructions for running the tool:

    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix

    Please ensure you read this guide carefully and install the Recovery Console first.

    The Windows Recovery Console will allow you to boot up into a special recovery (repair) mode.
    This allows us to more easily help you should your computer have a problem after an attempted removal of malware.
    It is a simple procedure that will only take a few moments of your time.


    Once installed, you should see a blue screen prompt that says:
      The Recovery Console was successfully installed.
    Please continue as follows:
    • Close/disable all anti virus and anti malware programs so they do not interfere with the running of ComboFix.
    • Click Yes to allow ComboFix to continue scanning for malware.

    When the tool is finished, it will produce a report for you.

    Please include the report in your next post:

    C:\ComboFix.txt

"information and logs"
    In your next post I need the following
    1. Log from Combofix
    2. let me know of any problems you may have had
    3. How is the computer doing now?

Gringo



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My help is free, however, if you wish to make a small donation to show your appreciation or to help me continue the fight against Malware, then click here -->btn_donate_SM.gif<-- Don't worry every little bit helps.

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#5 gringo_pr

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:41 AM

Hello

three day bump

It has been Three days since my last post.
  • do you still need help with this?
  • do you need more time?
  • are you having problems following my instructions?
  • if after 48hrs you have not replied to this thread then it will have to be closed!

Gringo

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My help is free, however, if you wish to make a small donation to show your appreciation or to help me continue the fight against Malware, then click here -->btn_donate_SM.gif<-- Don't worry every little bit helps.

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#6 usanzac

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:39 AM

Running ComboFix from the desktop, I'm getting the following error:

Incompatible OS. ComboFix only works for workstations with Windows 2000 and XP

Again, I'm running WinXP+SP3 with all current updates. In case it might be relevant, here's my %PATH%:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem;C:\Program Files\ThinkPad\ConnectUtilities;C:\Program Files\ATI Technologies\ATI.ACE\Core-Static;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Lenovo;C:\Program Files\Lenovo\Client Security Solution;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\AGL;C:\Program Files\IBM\Personal Communications\;C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0;C:\Program Files\ooRexx;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Teleca Shared;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;C:\Program Files\SlickEdit 2007\win\;C:\Documents and Settings\simon\My Documents\bin



#7 gringo_pr

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 11:04 AM

Hello

Please try to run it in safe mode

Boot into Safe Mode

Reboot your computer in Safe Mode.
  • If the computer is running, shut down Windows, and then turn off the power.
  • Wait 30 seconds, and then turn the computer on.
  • Start tapping the F8 key. The Windows Advanced Options Menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a "keyboard error" message. To resolve this, restart the computer and try again.
  • Ensure that the Safe Mode option is selected.
  • Press Enter. The computer then begins to start in Safe mode.
  • Login on your usual account.



Gringo
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My help is free, however, if you wish to make a small donation to show your appreciation or to help me continue the fight against Malware, then click here -->btn_donate_SM.gif<-- Don't worry every little bit helps.

Proud Graduate Of Malware Removal University

#8 usanzac

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:03 PM

Started to run ComboFix in safe mode and it appeared to be working. However, it complained that my Comodo AntiVirus real-time scanner was running. No evidence of this could be found in Task Manager. Tried to exit out of ComboFix at that point but it continued running anyway.

Ultimately, it choked on the lack of a Windows Reovery Console, as expected. Being in safe mode, however, I decided to shut down and start regular Windows to install it from there. That's what I'm working on now, per these instructions.

Main issue is the Comodo AntiVirus real-time scanner issue in safe mode.


#9 gringo_pr

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:08 PM

Hello

It is best to uninstall comodo I have to do this to about 50% of the computers I work on with comodo, they just don't like us.

reinstall it after we are complete


Gringo
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My help is free, however, if you wish to make a small donation to show your appreciation or to help me continue the fight against Malware, then click here -->btn_donate_SM.gif<-- Don't worry every little bit helps.

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#10 usanzac

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:49 PM

Per the instructions, I rebooted into safe mode and dragged the WinXP+SP2 boot disk installation executable over ComboFix to start it. No major issues with that approach. Again the warnings about Comodo AntiVirus, however, which I ignored apart from the CLSPLS.EXE process which is related to Comodo LiveSupport which I don't use. Anyway, I killed that process and let ComboFix run.

ComboFix log attached.

Only other thing of interest to report at this point is a pop-up I'm getting on reboot which says:
AWC.exe - Application Error

The application failed to initialize properly (0x00000022). Click on OK to terminate the application.

I understand this is related to IOBit's Advanced SystemCare which I do have installed but I'm not overly concerned about at this point.

I am not seeing anything particularly remarkable at this point though I am pleased I got through the ComboFix thing without major catastrophe. I do appreciate your prompt responses and look forward to your analysis, as always.

Attached Files



#11 gringo_pr

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 12:03 PM

Hello

sorry for the delay I thought I had answered you

I would remove IOBIT as they don't have good bisness practices Iobit + malwarebytes

I am not seeing much in the logs either

Clear your Java Cache
  • click on Start-> Control Panel (Classic View)-> Java (looks like a coffee cup)
    • On the General tab, under Temporary Internet Files, click the Settings button.
    • Next, click on the Delete Files button
    • There are two options in the window to clear the cache - Leave BOTH Checked
        Applications and Applets
        Trace and Log Files
    • Click OK on Delete Temporary Files Window
      Note: This deletes ALL the Downloaded Applications and Applets from the CACHE.
    • Click OK to leave the Temporary Files Window
    • Click OK to leave the Java Control Panel.

TFC(Temp File Cleaner):
  • Please download TFC to your desktop,
  • Save any unsaved work. TFC will close all open application windows.
  • Double-click TFC.exe to run the program.
  • If prompted, click "Yes" to reboot.
Note: Save your work. TFC will automatically close any open programs, let it run uninterrupted. It shouldn't take longer take a couple of minutes, and may only take a few seconds. Only if needed will you be prompted to reboot.

: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware :
    I would like you to rerun MBAM
  • Double-click mbam icon
  • go to the update tab at the top
  • click on check for updates
  • If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
  • Once the program has loaded, select Perform quick scan, then click Scan.
  • When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
  • Be sure that everything is Checked (ticked) except items in the C:\System Volume Information folder and click on Remove Selected.
  • When completed, a log will open in Notepad. please copy and paste the log into your next reply
    • If you accidently close it, the log file is saved here and will be named like this:
    • C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Malwarebytes\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\Logs\mbam-log-date (time).txt

Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be presented with 1 of 2 prompts.
Click OK to either and let MBAM proceed with the disinfection process.
If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.


Download HijackThis
  • Go Here to download HijackThis Installer
  • Save HijackThis Installer to your desktop.
  • Double-click on the HijackThis Installer icon on your desktop. (Vista and Win 7 right click and run as admin)
  • By default it will install to C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis .
  • Click on Install.
  • It will create a HijackThis icon on the desktop.
  • Once installed it will launch Hijackthis.
  • Click on the Do a system scan and save a logfile button. It will scan and the log should open in notepad.
  • Click on Edit > Select All then click on Edit > Copy to copy the entire contents of the log.
  • Come back here to this thread and Paste the log in your next reply.
  • DO NOT use the AnalyseThis button its findings are dangerous if misinterpreted.
  • DO NOT have Hijackthis fix anything yet. Most of what it finds will be harmless or even required.

"information and logs"
    In your next post I need the following
    1. Log From MBAM
    2. report from Hijackthis
    3. let me know of any problems you may have had
    4. How is the computer doing now?

Gringo



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My help is free, however, if you wish to make a small donation to show your appreciation or to help me continue the fight against Malware, then click here -->btn_donate_SM.gif<-- Don't worry every little bit helps.

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#12 usanzac

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:25 PM

Well, this has been a fun couple of hours! Several cans of worms opened, potentially. Here's what happened.
  1. Got rid of IOBit's Advanced System Care. Wasn't using it anyway; just something I tried when I started having problems that the usual solutions (CCleaner, MBAM, etc) wasn't resolving. Thanks for the link. I have done my part and forwarded that on.
  2. Cleared the Java cache. No issues or anything of merit to report there.
  3. TFC opened up a big ol' can of whoop-ass and cleaned up nearly 500MB in about fifteen minutes and forced a reboot. Pity it didn't log anything that we could look at, perhaps.
  4. I reran MBAM but it choked on Error Code: 702 (0,0). Checked my Internet connection settings. No dice. Finally, uninstalled, rebooted and reinstalled and then it worked. Log attached though nothing found.
  5. Finally, ran HJT and it spat out half a dozen Path/File "access denied" type errors before finally completing ... but no log was ever produced either in Notepad or it's default location on my root drive (C:\) Now, my amateur eyes noticed a couple of things that may be of interest:
    • A RunOnce item for MBAM (mbamgui.exe /install /silent)
    • IOBit's rubbish is still in the registry as a Run (HKCU) item, even after I uninstalled it and a couple of reboots
  6. Bear in mind, I also tried uninstalling and reinstalling HJT and messing with some settings all to no avail. Something tells me you're going to tell me to try and run it in Safe Mode. busy.gif
Finally, I can claim no significant changes as far as the computer is running. I did remember something else that is curious to me, however. I have three PCs in my home network and they are all accessible to each other via NETBIOS names, usually. Now, I have noticed in recent times that after a couple of days, if the problem machine stays up long enough that the resolution of the address for one of those machines I routinely remote connect to changes from a 192.168.* address to something like 69.*.*.* address (according to PING and I'm not sure about the 69 but definitely 60-something) and then I have to remote connect by its local IP address to get to it at all. Of course, rebooting fixes that.

Attached Files



#13 gringo_pr

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:55 PM

Hello

1. good

2.good

3. TFC is a nice simple temp file cleaner that you can use on all your computers if you want

4. good job with MBAM it is what I would have you do

5. not to worried about hjt as it was only to do some optional things and those two O4 entries you can fix those with HJT if you want

Eset Online Scanner

**Note** You will need to use Internet explorer for this scan

Go Eset web page to run an online scannner from ESET.
  • Turn off the real time scanner of any existing antivirus program while performing the online scan
  • click on the ESET Online Scanner button
  • Tick the box next to YES, I accept the Terms of Use.
    • Click Start
  • When asked, allow the activex control to install
    • Click Start
  • Make sure that the option Remove found threats is unticked and the Scan Archives option is ticked.
  • Click on Advanced Settings, ensure the options
      Scan for potentially unwanted applications, Scan for potentially unsafe applications, and Enable Anti-Stealth Technology are ticked.
  • Click Scan
  • Wait for the scan to finish
  • Use notepad to open the logfile located at C:\Program Files\Eset\Eset Online Scanner\log.txt
Copy and paste that log as a reply to this topic

"information and logs"
    In your next post I need the following
    1. Report from ESET
    2. let me know of any problems you may have had
    3. How is the computer doing now?

Gringo


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My help is free, however, if you wish to make a small donation to show your appreciation or to help me continue the fight against Malware, then click here -->btn_donate_SM.gif<-- Don't worry every little bit helps.

Proud Graduate Of Malware Removal University

#14 usanzac

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:35 PM

Well that was quite painless, even though I had to use Internet Exploder. The log is attached. I ran as directed but it really ran very quickly.

No new problems and the computer appears to be running OK after 24 hours or so. If it still looks good after two or three days (without rebooting), we may be able to declare victory. speedtest.net shows a slight improvement but it's still way off the numbers I'm getting on other machines on the same wireless network.

Attached Files



#15 gringo_pr

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:49 PM

Very well done!! This is my general post for when your logs show no more signs of malware - Please let me know if you still are having problems with your computer and what these problems are.


The following procedure will implement some cleanup procedures. It will also reset your System Restore by flushing out previous restore points and create a new restore point. It will also remove all the backups our tools may have made.

Any programs and logs that are left over you can just be deleted from the desktop. TFC is a free temp file cleaner that is very easy to use, I would keep this and use before you do any scans or when you want to free up some space.

:DeFogger:
    To re-enable your Emulation drivers, double click DeFogger to run the tool.
    • The application window will appear
    • Click the Re-enable button to re-enable your CD Emulation drivers
    • Click Yes to continue
    • A 'Finished!' message will appear
    • Click OK
    • DeFogger will now ask to reboot the machine - click OK
    Your Emulation drivers are now re-enabled.

:Uninstall ComboFix:
  • push the "windows key" + "R" (between the "Ctrl" button and "Alt" Button)
  • please copy and past the following into the box ComboFix /Uninstall and click OK.
  • Note the space between the X and the /Uninstall, it needs to be there.

:remove tools:

Please download OTCleanIt and save it to desktop. This tool will remove all the tools we used to clean your pc.
  • Double-click OTCleanIt.exe.
  • Click the CleanUp! button.
  • Select Yes when the "Begin cleanup Process?" prompt appears.
  • If you are prompted to Reboot during the cleanup, select Yes.
  • The tool will delete itself once it finishes, if not delete it by yourself.
Note: If you receive a warning from your firewall or other security programs regarding OTCleanIt attempting to contact the internet, please allow it to do so.

:clear system restore points:

This is a good time to clear your existing system restore points and establish a new clean restore point:
  • Go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore
  • Select Create a restore point, and Ok it.
  • Next, go to Start > Run and type in cleanmgr
  • choose your root drive (normally C:)
  • after it calculates how much space you will save it will open up a new window
  • Select the More options tab at the top of the window
  • Choose the option to clean up system restore and OK it.
  • go back to the disk clean up tab
  • put a checkmark in all - except compress old files (leave this unchecked)
  • click Ok then click yes
This will remove all restore points except the new one you just created and clean unneeded files

:Make your Internet Explorer more secure:
  • From within Internet Explorer click on the Tools menu and then click on Options.
  • Click once on the Security tab
  • Click once on the Internet icon so it becomes highlighted.
  • Click once on the Custom Level button.
  • Change the Download signed ActiveX controls to Prompt
  • Change the Download unsigned ActiveX controls to Disable
  • Change the Initialise and script ActiveX controls not marked as safe to Disable
  • Change the Installation of desktop items to Prompt
  • Change the Launching programs and files in an IFRAME to Prompt
  • When all these settings have been made, click on the OK button.
  • If it prompts you as to whether or not you want to save the settings, press the Yes button.
    Next press the Apply button and then the OK to exit the Internet Properties page.

:Make Firefox more secure:

:Turn On Automatic Updates:
    Turn On Automatic Updates
    1. Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then press ENTER.
    2. Click the Automatic Updates tab, and then click to select one of the following options. We recommend that you select the Automatic (recommended) Automatically download recommended updates for my computer and install them

    If you click this setting, click to select the day and time for scheduled updates to occur. You can schedule Automatic Updates for any time of day. Remember, your computer must be on at the scheduled time for updates to be installed. After you set this option, Windows recognizes when you are online and uses your Internet connection to find updates on the Windows Update Web site or on the Microsoft Update Web site that apply to your computer. Updates are downloaded automatically in the background, and you are not notified or interrupted during this process. An icon appears in the notification area of your taskbar when the updates are being downloaded. You can point to the icon to view the download status. To pause or to resume the download, right-click the icon, and then click Pause or Resume. When the download is completed, another message appears in the notification area so that you can review the updates that are scheduled for installation. If you choose not to install at that time, Windows starts the installation on your set schedule.

    or visit http://www.windowsupdate.com regularly. This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer. If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.

:antispyware programs:

I would reccomend the download and installation of some or all of the following programs (all free), and the updating of them regularly:
  • WinPatrol As a robust security monitor, WinPatrol will alert you to hijackings, malware attacks and critical changes made to your computer without your permission. WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge.
  • Spyware Blaster - By altering your registry, this program stops harmful sites from installing things like ActiveX Controls on your machines.
  • Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a new and powerful anti-malware tool. It is
    totally free but for real-time protection you will have to pay a small one-time fee. We used this to help clean your computer and recomend keeping it and using often.

please read this great article by miekiemoes How to prevent Malware:

I'd be grateful if you could reply to this post so that I know you have read it and, if you've no other questions, the thread can then be closed.

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