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Cannot edit Hosts file


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#1 kyletilman

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:51 PM

I think I am still infected because my google searches are being redirected. I ran MBAM and it came up clean so then I checked proxy settings in IE and they are unchecked. I then looked to the hosts file but did not see it in the normal XP position. (This is an XP machine). I made sure hidden files and file extensions were showing and still could not see it. So I tried to make a new one and it said I do not have permission to overwrite it. So I opened the cmd prompt and navigated to the directory c:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\ and ran "dir" to find it but it isn't there. Tried to del hosts and recivied a "could not find" error. Then I type "notepad hosts" and the hosts file comes up with entries pointing google and yahoo to different servers. If I make a change and save it says it can't find the file to save. I tried running HJT to change it but it was denied acces too. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2 boopme

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:45 PM

Hello lets' do a couple more scans first.

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.



MBAM (MalwareBytes):

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (v1.46) and save it to your desktop.
Before you save it rename it to say zztoy.exe


alternate download link 1
alternate download link 2
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.
To restore your HOSTS file to its default, do this:

Please download HostsXpert - Hosts File Manager
  • Create a new folder on your hard drive called HostsXpert (C:\HostsXpert) and extract (unzip) the file there. (click here if you're not sure how to do this. Vista users refer to these instructions.)
  • Open the folder and double-click HostsXpert.exe to run the program.
  • Click "Restore MS Hosts File".
  • Click OK at the confirmation box.
  • Click "Make Read Only".
  • Click the X to exit the program.
-- If the Hosts file does not exist, you will be prompted to create a new one. Just press "Ok".
-- If you were using a custom Hosts file you will need to replace any of those entries yourself.

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

#3 kyletilman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 02:31 PM

ok I did all of that and both Super and MBAM came up clean and the logs are following. The hosts file program syas that it is a system file so I click ok then it says its a hidden file and I remove that but then it errors out and says "cannot create file c:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\ETC\hosts.

SAS:

SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log
http://www.superantispyware.com

Generated 08/24/2010 at 11:01 AM

Application Version : 4.35.1000

Core Rules Database Version : 4744
Trace Rules Database Version: 0

Scan type : Complete Scan
Total Scan Time : 00:18:43

Memory items scanned : 259
Memory threats detected : 0
Registry items scanned : 7039
Registry threats detected : 0
File items scanned : 16297
File threats detected : 0
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
====================================================

MBAM:Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.46
www.malwarebytes.org

Database version: 4052

Windows 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 (Safe Mode)
Internet Explorer 8.0.6001.18702

8/24/2010 2:54:05 PM
mbam-log-2010-08-24 (14-54-05).txt

Scan type: Full scan (C:\|)
Objects scanned: 268334
Time elapsed: 18 minute(s), 44 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: 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:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

#4 boopme

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:29 PM

Log in as Administrator: L@@K
In Windows XP Home Edition, you can login as built-in Administrator in Safe Mode only. For XP Professional, press CTRL + ALT + DEL twice at the Welcome Screen and input your Administrator password in the classic logon window that appears.

Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
Double-click on the My Computer icon.
Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
After the new window appears select the View tab.
Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled Display the contents of system folders.
Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide file extensions for known file types.
Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Try the Hosts file again.
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 kyletilman

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:42 PM

Yes I am an admin and the hidden files and file extensions are showing.

#6 boopme

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:56 PM

Let me ask another for an idea.


BTW I noticed your MBAM did not update,perhaps there is still an infection.

Rerun MBAM (MalwareBytes) like this:

Open MBAM in normal mode and click Update tab, select Check for Updates,when done
click Scanner tab,select Quick scan and scan (normal mode).
After scan click Remove Selected, Post new scan log and Reboot into normal mode.

Edited by boopme, 25 August 2010 - 02:03 PM.

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

#7 boopme

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 02:48 PM

Here is another way to swap that Hosts file.

Download the following file and run it:

http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/bats/hosts-perm.bat

This will fix the permissonss on the hosts file and remove system, hidden, and read only attributes. Now you should be able to delete it or edit after that. Then proceed with HostsXpert
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

#8 kyletilman

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:27 PM

I was finally able to get back on that computer and ran the bat file and the cacls worked. so I changed the hosts file. Thanks for your help.

#9 boopme

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 02:19 PM

You're welcome..
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




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