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Infected by Trojan SHeur3.AQRA - and rootkit ALUREON too


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#1 Possoppurru

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 01:05 PM

Ok, I'm in deep trouble.
I am running Windows XP SP3 on my laptop. A few days ago I was infected by the 'Security Tools' virus. I managed to use my Ubuntu install to connect to the internet, find information on how to delete it and actually eliminate it, and everything seemed to have returned to normality. This was not the case. I installed Malwarebytes AntiMalware and Hitman Pro. I got a few warnings for a 'suspect' infection of Alureon rootkit, due to the possible presence of a virtual drive. Since there were no symptoms, I didn't take action, fearing it could be a false positive triggered by Daemon Tools or the wubi Ubuntu install. I had a few cases of redirection from a Google result - but they ceased when I stopped using Chrome and passed to Iron, so I thought it was a small, browser-related infection I could have taken care of later. Stupid idea, of course. Today I had an explosion. AVG has started signaling hundreds of files (html, exe and dll, mainly) infected by Trojan SHeur3.AQRA. I quarantine them, but they just keep popping up. I'm trying to avoid rebooting windows, as it seems to me the infection spreads at terrifying speed and I'm afraid to lose files I can't replace. Unfortunately right now I'm not at home, I will stay away for a couple weeks, and I don't have my external hard drive. I managed to save the vital work data to an USB pen, but I'd like to save more than that. I don't even have my OS dvd, so I can't format or restore.
After having discovered the infection, anyway, I rebooted in Ubuntu and searched the internet for informations... I found an Alureon removal tool by Kaspersky, used it, and it actually found an infection and removed it (or so it says). The AQRA problem stays, though. As soon as I boot Windows (unless it's SafeMode) AVG goes on a rampage and finds hundreds of infected files, generally organized folder by folder. I don't know what to do at the moment, also because MalwareBytes and HitmanPro apparently didn't give any alarms concerning this thing - but I still haven't managed to run a complete scan with them, though.
Please help me. At the moment, I begin to consider tempting the possibility of just formatting and installing Ubuntu in place of Windows...

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#2 boopme

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:33 PM

Hello, we may have a Ramnit infection, Which is not a good thing. I think it is best to run a deep,long DrWeb scan.

Before we start fixing anything you should print out these instructions or copy them to a NotePad file so they will be accessible. Some steps will require you to disconnect from the Internet or use Safe Mode and you will not have access to this page.

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 anti-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 dowload the Full version Free Trial, 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)

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#3 Possoppurru

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:15 AM

I downloaded DoctorWeb and pasted it on the desktop. I ran in SafeMode and ran a single quick scan. The logfile is 10MB, I can't post it here, unfortunately (my Documents folder is huge). Also, from what I've seen opening it with OpenOffice, it's incomplete, as the first files analyzed are missing from the top. But I think the main points are:
1)winlogon.exe and explorer.exe infected with Win32.dat.4 (cured)
2)thousands of exe and dll files infected with Win32.Rmnet (cured)
3)thousands of html files to which a script called VBScript0 was added, infected with Trojan.Init (moved to Quarantine)
4)two files in the 'Autoexec' folder infected with Trojan.PWS.Panda.387, incurable
Around 20,000 infected files on a total of 160,000. The scan lasted 6 hours. I closed and rebooted before doing the complete scan, and now Windows isn't booting anymore in Safe Mode. I managed to boot it once, though; but it soon ended up jammed and I had to reboot again (and it didn't boot anymore). It just gives me a black screen with a bleeping underscore. I didn't try the normal booting as yet, since I'm afraid the infection could spread again (even though it's been removed from all the automatically booting processes).

Edited by Possoppurru, 21 September 2010 - 11:01 AM.


#4 quietman7

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 06:24 PM

I'm afraid I have very bad news.

Your system is infected with a Win32/Ramnit.A!dll, a file infector with IRCBot functionality which infects .exe, .dll and .HTML files and opens a back door that compromises your computer.

Ramnit.A!dll is a component injected into the default web browser by Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A which is dropped by a Win32/Ramnit.A infected executable file. Ramnit.A also infects .exe, and .HTML/HTM files, downloads more malicious files to your system, and opens a back door that compromises your computer. The infected .HTML or .HTM files may be detected as Virus:VBS/Ramnit.A

In many cases the infected files cannot be disinfected properly by your anti-virus. When disinfection is attempted, the files become corrupted and the system may become irreparable. The longer Ramnit.A remains on a computer, the more files will become infected and corrupt so the degree of infection can vary.

Ramnit.A is commonly spread via a flash drive (usb, pen, thumb, jump) infection which is often contracted and spread by visiting remote, crack and keygen sites. These type of sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware and a major source of system infection.

In my opinion, Ramnit.A is not effectively disinfectable, so your best option is to perform a full reformat as there is no guarantee this infection can be completely removed. In most instances it may have caused so much damage to your system files that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. In many cases the infected files cannot be deleted and anti-malware scanners cannot disinfect them properly. Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat and reinstall the OS. Please read:

Whenever a system has been compromised by a backdoor payload, it is impossible to know if or how much the backdoor has been used to affect your system...There are only a few ways to return a compromised system to a confident security configuration. These include:
• Reimaging the system
• Restoring the entire system using a full system backup from before the backdoor infection
• Reformatting and reinstalling the system

Backdoors and What They Mean to You

This is what Jesper M. Johansson at Microsoft TechNet has to say: Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?.

The only way to clean a compromised system is to flatten and rebuild. That’s right. If you have a system that has been completely compromised, the only thing you can do is to flatten the system (reformat the system disk) and rebuild it from scratch (reinstall Windows and your applications).


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#5 Possoppurru

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:24 AM

Ok, thanks. I had a hunch that this was the kind of level of the problem anyway... if I had been at home I´d have already formatted and re-installed. My problem now is that I don´t have my XP CD with Sata drivers in it I need to format my laptop, and I´d really prefer not to use the Windows Vista recovery discs. So I think I´m going for Ubuntu 10. I want therefore to know a little information about what and how can I save, of my data:
1) Is it safe to connect an external HD while booting with linux and copy files such as AVI, MP3, DOC, PDF, MKV, ZIP, RAR, ISO images?
2) Is it safe to copy executables which haven´t been found infected by Dr.Web?
3) I have two partitions, one of which is filled only with music and videos; is it safe to keep this partition and format only the remaining space, or do I have to format everything?
Thanks for your help. I´ll try to be more careful for the future, of course. This is not the first time I get a bad infection and am forced to format, but it had never happened to me in such a critical situation.

Edited by Possoppurru, 22 September 2010 - 06:29 AM.


#6 quietman7

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 07:41 AM

I understand and that's the decision I would have made if this were my computer. Starting over by wiping your drive, and reformatting it removes everything and ensures no remnants of malicious files are left behind.

When reformatting due to malware infection, you can back up all your important documents, personal data files, photos to a CD or DVD drive, not a flash drive or external hard drive as they may become compromised in the process. The safest practice is not to backup any executable files (*.exe), screensavers (*.scr), dynamic link library (*.dll), autorun (.ini) or script files (.php, .asp, .htm, .html, .xml ) files because they may be infected by malware. Avoid backing up compressed files (.zip, .cab, .rar) that have executables inside them as some types of malware can penetrate compressed files and infect the .exe files within them. Other types of malware may even disguise itself by hiding a file extension or adding to the existing extension as shown here (click Figure 1 to enlarge) so be sure you look closely at the full file name. If you cannot see the file extension, you may need to reconfigure Windows to show file name extensions. Then make sure you scan the backed up data with your anti-virus prior to to copying it back to your hard drive.

If your CD/DVD drive is unusable, another word of caution if you are considering backing up to an external usb hard drive as your only alternative. External drives are more susceptible to infection and can become compromised in the process of backing up data. I'm not saying you should not try using such devices but I want to make you aware of all your options and associated risks so you can make an informed decision if its worth that risk.Again, do not back up any files with the following file extensions: exe, .scr, .dll, .ini, .htm, .html, .php, .asp, .xml, .zip, .rar, .cab as they may be infected.

If you need additional assistance with reformatting or partitioning, you can start a new topic in the appropriate Windows Operating System Subforum.
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#7 Possoppurru

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:24 AM

Ok, thank you very much.
Right now I'm using my Ubuntu install parallel to windows to save the data. The reason I want to format anyway is that at the moment the home partition for Ubuntu is very small, and if I have to use it as my main OS I'll need to install lots of software more, so I need at least a couple dozens GB of space. I've always kept track of extensions and such... not being able to save zip and rar files is a pain, I absolutely need some of them, I had already surrendered all the other files anyway.
I'm also thinking of working only with Ubuntu from now on, and re-install windows only on a virtual machine. In this way I think I'll be able to test the suspicious rar and zip files I can't do without on the virtual windows machine not connected to the internet, so that the virus wouldn't be able to do any harm anyway. Since I don't need to run particularly computationally expensive programs, I think I'll be fine with this solution for now.
Thanks again for your help; about formatting, it's something I have already done lots of times, so I shouldn't experience any particular problem.

#8 quietman7

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:30 AM

You're welcome and good luck.
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