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Ramnit infection


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#1 agre

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 09:22 PM

Well, I know I am infected and am wondering what (if anything) I can do. I have a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 running Windows XP SP3.

Earlier this week one of the kids called to tell me about a pop-up indicating an infection. Thinking the pop-up itself could be generated by malware, I had him shut the machine down and initiated a full scan with Symantec Endpoint Protection when I got back to the house. It went through about 8,000 files before hitting on a file called Ramnit. The next 700 files or so were also Ramnit hits. Although Symantec claimed it was quarantining each hit, I thought it might be propogating itself so I stopped the scan and tried to restore the system to last weekend when it seemed to be running fine.

After the next start-up, and on every start-up since, I received the following message: "The file or directory c:/Program Files/Common Files/Symantec Shared/ EENGINE/EPERSIST.DAT is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the chkdisk utility." When trying to run chkdisk from Windows it tells me some files are in use and I need to run it on my next re-start. On re-start I'm told, "Can not open volume for direct access. Windows has finished checking the disk." The machine also runs very slowly, and sometimes it boots to a blue screen with no icons (although I can generate the task manager via CTRL-ALT-DEL and view processes when this happens.)

I've seen a number of threads here that suggest reformatting is the only option. Is this truly a unanimous consensus?

Thanks in advance for any assistance that can be provided.

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#2 boopme

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 10:08 PM

It truly is... :thumbsup:
RAMNIT = VIRUT
Trojan SHeur3.AQRA (AVG)
TR/Spy.Gen (Avira)
Win32.Rmnet (Dr.Web)
Trojan-Spy (Ikarus)
Mal/SillyFDC-A (Sophos)
W32.Ramnit!html (Symantec)

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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#3 agre

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:32 AM

Ah, well. At least having that in the back of my mind softened the blow.

A couple of follow-up questions:

--You were very descriptive about the file types that are infected by this thing. Does it also infect Office documents, text documents, PDFs and multimedia (specifically JPG/MPG/AVI)? There are a few files of this type I'd like to take with me but if there's any chance they're infected I will cut my losses.

--Assuming I have an up-to-date virus scanner, is there a known delta between time of infection and time of detection?

Thanks again.

#4 boopme

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:55 PM

Those files should be fine.

Not an unwise decision to make. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. Wiping your drive, reformatting, and performing a clean install of the OS or doing a factory restore removes everything and is the safest action but I cannot make that decision for you.

Reformatting a hard disk deletes all data. If you decide to reformat, you can back up all your important documents, data files and photos. The safest practice is not to backup any autorun.ini or .exe files because they may be infected. Some types of malware may disguise itself by adding and hiding its extension to the existing extension of files so be sure you take a close look at the full name. After reformatting, as a precaution, make sure you scan these files with your anti-virus prior to copying them back to your hard drive.

The best proceedure is a low level format. This completely wipes the drive. Then reinstall the OS.
Use the free version of Active@ KillDisk.
Or Darik's Boot And Nuke

The best sources of Information on this are
Reformatting Windows XP
Michael Stevens Tech
Windows XP: Clean Install

Of course also feel free to ask anything on this in the XP forum. They'd be glad to help.

==============================

2 guidelines/rules when backing up

1) Backup all your important data files, pictures, music, work etc... and save it onto an external hard-drive. These files usually include .doc, .txt, .mp3, .jpg etc...
2) Do not backup any executables files or any window files. These include .exe/.scr/.htm/.html/.xml/.zip/.rar files as they may contain traces of malware. Also, .html or .htm files that are webpages should also be avoided.

Download Belarc Advisor - builds a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware, including Microsoft Hotfixes, and displays the results in your Web browser.
Run it and then print out the results, they may be handy.

We should take some precautions before we attempt to move files from the infected machine. Run the following on your clean computer, and make sure you insert your flash drives at the prompt.
Download and Run FlashDisinfector

Please download Flash_Disinfector.exe by sUBs and save it to your desktop.
  • Double-click Flash_Disinfector.exe to run it and follow any prompts that may appear.
  • The utility may ask you to insert your flash drive and/or other removable drives. Please do so and allow the utility to clean up those drives as well.
  • Hold down the Shift key when inserting the drive until Windows detects it to keep autorun.inf from executing if it is present.
  • Wait until it has finished scanning and then exit the program.
  • Reboot your computer when done.
Note: As part of its routine, Flash_Disinfector will create a hidden folder named autorun.inf in each partition and every USB drive that was plugged in when you ran it. Do not delete this folder...it will help protect your drives from future infection by keeping the autorun file from being installed on the root drive and running other malicious files.


Reinstall Windows Vista

Note: Windows 7 Professional instructions recommend you DO NOT use a third-party software to format the drive.
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#5 quietman7

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 12:40 PM

With this infection do not back up any .dll, .htm, .html files as well as the others boopme advised you about.
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