First of thanks to all those folks who provide your time, help and service. I was facing a problem where all of my search results would end up generating weird pop ups with no link to what I searched for. I want to describe the steps I took before and after coming to this web site so that others can benefit from my experience.
First some software specs: Windows XP with SP2. I use McAfee Security, SpyBot, Adaware, Malwarebytes Anti Malware, and Bill Patrol. I got this rootkit infection despite these set of tools. McAfee is on at all times. I use realtime protection from Malwarebytes when launching IE or Firefox. Once a week I ran Adaware, Spybot.
Things began to gohaywire this morning when I was searching for an academic paper relevant to my work when I noticed the search results when I clicked would go to non sense sites. Here are the steps.
Before coming to this website:
1. Disconnected from Internet.
2. Ran Quick Scan with MBAM, found a trojan and quarantined it. Then ran Spybot. No matches. Ran McAfee Security Quick Scan - Found 2 infected objects and removed them. Ran a full scan. Nothing more. Reboot.
3. Saw a "Unhandled Exception" error with ASMagent.exe - first ever I saw something like that. Ignored it and launched IE with MBAM IP and realtime protection enabled. Same errors again.
After registering here:
1. Read all the different solutions suggested the good folks here.
2. Downloaded Super Anti Spyware; GMER, ERUNT, RKUnhookerLE, TDSSKiller, ComboFix
3. Ran SAS. It detected 5 or 7 objects. Rebooted and found the same problems. I was hoping it was not a root kit.
4. Ran ERUNT and backed up registry.
5. Ran RKUnhookerLE and the report showed possible Rootkit activity
6. Ran GMER and this confirmed the Rootkit activity.
7. Ran TDSSKiller. Created a folder after unzipping this archive onto the desktop as per instructions adn ran it. Choose the Cure option. It removed the rootkit.
8. Rebooted the laptop. Reran GMER to check if Rootkit presence is detected. Success
. All Clean
9. Rebooted the laptop. Reran RKUnhookerLE and no root kit. Ran TDSSKiller again and no infected objects.
10. Launched IE and input search item and could now click on the links without a problem.
11. Shutdown IE. Disconnected internet. Reran GMER, RKUnhookerLE and TDSSKiller - no infections found.
12. Post this info in the forum.
I have to say my thanks to the moderators/admins named Gringo, Teacup1, OrangeBlossom. I hope this is helpful.