My operating system is Windows Vista SP2. My current anti-virus is AVG Free 8.5 (am rather disappointed with them, but that's another story).
I do not know exactly when my problem started, although there are (unfortunately) a plethora of possibilities.
The first indication I had that something was wrong was I noticed Internet Explorer (i have version 8.0) was using a LOT of memory (typically over 1 MB, over half my installed memory). I thought maybe some undesirable program was piggybacking on it.
I have also run into some of the "fake" anti-malware programs such as AntiVir, Antimalware, and such. AVG had notified me of some of these, and presumably removed them, but I am also aware of how devious some of these programs can be. The most recent spate of problems started somewhere on or around October 20, 2010.
AVG found a "trojan dropper", and (I think) around 4 programs (somewhat randomly named) in the usual places, which for me, are in the C:\Users\David Wheeler directory...typically the C:\Users\David Wheeler\AppData\Local\Temp directory and C:\Users\David Wheeler\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows directories. I'll try to locate whatever logs I can, should you require them.
I also run Malwarebytes from time to time, which occasionally finds others AVG missed.
On October 26, I think it was I noticed 4 new unusual symptoms:
1. Clicking on a search result from Google re-directed me to various low-rent looking search sites. This in itself is annoying.
2. Occasionally, random windows to these type of sites just fire up on their own.
3. Clicking on PDF links ALWAYS fails to connect me to the PDF file, usually IE just hangs. Gotta love that blue circle.
4. Upon log-in, i would get an error that "svchost" had stopped working. Although I no longer get this error, various windows elements often don't "look right", in particular, scroll bars, and dialog box buttons. that is, instead of looking like Vista window elements, they often have the "squarer" look of windows XP.
Things I have done in the last few days:
1. Ran a full scan in Malwarebytes. No items found.
2. Ran a full scan with ESET's online scanner. No items found.
3. Updated to the latest version of Acrobat reader (9.4 something?)
4. Updated to Vista SP2. Having done this, Windows Update no longer works, always returning error code 80072efe.
5. I have tried resetting the Windows Update files (renaming catroot2 and SoftwareDistribution directories and re-registering the dll files). No change.
From the way this virus is acting, I suspect a rootkit. Be advised this is my ONLY computer. Having said that, let me state that I don't have any credit information to steal, I no longer use any form of online payment, and haven't for over 18 months. So while I am aware that it may not be possible to make this computer secure, that is not what my main concern is...I just want it to work properly.
Please advise. These problems are interfering with my work as a forum moderator, as well as making any online activity unpleasant.
Edited by hamluis, 30 October 2010 - 06:11 AM.
Moved from Vista forum to Am I infected ~ Hamluis.