I have seen commentary that absolute certain removal can only accomplished by a complete reload. What do you recommend from here?
That's not quite right, but close. We got rid of the rootkit; I can guarantee you that. However, TDSS does include a backdoor component, meaning that it has the capability for a malicious individual to gain access to your machine. Now, we eliminated the TDSS kit, so that entryway is gone. What you're referring to is the *possibility* that an individual did remotely access your machine, and modified it in some way as to create another
door. If that happened, it would be near impossible to pinpoint the change that was made.
Could this have happened? Certainly, it could
. However, given the number of these infections that are out there the likelihood of an individual hacking your machine is one in a million. It's a matter of whether or not you feel comfortable using the machine for whatever activities you use it for. If you deal with sensitive information or perform a lot of financial transactions on the machine, and reinstalling the OS isn't a big deal for you, then a reformat would probably be a good idea.
Now, if you used the machine to perform financial transactions or log into secure or sensitive accounts while you were infected
, there's a real possibility that the information could have been captured by the infection, and you should take steps to prevent and/or minimize the impact of a possible identity theft.
You should change the passwords of all applicable accounts, and inform your financial institutions of your situation. This way they can be on the lookout for any unusual activity on your account.
Hope that helps. Let me know of any further questions.