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Need help from Malware attack


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#1 Miller Family

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:58 AM

Hello friends,

This is my first post and I'm desperate after trying to find a fix for a malware attack I suffered two days ago. I am typing this on a friend's computer. My laptop is a VISTA HOME EDITION.

On Saturday I was looking for an image for my daughter on Google Images and clicked on one. When it opened other windows opened that (I think) were "Vista Antivirus 2010." I say I think because I turned off my network switch to kill internet service very quickly, the windows disappeared and I don't totally recall what was on the screen. But I'm nearly certain it was Vista Antivirus 2010.

I noticed the affects right away. NO executables worked at all. At first, when I tried to open a program I would get a window that wanted me to choose a program to open my software with. That has now become an error message stating:

"This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel."


I backed up many files (not all) that were critical and rebooted in "Safe Mode with Networking." (My PC does detect a network and "connect" to it, but I cannot access the web.) For this reason I cannot download and run any files on my PC (like DDS). The laptop will open in normal mode, also, but the same problems exist.

So here is what I've done to date:

1. Read various "removal" guides for this malware, like this one: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-antivirus-2010. But nothing has worked yet, and none of the specific files named were found on my laptop as files or on registry.
2. Found out that I can open executables by RIGHT clicking and selecting "start." Some seem fully functional, but many do not work properly or won't open. (Like "cmd" in Run as Administrator mode. I did save the cmd to a flash drive and ran it from there, so I can get a command prompt.)
3. I called an experienced IT friend who was not able to help remotely because he cannot access my laptop. He suggested that I backup the drive and reinstall the OS. That is not an option for me at the present. (I travel full time with my family and do not have all the software disks to reinstall.)
4. Upon getting infected I immediatly ran an AVG scan (that is my anti-virus program). It found six issues that it said it fixed. But the problems remained.
5. Ran Maleware Bytes, and it found two issues. Both were deleted, but the problem still exists. (Can't remember the names. Something like "FakeAlert" (it was "Fake" something) and one like "Broken.Command..."

I am in desperate need here. I use this laptop for EVERYTHING related to our business and family. I will follow any steps given, but keep in mind that I cannot download or run any programs, and what is on the pc has limited accessability.

Any help is appreciated.

Paul

Edit: Moved topic from Vista to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 Miller Family

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 02:20 PM

UPDATE: Problem solved. Post can be closed. Thank you!

#3 quietman7

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:42 AM

Glad to hear you resolved the malware issue.

If there are no more problems or signs of infection, you should Create a New Restore Point to prevent possible reinfection from an old one. Some of the malware you picked up could have been backed up, renamed and saved in System Restore. Since this is a protected directory your tools cannot access to delete these files, they sometimes can reinfect your system if you accidentally use an old restore point. Setting a new restore point AFTER cleaning your system will help prevent this and enable your computer to "roll-back" to a clean working state.

The easiest and safest way to do this is:
  • Go to Posted Image > Programs > Accessories > System Tools and click "System Restore".
  • Choose the radio button marked "Create a Restore Point" on the first screen then click "Next". Give the R.P. a name, then click "Create". The new point will be stamped with the current date and time. Keep a log of this so you can find it easily should you need to use System Restore.
  • Then use Disk Cleanup to remove all but the most recently created Restore Point.
  • Go to Posted Image > Run... and type: Cleanmgr
  • Click "Ok". Disk Cleanup will scan your files for several minutes, then open.
  • Click the "More Options" tab, then click the "Clean up" button under System Restore.
  • Click Ok. You will be prompted with "Are you sure you want to delete all but the most recent restore point?"
  • Click Yes, then click Ok.
  • Click Yes again when prompted with "Are you sure you want to perform these actions?"
  • Disk Cleanup will remove the files and close automatically.
Vista and Windows 7 users can refer to these links:
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#4 Miller Family

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 10:22 AM

Thanks so much!

#5 quietman7

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 10:32 AM

You're welcome.

:thumbup2: Tips to protect yourself against malware and reduce the potential for re-infection:

Keep Windows and Internet Explorer current with all security updates from Microsoft which will patch many of the security holes through which attackers can gain access to your computer. When necessary, Microsoft releases security updates on the second Tuesday of each month and publishes Security update bulletins to announce and describe the update. If you're not sure how to install updates, please refer to Updating your computer. Microsoft also recommends Internet 6 and 7 users to upgrade their browsers due to security vulnerabilities which can be exploited by hackers.

Avoid gaming sites, porn sites, pirated software (warez), cracking tools, and keygens. They are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections, remote attacks, exposure of personal information, and identity theft. In some instances an infection may cause so much damage to your system that recovery is not possible and the only option is to wipe your drive, reformat and reinstall the OS.

Avoid peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs (i.e. Limewire, eMule, Kontiki, BitTorrent, BitComet, uTorrent, BitLord, BearShare). They too are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to malware infections. File sharing networks are thoroughly infected and infested with malware according to Senior Virus Analyst, Norman ASA. Malicious worms, backdoor Trojans IRCBots, and rootkits spread across P2P file sharing networks, gaming, porn and underground sites. Users visiting such pages may see innocuous-looking banner ads containing code which can trigger pop-up ads and malicious Flash ads that install viruses, Trojans, and spyware. Ads are a target for hackers because they offer a stealthy way to distribute malware to a wide range of Internet users. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid these types of web sites and not use any P2P applications.
Beware of Rogue Security software as they are one of the most common sources of malware infection. They infect machines by using social engineering and scams to trick a user into spending money to buy a an application which claims to remove malware. For more specific information on how these types of rogue programs install themselves and spread infections, read How Malware Spreads - How did I get infected.

Keeping Autorun enabled on flash drives has become a significant security risk as they are one of the most common infection vectors for malware which can transfer the infection to your computer. One in every eight malware attacks occurs via a USB device. Many security experts recommend you disable Autorun as a method of prevention. Microsoft recommends doing the same.Note: If using Windows 7, be aware that in order to help prevent malware from spreading, the Windows 7 engineering team made important changes and improvements to AutoPlay so that it will no longer support the AutoRun functionality for non-optical removable media.

Always update vulnerable software like browsers, Adobe Reader and Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with the latest security patches. Older versions of these programs have vulnerabilities that malicious sites can use to exploit and infect your system.
Change all passwords: Anytime you encounter a malware infection on your computer, especially if that computer was used for online banking, has credit card information or other sensitive data on it, all passwords should be changed immediately to include those used for banking, email, eBay, paypal and any online activities which require a username and password. You should consider them to be compromised and change passwords as a precaution in case an attacker was able to steal your information when the computer was infected. If using a router, you need to reset it with a strong logon/password so the malware cannot gain control before connecting again.

• Finally, use common sense, safe computing and safe surfing habits provides the most complete protection.
Security Resources from Microsoft:Other Security Resources:Browser Security Resources:
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