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should not have to manually remove a virus.. trendmicro and symantec failed me


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#1 realized

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:54 PM

Sure the statement might be wishful thinking but hear me out. I have two small offices. One running Symantec Endpoint Protection and one running Trend Micro Office scan.

Both have failed me on multiple occasions and this most recent one really annoyed me. Windows XP machine took me some 10 hours to troubleshot, identify, and fix (with the help of this forum, thank you!)
(the problem in question was windows recovery virus/malware, the headache started after windows recovery was removed but malware caused hijacked google searches and audio ads playing in the background)

I understand that if a virus is THAT new (within 24-48 hours), it might not be detected. But I have had instances where I would upload files I believe to be the problem to virustotal.com and only see that some 5-6 virus scanners detect a problem....

It might be wishful thinking that an antivirus/anti malware solution might work all of the time but if a virus has “manual removal instructions” from 3 weeks ago, I would think that Trend Micro and Symantec would be able to at least DETECT and FIX it.

Wishful thinking?

Edited by realized, 17 May 2011 - 04:56 PM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:44 AM

...malware caused hijacked google searches and audio ads playing in the background

Those symptoms are more typical of a rootkit than a virus. From what you describe you were most likely dealing with a a nasty variant of the TDSS rootkit (Backdoor.Tidserv).

TDL3/TDL4 (Alurion) is the third and fourth generation of the TDSS rootkit which hides itself on a system by infecting system files/drivers like atapi.sys, a common target because it loads early during the boot process and is difficult to detect. Newer varinats of TDL3 can target a number of other legitimate drivers in the Windows drivers folder while TDL4 generally infects the Master Boot Record (MBR). Common symptoms/signs of this infection include:

  • Google search results redirected as the malware modifies DNS query results.
  • Infected (patched/forged) files in the Windows drivers folder.
  • Infected Master Boot Record.
  • Slowness of the computer and poor performance.
  • Repeated Fake alerts indicating the computer is infected.
  • Internet Explorer opening on its own.
  • BSODs as described in this article.
For more specific analysis and explanation of the infection, please refer to:These are .pdf documents with more comprehensive information.Attackers quickly and continually release new TDSS variants in attempts to defeat detection and removal. The security community is in a constant state of change and it takes time for these new variants to be reported, samples collected, analyzed, and tested by anti-vendors. Once those stages have been completed, database definitions need to be updated and released to the public. While all this transpires the attackers are busy creating a new variant and the cycle starts all over.
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