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Fake Alert H

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#1 aklam


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Posted 12 November 2011 - 06:42 PM

I'm not sure I'm posting on the right board as I'm new to this but here goes.

I’m Running a fully patched Windows XP Pro on a Toshiba laptop, with fully up-dated Panda Anti-Virus Pro and Malwarebytes. I've started getting Panda pop-up alerts of a virus, variously identified as W32/cosmu.L, Trj/Ramnit.A and Trj/Starter.G and that it has been neutralised and the file disinfected. This happens at approx 1 minute intervals and the file and the virus is different each time. A full scan, after disabling system restore, with the latest Panda Anti-Virus Pro 2012 reveals 14 infected files, says is has deleted them but it hasn’t.

Malwarebytes finds the trojan fakealert.H. at C:\Docs and settings\username\local settings\application data\rigphigg\aoxcvwou.exe and HKEY_CURRENT_USER_SOFTWARE\microsoft\windows\current version\run\aoxcvwou.
It reports that it has been removed and the registry values will be deleted on re-boot, but no deletion takes place and the problem remains. Malwarebytes support says it can fully remove fake alert - but it would seem it can't.

Trojan Remover 6.8.2 says there is a suspect hidden entry with rootkit characteritics at HKLM\software\microsoft\windowsNT\current version\winlogon\userinit.

And the file
Docs and settings\username\local settings\application data\rigphigg\aoxcvou.exe.

It says it will delete them on a re-start but doesn’t.
The value set for this registry key is
documents and settings\username\local settings\application data\rigphigg\aoxcvou.exe

The same key on my other computer, same Windows XP Pro OS, has the value C:\windows\system32\userinit.exe

If any memory stick is plugged into the laptop a folder called Recycler installs itself, inside this folder are numerous .exe files, all unknown to me, and which multiply each time a fake virus warning pops up.

aoxcvwou.exe does not appear as a running process in Task Manager and none of the above files or folders can be deleted manually, any attempt to delete the folder rigphigg, which shows as being empty, results in a message that the folder can’t be deleted ‘cos the directory is not empty!

On Panda’s advice I downloaded and ran GMER, this has a ‘kill’ button to stop the program rigphigg\aoxcvwou.exe and then delete it – again it doesn’t work.

Safe mode has also become inaccessable, giving a BSOD instead, and access to all security web sites is blocked resulting in a ‘Windows cannot display this web page’ message.

Help anyone???????

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#2 boopme


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Posted 12 November 2011 - 09:59 PM

I'm afraid I have very bad news.

Win32/Ramnit (and related variants) is a dangerous file infector with IRCBot functionality which infects .exe, and .HTML/HTM files, and opens a back door that compromises your computer. Using this backdoor, a remote attacker can access and instruct the infected computer to download and execute more malicious files. The infected .HTML or .HTM files may be detected as The infected .HTML or .HTM files may be detected as Virus:VBS/Ramnit.A or VBS/Generic. Win32/Ramnit.A!dll is a related file infector often seen with this infection. It too has IRCBot functionality which infects .exe, .dll and .HTML/HTM files and opens a back door that compromises your computer. This component is injected into the default web browser by Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A which is dropped by a Ramnit infected executable file.

-- Note: As with most malware infections, the threat name may be different depending on the anti-virus or anti-malware program which detected it. Each security vendor uses their own naming conventions to identify various types of malware.With this particular infection the safest solution and only sure way to remove it effectively is to reformat and reinstall the OS.

Why? The malware injects code in legitimate files similar to the Virut virus and in many cases the infected files (which could number in the thousands) cannot be disinfected properly by your anti-virus. When disinfection is attempted, the files often become corrupted and the system may become unstable or irreparable. The longer Ramnit.A remains on a computer, the more files it infects and corrupts so the degree of damage can vary.

Ramnit is commonly spread via a flash drive (usb, pen, thumb, jump) infection where it copies Worm:Win32/Ramnit.A with a random file name. The infection is often contracted by visiting remote, crack and keygen sites. These type of sites are infested with a smörgåsbord of malware and a major source of system infection.

In my opinion, Ramnit is not effectively disinfectable, so your best option is to perform a full reformat as there is no guarantee this infection can be completely removed. In most instances it may have caused so much damage to your system files that it cannot be completely cleaned or repaired. Security vendors that claim to be able to remove file infectors cannot guarantee that all traces of it will be removed as they may not find all the remnants. If something goes awry during the malware removal process there is always a risk the computer may become unstable or unbootable and you could loose access to all your data.

Further, your machine has likely been compromised by the backdoor Trojan and there is no way to be sure the computer can ever be trusted again. It is dangerous and incorrect to assume the computer is secure even if your anti-virus reports that the malware appears to have been removed.

Many experts in the security community believe that once infected with this type of malware, the best course of action is to wipe the drive clean, reformat and reinstall the OS. Please read:

Whenever a system has been compromised by a backdoor payload, it is impossible to know if or how much the backdoor has been used to affect your system...There are only a few ways to return a compromised system to a confident security configuration. These include:
• Reimaging the system
• Restoring the entire system using a full system backup from before the backdoor infection
• Reformatting and reinstalling the system

Backdoors and What They Mean to You

This is what security expert miekiemoes has to say: Virut and other File infectors - Throwing in the Towel?

If I guide someone with Virut (or any other File Infector) present and their Antivirus cannot properly disinfect it, then I recommend a format and reinstall...dealing with such infections is a waste of time and that's why I prefer the fastest and safest solution - which is a format and reinstall...After all, I think it would be irresponsible to let the malware "stew" (download/spread/run more malware) for another couple of days/weeks if you already know it's a lost case.

This is what Jesper M. Johansson at Microsoft TechNet has to say: Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?.

The only way to clean a compromised system is to flatten and rebuild. That’s right. If you have a system that has been completely compromised, the only thing you can do is to flatten the system (reformat the system disk) and rebuild it from scratch (reinstall Windows and your applications).

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