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Recovery in the gory aftermath


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#1 banichi

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 05:20 PM

I know I'm infected. I fought it for days (finding this forum too late, unfortunately), and I don't know if I've lost, yet. I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but I can't provide diagnostic logs, right now, and I'd appreciate advice. In Search and Rescue, we talk about rescue while there is still hope, and recovery when rescue is no longer likely. I'm somewhere between rescue and recovery of my laptop.

I've got a Dell Inspiron 1720, CoreDuo T7200, 4gb RAM, running Vista Ultimate 32-bit SP2 and McAfee IS, and a Dell XPS 410 running Vistal Home Premium SP2. I'm sharing the desktop, at the moment.

A gory story for your dark humor.

Thursday evening 11/24, I was working on my laptop when suddenly Cloud AV 2012 popped up on my screen and I started getting bombarded. McAfee, of course, said everything was beautiful. Before I realized my browser was being redirected, I found a 'Cloud AV 2012 removal tool' on what turned out to be an excellent spoof of the Trend Micro site. While this appeared to kill the Cloud AV 2012 process, it also introduced its own trojan(s). Then, I discovered Malwarebytes, and that found several issues and cleaned them up. Cloud AV 2012 appeared to be gone.

I still had the browser redirects (MSIE, FF), and I discovered that I had Ping.exe running constantly, and taking a huge amount of resources if I was connected to the internet. I researched the issue on 11/25, and got in touch with a local tech friend who provides first tier support as a job, and removing viruses being one of those tasks. He got back to me on 11/26 and told me I needed to use TDSSKiller for the redirects, and that ComboFix was the only thing recognizing the ping problem. I found this site, too late.

TDSSKiller found Rootkit.Win32.ZAccess.k and seemed to cure it, upon reboot. No, redirects. I ran ComboFix, and THEN read in here all the cautions against running it without specific advice, etc. Anyway, I didn't touch it and let it run, and it seemed to be stuck in the initial scanning phase. Never got as far as completing Phase 1. At some point, a Windows advisory popped up on the screen advising me that a freeware installation of XCACLS (uh oh, he says in retrospect) had stopped functioning and had been closed. I got on chat, here, and Lurch allowed as how ComboFix running for 12 hours was unusual and that I should stop it and open a Malware log thread and proceed from there. I would have done it, anyway. So, I did. That's when I learned that, while I thought ComboFix was running, something else had been, too. What appeared to be a system window popped up telling me that the Recycle Bin was corrupt. I acknowledged it. Then, I discovered that the McAfee icon in the system tray wasn't responding to me, and that my permissions to files and folders had been revoked or severely limited. I no longer had write permissions, and access to some applications was gone. I also discovered that all system recovery points had been deleted, except for one just prior to the point that XCACLS stopped. So, I can't run anything as Admin. I can't write logs. I can't save or print files. I can't disable McAfee. Bogus security warnings are coming up telling me that there are security violations by any web-based AV tools, like ESET, or utilities like MBAM, TDSSKiller, etc. I can't run GMER or OTL.

So. What I do have is complete backups on an external drive. Unfortunately, the custom recovery disk was thrown into a box while I was out of town on an extended contract, and put into storage, and no one knows where it is. Fortunately, I have learned that the Norton Ghost recovery disk will read my backup files (obsolete Norton Save and Restore), and doesn't require a customized recovery disk to run. So, there may be hope, yet, that I can recover and clean things up with a restore. In light of what happened with McAfee, and subsequent research on AV performance, I've switched the disktop over to Norton 360 v5 with its 2-way firewall, and upgraded from the obsolete Backup software to Norton Ghost.

I need to know if there are still ways for me to run software against my laptop to try to clean it, since my access has been screwed with, and a rootkit (or something) is still active on the machine. I'm wondering what precautions I should consider taking before connecting my external drives to the machine (USB vaccine?, scanning the external drive from the desktop, first?, what tools to use from the desktop to protect the desktop and have the best chance of cleaning the external drives?). I'm wondering if booting from a known safe recovery disk is sufficient to stop whatever is on the laptop at this point, long enough to overwrite the disk with a backup from before all this happened, or if I will then have a recovered machine that is still infected? It appears I may also be able to create a Norton Bootable Recovery Disk to reboot safely and try to clean things up with Norton AV and maybe Norton Power Eraser I don't know, yet. It would be custom to the desktop which is running Vista Home, but I think it uses generic Microsoft drivers.

Anyway, that's my tale. I'll appreciate your suggestions.

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#2 Broni

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 01:01 AM

Please follow the instructions in ==>This Guide<== starting at Step 6. If you cannot complete a step, skip it and continue.

Once the proper logs are created, then make a NEW TOPIC and post it ==>HERE<== Please include a description of your computer issues, what you have done to resolve them, and a link to this topic.

If you can produce at least some of the logs, then please create the new topic and explain what happens when you try to create the log(s) that you couldn't get. If you cannot produce any of the logs, then still post the topic and explain that you followed the Prep. Guide, were unable to create the logs, and describe what happens when you try to create the logs.

It would be helpful if you post a note here once you have completed the steps in the guide and have started your topic in malware removal. Good luck and be patient.

If HelpBot replies to your topic, PLEASE follow Step One so it will report your topic to the team members.

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#3 banichi

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 02:31 AM

...Once the proper logs are created, then make a NEW TOPIC and post it ==>HERE<== Please include a description of your computer issues, what you have done to resolve them, and a link to this topic.

If you can produce at least some of the logs, then please create the new topic and explain what happens when you try to create the log(s) that you couldn't get. If you cannot produce any of the logs, then still post the topic and explain that you followed the Prep. Guide, were unable to create the logs, and describe what happens when you try to create the logs...

Thank you for your reply. I already know that I cannot create the logs, because I no longer appear to have write permissions to the directories, and depending on which app, may not be able to execute them; however, I will certainly create a thread and provide the errors I am encountering, and do as you suggest. Thanks, again. Since I cannot download the applications (no write permissions and virus blocking downloads), I will transfer them via flash drive and see if I can execute them, that way.

#4 banichi

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:25 PM

I was able to run dss and GMER from a flash drive and capture logs. Thread started in malware removal, here. Thanks for your help.

#5 Broni

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:06 PM

Cool :)

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#6 Orange Blossom

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:59 PM

Hello,

Now that you have posted a log here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic430269.html you should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc) unless advised by a MRT Team member, nor should you ask for help elsewhere. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show in the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make on your own may cause confusion for the helper assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

From this point on the MRT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the MRT Team members are EXTREMELY busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the MRT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another MRT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.

Please be patient. It may take several days to get a response but your log will be reviewed and answered as soon as possible. I advise checking your topic once a day for responses as the e-mail notification system is unreliable.

If HelpBot replies to your topic, PLEASE follow Step One so it will report your topic to the team members.

To avoid confusion, I am closing this topic. Good luck with your log.

Orange Blossom :cherry:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

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