Okay, this is the last thing I'm going to attempt before I just give up and format, so here goes..
A few days ago, I was just browsing like I normally do every day, and all of a sudden my firefox process was randomly killed. My computer was acting REALLY strange, giving me hard disc read errors and stuff, and I immediately knew something was up. I went to check in task manager to see what was going on but my access to task manager was cut off (alt+ctrl+del menu didn't show task manager option and right clicking on the taskbar was greyed out). I got access to taskmanager by pressing WindowsKey+R and running taskman.exe from there. Once I got in, I saw a number of different unknown processes, just random numbers and letters that I didn't write down, along with a bunch of iexplore.exe that had no associated windows (they were essentially hidden). My start menu and desktop shortcuts were moved (to some temp folder) and I was getting redirects when I clicked on Google search results. saw a number of different unknown processes, just random numbers and letters that I didn't write down, along with a bunch of iexplore.exe that had no associated windows (they were essentially hidden). I don't exactly remember all of the steps I took to get normal access back, but I remember most of what I did.
I booted into safe mode, ran MBAM which detected a few things (I think one was called FakeAgent?). I ran ComboFix which is what I assume gave my control back and seemingly stopped some of the things from happening. Finally, I wanted to be sure I had gotten rid of the problem, so I looked for some more rootkit removal tools, a couple I came across were FixTDSS and TDSSKiller. I was being prevented from running TDSSKiller, so I had to get a different version (which I got off Kaspersky forum http://forum.kaspersky.com/index.php?showtopic=212719) and this version didn't detect anything. I ran FixTDSS and it detected an infection in MBR, so I restarted and it said it was gone. Nothing came up on MBAM or GMER, so I felt relatively safe.
Now, I thought I was fine, but it turns out that I was getting these invisible PING.EXEs (which were located at C:\windows\syswow64\) with the argument "-t 127.0.0.1" and no matter how many times I killed the process, it would just keep coming back. Using Process Explorer, if I suspended the process, it would just start a new one. When I tried to move or rename the PING.EXE, I got an error message saying I didn't have privileges from TrustedInstaller. The only way I was able to make them stop appearing was to manually go in and change the owner of the file to my user account, give myself access, and then I was able to rename it.. and this stopped them from showing up. I know this doesn't exactly solve the problem, but I was just trying to stop this thing from doing anything at this point.
I tried installing and scanning with Avast and it detected some things in the windows folder, some of which were files that I can't even access (not hidden) so it couldn't quarantine them. I ran MBAM again and it detected something that it tried to fix, but I don't know how much success it had.. This morning when I restarted my computer, before startup I got an error message saying windows failed to start, and that I would have to use a restore point.. so it used the one that ComboFix created, and then I went ahead and used another restore point which was further ahead in time (when I installed Avast last night) so the PING.EXEs were coming up again. I used the same process of taking ownership of it and renaming it to stop it, but I haven't restarted my computer since I did that and I still don't know what exactly caused windows to fail to start.
I really don't know what to do at this point. I'm giving this one last shot before I format and lose a bunch of data (don't have enough space to backup everything), hopefully someone can help me restore my sanity.
Please let me know where to start providing you with more information to help diagnose/solve this issue.
Edited by hate rootkits, 04 December 2011 - 02:27 PM.