Hello! I am new to this forum and hope to both give and receive friendly, helpful advice from you guys
Yesterday on my Acer Aspire V3-771 (Windows 8) I was on the Wikia website (RuneScape section) which is a completely safe, legitimate website that I, and so many others trust (http://runescape.wikia.com/wiki/RuneScape_Wiki)
Whilst I was browsing the wiki a pop-up appeared that looked, like this...
I simply crossed off/exited this survey and carried on browsing, and then I thought... well, this has never happened on this website before, and so I checked it to find results which described this as "severe" malware" which is linked to keyloggers, trojans and is linked to b.scorecardreseach.com. Although this popup and b.scorecardresearch.com are essentially the same thing (or so my research tells me), I have not experienced my browsers being hijacked. The home pages pages remain as Google, and this popup survey has not appeared since (not that I have used the laptop much since either).
Now, this lapop has been dreadfully unfaithful from day one. Twice it has gone back to acer for repair and even though most problems have been resolved, booting up seemed to have slowed down after the second repair (hard drive was replaced) and the Laptop as a whole seems to be getting slower and slower. Occasionally there are crashes after boot up. Things on the internet too recently seem to have slowed down. Maybe this slowness is related? Oh, and also recently a whole file just seemingly disappeared? I do have it backed up though, as it originally came from the USB stick, maybe I deleted it and forgot about it? I don't know.
In terms of steps that I have taken. I have:
- Run a scan with Malwarebytes, which found nothing
- Run a scan using AVG, which found nothing
- Run a scan with avast with found nothing but claimed it could not scan two folders due to "password" protection. I do NOT remember putting those passwords on there
- Run a scan with SuperAntiSpyware, which found the usual load of cookies (which are not really Malware), BUT DID find four Browser Hijackers, MySearchDial, Imminent, Delta and one other I forgot the name of. Obviously I removed these. I do remember the infections of MySearchDial and Delta. I undid their settings changes thinking I had removed them, but clearly I had not. I do not recall Imminent and so that was a surprise. I have seen a webpage claiming that scorecardreseach can thus be downloaded due to other Browser Hijackers. Yet I had removed their influence over the browsers, so I do not know if this is true, or whether scorecardreseach got on here via some other means. SuperAntiSpyware did NOT find scorecardreseach just like all the others failed to find it.
- I have talked to two online "experts" both of which have claimed this is a "nasty" virus that is hard to find and eliminate. Of course both wished me to pay them for experts to remotely remove it, I have not pursued this action as of yet.
- Backing up all of my files that I wished to save (Mostly Word docs, Office setup, pictures, videos, a few anti-virus software), I am now, as I write this, reseting my Laptop to its Factory Settings as instructed to by acer regarding the slow boot ups and crashes. My worry however is that if the virus is in a file present on the USB stick (where I back things up for resets), then I may simply put it back onto the laptop? and I have heard resets/recoveries do not always delete malware anyway.
- I also (probably not wisely I know) visited the actual website that does this very survey, one website stated that there you can "opt-out" of this popup and that is what I did... If this is malware though I doubt that would help. However there is one (very well known UK newspaper) site that claims scorecardresearch is actually legit. Here it is (don't worry this is SAFE) http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/apr/23/scorecardresearch-tracking-trackers-cookies-web-monitoring
That's about it really, I would really appreciate your help. My University work is reliant upon my laptop and although I am using my old one to type this... I would much rather have my new one. Thank you for taking your time to read this and to hopefully help out a student in need, I appreciate it.