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Something Affecting Google Results, Among Other Issues...


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#1 Niko526

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:53 AM

I did a couple things recently that make me unsure of whether this problem is caused by malware vs. my having broken something. Thought I'd start here before spending *too* much time going down the "fixing malware" route when it might be more of a "fixing Windows" issue.

System: Windows XP (ummm... pretty sure it's "Home" edition). IE6

Symptoms: The first problem I noticed was an increasing tendency for web-pages to return "Server not found" errors, requiring multiple attempts to get connected to them. It's to a point now where every other link I click requires four or five attempts before it connects, but I've noticed it to a much lesser extent over the last couple days. The rest of these issues just started popping up yesterday:

I.E. has done some weird changing of the URL a few times. At one point I put in "www.meetup.com" as the URL, and I.E. ended up trying to go to something like "www.www.meetup.com.org", as if it didn't recognize my original URL as a valid format and was trying to correct it for me. I kept trying and eventually got to the site, so it was definitely a valid URL the first time.

And then there are a couple weird things going on with Google. When I run a search, the results seem like good hits, until you look at the URL's for the results. At least half of them are pointing to "privacyprotector.com", "ebay.com", "ebaystores.com", and other completely unrelated sites. When I run the exact same search from my work PC, the result list is the same, except that there are *real* URL's for each of the results. This seems like it would *have* to be a malware of some sort, but runthroughs of Spyware S&D and AVG haven't found anything so far. Didn't have time last night to do any further troubleshooting.

Also, I'm usually signed in to Google with an account name, but when I go to the site right now, I'm not logged in. If I click "Sign In", I get a warning that the site's digital certificate isn't signed by a trusted authority (the warning says the cert. is signed by thawte, which I've never *specifically* allowed/disallowed, but it's a reputable company and IE has never given me grief about it before...)

Possibly connected activity:
I had a pretty big malware infestation a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure I got it all cleared up, but I just recently went ahead and emptied the AVG virus vault that had some stuff in it as a result of the previous infestation.

Shortly after I emptied the virus vault, AVG found a problem with "comi.dll". I accidentally told AVG to put it in the Virus Vault right away, instead of letting it try to "Heal" it. I ended up telling it to Restore the file out of the vault and then healing it, but between that and having deleted the virus vault files, I'm a little freaked that I may have broken some important Windows thingie or other.

Any ideas whether the symptoms I decribed could be caused by malware?

Thx,
Niko

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#2 boopme

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:24 AM

Hello Niko526,welcome to bleeping computer

I know that Privacyprotector is ad/malware and the dll I've seen referenced to smitfraud c,so I'd suggest you download, install,update and scan with this SUPERAntispyware. Use the Free Home User version.

Also scan with Dr.Web Anti-virus version is 4.33
Let us know how it works out
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