MSNBC Breaking News Removal Guide (Uninstall Instructions)

  • August 17, 2008

There is a SPAM e-mail going around masquerading as an email from MSNBC.com that has a nasty payload of malware if you happen to visit the sites linked to in the e-mail. This SPAM e-mail has a subject of msnbc.com - BREAKING NEWS and pretends to be a news alert from msnbc.com that contains a random news headline with a shocking story title. In the SPAM e-mail are links to the story in case you want to read more, but if you actually click on these links you will instead be brought to a hacked site pretending to be MSNBC.com rather than the legitimate MSNBC site. Once at the site you will be presented with a page imitating MSNBC.com, but there will be a prompt stating that your Adobe Flash it out of date and that you need to install a new version in order to see the content on the page. If you click on the download box, it will prompt you to download adobe_flash.exe on to your computer and install it. The adobe_flash.exe file is detectable by most anti-malware companies as the following names:

 

Vendor
Detected Name
Vendor
Detected Name
McAfee BackDoor-DNM Avast Win32:Trojan-gen {Other}
Microsoft TrojanDropper:Win32/Nuwar AVG I-Worm/Nuwar.W
Panda Trj/Exchanger.T
BitDefender Trojan.Peed.JQP
Sophos Mal/TibsPak DrWeb Trojan.DownLoad.3252
Symantec Trojan.Erotpics F-Prot W32/Downldr2.DBQX
TrendMicro TROJ_RENOS.AFT Kaspersky

Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Agent.ytu

 

If you decide to install adobe_flash.exe a Trojan with the filename of C:\WINDOWS\System32\CbEvtSvc.exe will be installed on your computer. This Trojan will then proceed to download and install further malware on your computer and make a variety of changes. After everything has finished downloading and being installed you will find the following changes on your computer:

  • A rogue anti-spyware program called Antivirus XP 2008 that scans your computer and pretends to find installed malware. It then requires you to purchase the program before it will remove any of the fake infections it has found.
  • Your desktop background will be changed to show a warning stating that you are infected and you will have lost the ability to change it back.
  • Random fake security alerts will be shown stating that you are infected.
  • You will not be able to change your screen saver, which has been changed to the SysInternals BlueScreen Screen Saver, which when running, emulates your operating system crashing into a blue screen of death. Some of the messages that will appear on this blue screen are:

    PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA
    PANIC_STACK_SWITCH
    MAXIMUM_WAIT_OBJECTS_EXCEEDED
    NO_MORE_IRP_STACK_LOCATIONS
    BAD_POOL_HEADER
    IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
    KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
    BOGUS_DRIVER
    SYSINTERNALS_GREAT_SITE
    UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP


    Though the screen saver will make it appear that your computer has crashed, and even make it look like your computer is rebooting, in reality it still is only a screen saver. Simply press the space bar and you will go right back to your desktop.

  • MSNBC.com Breaking News SPAM E-mail
  • Fake MSNBC.com page on a hacked site
  • Antivirus XP 2008 rogue anti-spyware program
  • Desktop background that has been changed to a security warning
  • Internet Explorer hijack

As you can see, the malware installed and the changes made are considerable, annoying, and can make your computer slower. The good thing is that they are easily fixed. This guide will walk you through removing the msnbc.com BREAKING NEWS malware pack.

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.

To remove MSNBC Breaking News, follow these steps:

1

This removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that will be used. It was only written this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove this infection for free. Before using this guide, we suggest that you read it once and download all necessary tools to your desktop. After doing so, please print this page as you may need to close your browser window or reboot your computer.

2

To terminate any programs that may interfere with the removal process we must first download the Rkill program. Rkill will search your computer for active malware infections and attempt to terminate them so that they wont interfere with the removal process. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

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Rkill

When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

3

Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with MSNBC Breaking News and other malware. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and a log file will open. Please review the log file and then close so you can continue with the next step. If you have problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.

Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

4

At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any infections, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

logo
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
5

Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

6

Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.5.1.2522. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

7

When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

8

MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

We now need to enable rootkit scanning to detect the largest amount of malware and unwanted programs that is possible with MalwareBytes. To do this, click on the Settings button on the left side of the screen and you will be brought to the general settings section.

Now click on the Protection tab at the top of the screen. You will now be shown the settings MalwareBytes will use when scanning your computer.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Detection and Protection Settings Page

At this screen, please enable the Scan for rootkits setting by clicking on the toggle switch so it turns green.

9

Now that you have enabled rootkit scanning, click on the Scan button to go to the scan screen.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scan Screen

Make sure Threat Scan is selected and then click on the Start Scan button. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

10

MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Scanning

11

When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the selected items. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

12

You can now exit the MBAM program.

13

Now you should download HitmanPro from the following location and save it to your desktop:

img
HitmanPro

When you visit the above page, please download the version that corresponds to the bit-type of the Windows version you are using.

14

Once downloaded, double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.

HitmanPro Start Screen

Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.

15

You will now be at the HitmanPro setup screen. If you would like to install the 30 day trial for HitmanPro, select the Yes, create a copy of HitmanPro so I can regularly scan this computer (recommended) option. Otherwise, if you just want to scan the computer this one time, please select the No, I only want to perform a one-time scan to check this computer option.

Kickstart Setup Options

Once you have selected one of the options, please click on the Next button.

16

HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for infections, adware, and potentially unwanted programs. When it has finished it will display a list of all the items that Hitman has found as shown in the image below. Please note that the items found may be different than what is shown in the image.

MalwareBytes Scan Results

You should now click on the Next button to have HitmanPro remove the detected items. When it is done you will be shown a Removal Results screen that shows the status of the various programs that were removed. At this screen you should click on the Next button and then if prompted you should click on the Reboot button. If HitmanPro does not prompt you to reboot, please just click on the Close button.

Once your computer has has restarted or you pressed the Close button, you should now be at your Windows desktop.

17

As many malware and unwanted programs are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

Your computer should now be free of the MSNBC Breaking News program. If your current security solution allowed this program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow the steps outlined in the topic linked below:

Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Tools and Requesting Help

Are Your Protected?

While Malwarebytes Anti-Malware & HitmanPro will scan and clean a computer for free, the free versions do not offer real-time protection. If you want to be fully protected at all times then it is recommended that you purchase a premium version.

img

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Purchase the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which includes real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and website filtering, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!


img

HitmanPro

Purchase the full-featured version of HitmanPro, which includes discover viruses, trojans, rootkits, spyware and other malware on up-to-date and fully protected computers using cloud protection and behavioral detections, to protect yourself against these types of threats in the future!

Disclaimer: While we do earn a commission from the sale of the above products, rest assured we only recommend them due to their effectiveness.

View Associated MSNBC Breaking News Files

Some of these entries are random: c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53 c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\database.dat c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\license.txt c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\MFC71.dll c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\MFC71ENU.DLL c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\msvcp71.dll c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\msvcr71.dll c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\rhc5cvj0er53.exe c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\rhc5cvj0er53.exe.local c:\Program Files\rhc5cvj0er53\Uninstall.exe c:\WINDOWS\system32\blphc1cvj0er53.scr c:\WINDOWS\system32\CbEvtSvc.exe c:\WINDOWS\system32\lphc1cvj0er53.exe c:\WINDOWS\system32\phc1cvj0er53.bmp c:\WINDOWS\system32\pphc1cvj0er53.exe c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop\Antivirus XP 2008.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008 c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008\Antivirus XP 2008.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008\How to Register Antivirus XP 2008.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008\License Agreement.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008\Register Antivirus XP 2008.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Antivirus XP 2008\Uninstall.lnk c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53 c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun\HKCU c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun\HKCU\RunOnce c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun\HKLM c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun\HKLM\RunOnce c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun\StartMenuAllUsers c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Autorun\StartMenuCurrentUser c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\BrowserObjects c:\Documents and Settings\LocalService\Application Data\rhc5cvj0er53\Quarantine\Packages

View Associated MSNBC Breaking News Registry Information

Some of these entries are random: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Sysinternals\Bluescreen Screen Saver HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\rhc5cvj0er53 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\rhc5cvj0er53 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\Root\LEGACY_CBEVTSVC HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\CbEvtSvc HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\LEGACY_CBEVTSVC HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\CbEvtSvc HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "NoDispBackgroundPage" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System "NoDispScrSavPage" HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "lphc1cvj0er53" HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run "SMrhc5cvj0er53"

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus,Trojan,Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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