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Antispyware Malware Problem

by KitKatKaity / May 15, 2010 5:07 PM PDT

I recently was infected with the Antispyware PC 2010 malware. I've done a system restore and hopefully am rid of it but I'm only cautiously hopeful as the malware seems incredibly resilient. I saw online that Malware Bytes is a good program to get rid of this stupid crap that attaches itself to your computer and refuses to let go. So, I searched Malware Bytes online and the results brought me to Cnet where I installed it (I think) but when I searched my computer to try and run the program and scan my computer I don't see it. Any ideas as to why that is?
Another problem I have is that when I was infected with this malware my Ipod was plugged in and now it's been having some weird problems on the internet and with it's Wi-Fi connections. I have a feeling it's been infected as well. How can I clean it up?

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System Restore
by Jimmy Greystone / May 16, 2010 12:16 AM PDT

System Restore is a pretty pitiful means of ridding yourself of malware, as you're finding out.

I don't really deal with getting rid of malware, since I prefer to focus my efforts on preventing the malware from getting on my system in the first place. So, I leave the cleanup discussion to others, but once that has been completed, pay attention to my list of things to do and not to do. It's not a guarantee, but it will go a very long ways to making sure you never have a malware problem again.

TIPS FOR A PROBLEM FREE COMPUTING EXPERIENCE
============================================

The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. They won't solve any existing problems you have, but if you follow them all you should be able to avoid virtually all problems in the future.

Things you should NOT do
--------------------------------
1: Use Internet Explorer (1)
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer (e.g. Maxathon and MSN Explorer)
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express (2)
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet (3)
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
-----------------------------
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser (4)
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running (5)
3: Always have a firewall running (6)
4: Install all the latest security updates (7)(8)(9)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address
9: Establish a regular backup regimen (10)(11)
10: Make regular checks of your backup media to ensure it is still good (12)

Being a considerate Internet user & other online tips
----------------------------------------------------------------
1: Do not send attachments in emails (13)(14)
2: Do not use stationary or any other kind of special formatting in emails (13)
3: Do not TYPE IN ALL CAPS (15)
4: Avoid texting speak or "l33t speak" (16)
5: Do not poke sleeping bears (17)
6: Do not use registry cleaners/fixers/optimizers (18)(19)

Offline tips and suggestions
----------------------------------------------------------------
1: Avoid buying Acer, HP. Compaq, Gateway, and eMachines computers (20)(21)(22)(23)
2: Avoid sub-$500 systems that aren't netbooks or part of some limited time price promotion (24)

Notes
--------

(1) Sadly sometimes this is unavoidable, so only use IE when the site absolutely will not work with any other browser and you cannot get that information/service anywhere else, and only use IE for that one specific site.
(2) Outlook and Outlook Express are very insecure, and basically invite spam. The jury is still out on Vista's Windows Mail, but given Microsoft's history with email programs, extreme caution is advised. Possible replacements include Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, The Bat, and dozens of others.
(3) When it doubt over whether or not to allow some program, use Google to find out what it is and whether or not it needs access to the Internet. Otherwise, denying access is the safest course of action, since you can always change the rule later.
(4) On Windows your options include: Mozilla Firefox, Seamonkey, Opera, Flock, Chrome, and Safari. I would personally recommend Firefox with the NoScript extension for added security, but it the important thing is to pick one and use it instead of IE.
(5) AVG Free and Avast are available if you need a decent free virus scanner
(6) XP/Vista's firewall is probably good enough for 99% of all Windows users, but other options include ZoneAlarm, Outpost Firewall, and Comodo. If you have a router with a firewall built into it, there is no need for any of the aforementioned firewalls to be running.
(7) Microsoft's usual system is to release security updates every second Tuesday of the month.
(8) Use of Windows Update on Windows operating systems prior to Windows Vista requires Internet Explorer, and is thus a valid exception to the "No IE" rule.
(9) Service packs should ALWAYS be installed. They frequently contain security updates that will ONLY be found in that service pack.
(10) You can go with a full fledged backup program, or simply copying important files onto a CD/DVD/Flash drive.
(11) I'd recommend a tiered backup system. For example, you might have 5 rewritable DVDs, and every day you burn your backup onto a new disc. On the 6th day, you erase the disc for Day #1 for your backup, and so on so that you have multiple backups should one disc ever go bad.
(12) Replace rewritable CDs and DVDs approximately every 3-6 months.
(13) These dramatically increase the size of email messages (2-3X minimum) and clog up email servers already straining to cope with the flood of spam pouring in daily.
(14) If you want to share photos with friends/family, upload them to some photo sharing site like Flickr or Google's Picasa Web and then send people a link to that particular photo gallery.
(15) This is considered to be the same as SHOUTING and many people find it to be hard to read along with highly annoying.
(16) Unless the goal is to make yourself look like a pre-adolescent girl, or someone overcompensating for their gross inadequacies, and you don't want people to take you seriously.
(17) Most REAL hackers are quite content to leave you alone unless you make them take notice of you. No dinky little software firewall or consumer grade router is going to keep them out of your system. So do not go to some hacker website or chat room and start shooting your mouth off unless you're prepared to accept the consequences
(18) Most of these programs are scams, and sell you something you don't need. Most of them report non-issues in an attempt to boost the number of "issues". Sometimes using these programs can lead to a non-functioning computer.
(19) The Windows registry is not some mystical black box of untapped performance tweaks for Windows, that will lead to untold improvements in system performance. Most of the tweaks will lead to very modest performance gains of 1-2% tops, and probably less than 10% all combined. There is also a good chance that you will render your system unbootable if you make a mistake when editing. Registry default settings are set that way for a reason. Just do yourself a favor, and forget you ever heard of the Windows registry unless you are a computer programmer/debugger and your job requires knowledge of the registry.
(20) Acer now owns Gateway and eMachines
(21) HP owns Compaq
(22) Hardware failures seem far more common with these brands than can be considered normal
(23) These companies use cheap labor in Asian countries were working conditions are often what would be considered sweat shops, and are run by brutal dictatorships, which you are supporting by buying from these companies
(24) If you just do some simple math, and realize that the cost of individual components like the CPU are around 25-33% of the total retail cost of the system, and everyone involved in the making and selling of the system is looking to make a profit, how much money can they possibly be making on each system. And if you're only making a few pennies on every system, how much quality control do you really think is going to go into the manufacturing process?

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I know all that
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 3:48 AM PDT
In reply to: System Restore

I have firewalls, I have anti-virus software. The problem is that different anti-virus softwares catch and protect against different malware so in order for it to be truly effective you almost need more than one and then these programs are competing against and trying to block each other. The other problem is that I unwittingly installed this program on my computer myself. Stupid me, I know. This malware masquarades as AVG (which I have) and pops up on your desktop to get you to install it, thinking it's AVG's newest version and you need to update. Then it waits and attaches itself to everything on your computer to try and ensure you can't system restore it off because your checkpoints won't go far back enough. Then it completely hijacks your computer.

By the way, you forgot to mention Dell which sucks and is based in India.

I actually own a Toshiba and did pay less than 500 for it new. I've had it for around 3 yrs. and have never had problems before. Stupid hacks and virus creators have no souls and continue to invent new programs to debiliate innocent's computers.

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No they're not
by Jimmy Greystone / May 16, 2010 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: I know all that

No they're not. Dell is headquartered in Rockridge, Texas, but a lot of their general tech support is in India. Just like HP is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. But HP has years of ineptitude at almost everything, and the Fiorina years only made a bad situation worse. We can only hope she never realizes her current political aspirations, because that would make her failure at HP look like a drop in the bucket.

Dell actually provides what I'd consider to be the best mix of quality and price. There is better quality products out there, and there are cheaper ones too, but Dell makes for a good balance of those two competing interests.

And besides, we the consumers are the ones to blame for the support going to India and other places. We are the ones who gave birth to Walmart, and allowed price to become the biggest determining factor in what we buy. Companies have only responded to what we demanded by cutting out some of the luxuries. Systems used to come with nicely printed manuals, and separate restore media for everything. These days, all you tend to get is a bunch of stuff loaded on a second partition on the main hard drive. Why? Because our thirst for a lower total price squeezed out the profit margin that helped pay for that.

Next time you have a problem understanding someone with a thick Indian accent, remember the part you played in making it happen. Then consider paying a premium for products that are manufactured in the US, have US based support, etc.

Moving into the technical side of things. You clearly don't know everything I said, or you wouldn't be making comments like you did. It's not enough to have a firewall and AV software. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The ultimate responsibility is on YOU. Which at least you're on your way to figuring out.

And these days, malware is generally written with a commercial purpose in mind. The idea is to make money off of people one way or the other. Either they get paid for forcing people to view popup ads, they try and sell some bogus software, some will encrypt all your data and then extort money for the key to unlock it, others will look to steal info for identity theft, sometimes your computer becomes part of a botnet used in an extortion racket, and others will sell access to your system as part of a distributed computing number crunching program. But the focus is primarily on making money. The days of some social malcontent living in their parent's basement and writing a virus for the sheer thrill of watching the destruction it causes, is generally over. There's very few people with that kind of skill left. Everyone's been babied for so long by "easy to use" software that no one tends to bother to learn those skills unless they hope to market them somehow.

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You're Not Helping
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 4:36 AM PDT
In reply to: No they're not

Look, if all you're going to do is try to prove your superiority you can stop posting on my thread. I know all of what you are saying. And to blame me personally for Dell basing their support in India is ludicrious as it is to blame Walmart. We wouldn't have to shop at Walmart if other companies would stop trying to scam us out of our hard earned money. I have a job, I work, I go to school trying to further educate and better myself. I'm not rich. I can't afford to just go out and buy the best available and frankly if not for Walmart I would likely starve. The problem is greed. All of these companies have gotten greedy. It's not the consumer's fault for looking for the best bang for their buck. It's the manufacturers and companies' faults for trying to scalp the working class. They've moved all their manufacturing to third world countries, not to lower the price of their products, but to be able to make more profit. Don't for one second think that any company is gracious enough to want to save the consumer money and charge lower prices by outsourcing jobs. They don't. They want to keep prices the same or raise them so that they can get more profit on their products.

Back to the point of this forum and my thread in particular. I know how to be safe. I know how to protect my computer, I know all of what you said. However, I'm not perfect. I made a mistake and believed this program's claim that it was AVG. I'm paying for that now. I'll probably lose everything and have to buy a new laptop. Another thing I can't afford but need for schoolwork and my job.

Oh, and by the way my family owns a Dell and it sucks. Nothing but problems all the time. Also, when I was in highschool we had Dells and they always had problems with them. They're awful.

Back to the point of this forum and my thread. I have the virus. I don't need nor want defense strategies. I need an offense. I can't download anything on my computer anymore (including Malware Bytes) which is the only thing I know of that can defeat this virus. And when I go to Task Manager to stop the virus' process, my computer restarts to prevent me from stopping the virus from running and the virus is preventing me from downloading anything to kill it. I swear I feel like it's Terminator and the thing is self-aware.

Please, anyone I need help to try and save my computer. How do I kill this thing?!

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Had you told us from the beginning
by Brechan / May 16, 2010 9:48 AM PDT
In reply to: You're Not Helping

Had you told us from the beginning that you knew you had (at least in recent past) had 'anti-virus vista 2010' http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6142_102-0.html?messageID=3305493&tag=forums06;forum-threads#3305493 (post 4 of 4) replies could quite possibly be different than the ones you received from the volunteers on these forums, perhaps people forget the red lettering that is on the top of all post/ reply boxes
"Note: If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forum..."

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Don't Know What You're Talking About
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 10:22 AM PDT

I'm sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. Yes, I have Vista. No, I have never had this problem before...I've never had malware or virus problems before. I'm sorry I forgot to include that my operating system is Vista. It is.

Here's an update. I just ran Hijacks and maybe I got it off. Maybe I didn't. I'm pretty sure I did though as I am now once again able to download files from the internet. We'll see what happens in the future.

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quote from the other post
by Brechan / May 16, 2010 10:38 AM PDT

Perhaps this will refresh your memory "I have that Anti-Spyware virus. I can't seem to get rid of it..."

Now I'm done.

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No
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 10:45 AM PDT

Honestly, I don't understand the attack (from you, not the malware). I have NEVER had this before. When I say I keep trying to get rid of it, I'm saying that all day I've been working on eliminating it from my system. This is the absolute first problem I have EVER had with malware. My computer is very important to me so I have spent hours since it happened (should I repeat for the FIRST time?) to clean it up. Jeez,I hope you are done. I honestly appreciate all the help you've offered. What I don't appreciate is the turnaround.

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Why folk may have been confused.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 16, 2010 11:49 AM PDT
In reply to: No
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Yeah
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 11:58 AM PDT

Yeah, after a link was posted to the other thread I cross posted. I figured why just take someone's advice through another person when I can go directly to them. My computer seems to be working fine now. Hopefully, it stays that way. Thanks for the support!

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I can help you with problem #1
by Brechan / May 16, 2010 12:33 AM PDT
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Thanks for your help!
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 4:40 AM PDT

Thanks! I have Vista, hopefully this works. I'm about to try it. I'll give an update.

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Didn't Work
by KitKatKaity / May 16, 2010 7:30 AM PDT

Went through all of it. Downloaded Malware Bytes. Ran the program. Deleted the problem files. Still have the problem and I suspect I still have the virus. I think it's masquarading as AVG. I can't uninstall AVG though. It claims it was installed incorrectly and that I can't uninstall it. Can't delete it from Program Files either because I need Adminstrator approval. Which has never made sense to me. I own this computer, I bought it, I am the administrator. How can there be anything on this computer that I don't have the authority to modify, alter, install, uninstall, or delete? It's mine! I'm getting really frustrated. I've been dealing with this for days. Any other advice?

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Can't hurt to try these programs
by Brechan / May 16, 2010 7:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Didn't Work
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http://malwarebytes.org/
by dantonio42 / May 17, 2010 5:29 AM PDT

better than avg is malwarebytes
http://malwarebytes.org/
simple to use and works great. Would bet 100$ that it fixes your computer

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Malware Bytes
by KitKatKaity / May 17, 2010 8:19 AM PDT

Malware Bytes did clean up my system but it did not get rid of that particular virus. In the end Hijack This is what finally rid my sytem of it.

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Glad to hear
by Brechan / May 17, 2010 9:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Malware Bytes

that your computer is finally cleaned up...good thing total reinstall of O/S wasn't necessary Happy

B.

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Virus prevents downloading "virus killer"
by camlachie / May 18, 2010 3:47 PM PDT

Somewhere in this thread there is a post detailing the problems downloading MalwareBytes so that it can be run. The answer is quite simple. Get a friend to download it to a USB drive on his/her computer and then run it on yours. Most viruses which prevent downloads are not smart enough to prevent installation of the already-downloaded MalwareBytes.

Good Luck!

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malware problems
by rajasekhar_gvr / May 18, 2010 4:14 PM PDT

check out in control panel or c:\doc and settings\program files

For the second problem, i think, you can scan the Ipod too while it is connected to your PC.

whatever the antivirus program you are using, try to scan with that. it should work.

Otherwise, the best antimalware program i am aware is AD AWARE. It is a free ware and you can use this...

regards
Raj

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