What a Pain!

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by javlin, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    I started having problems a couple of days ago upon doing searches and being redirect to sites having anything to do with money,insurance(all kinds) and refinancing.Then it seemed to ebb some I was starting to go were I wanted then today after I posted here the sha-bang hit a wall.I tried finding the little POS program got the name and Macafee and Windows ID as a possible hacker program it was an AALL-F%#K dropped in a disc and started a reformat while disconnecting the internet cable.It is the first time in 6-7 years I have had to format this drive and all the favorites of research are lost.My son and I had dropped them on disc about two months ago but damn if I can find it now maybe it will show up.My neighbor has complained about the same exact issue this afternoon and Mac said "No Problem" like mine did.I also noticed a couple of new items in my control panel email and I forget the other but they both looked like MS issue but were not.I know now only that all updates have been installed and they are not There!

    Just throwing this out for others that may fall prey.Cheers
     
  2. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Hm. Sounds like you got a virus, possibly a trojan, that's hijacked your browser. Which one do you use? IE seems to be the most susceptible to interception, since it allows all kinds of "Browser Helper Objects".

    Also, download a program called "Autoruns", this program will scan your PC and list EVERY program/driver/dll/etc that runs when your computer boots up. It tells you the manufacturer, location, etc. It looks very complicated, but if you just ignore anything that says "Microsoft" (except when you come to the Browser Helper Object section...delete all of those), that narrows down your list quite a bit. You can un-check a program, which will leave it installed but will not automatically run when your computer boots, or you can delete the program right there. Most viruses are identifiable by either the manufacturer or the name (any file that consists of just random letters/numbers, like A34ojqt509, are most likely viral in nature; other viruses, like the SystemTool or Antivirus2011 hijacker, are easily identified...Google the name of the program that comes up, and if there's a link to Bleeping Computer - Computer Help and Discussion, they will give you all sorts of info about the virus, including any alternate names that may show up). Here's a link to Autoruns...as an IT guy who hates viruseseses, this is probably one of my most-used tools for removal (bleepingcomputer is the other): AutoRuns - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com
     
  3. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the links RA!!!:thumbright:
     
  4. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    #4 javlin, Jan 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
    So you are saying RA turn off items not associated with Microsoft?I did that only leaving Micro,Mac and Invidia running sound OK? Thks

    Hey RA saw on that BleepingComputer forum about Adobe,I had an event about 4-5days ago with an adobe install and stopped in the middle thinking it was a problem just did not look right.
     
  5. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Adobe is one of the major software vendors (Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash, etc), I'd trust their downloads. Usually their updates will come down in your systray (small group of icons at the bottom right corner of your screen, next to the clock), there will be a little reddish square and usually a popup bubble. Those, and Java updates, are safe. Both of them will start their update by downloading/installing an update program, these are legit and are just how both Sun (Java) and Adobe are doing things nowadays. Still, if you're not sure about something, the best bet is to close out of it and check it out. Better to have to go back and manually install something than to let it go and find out later that it was a bad idea!

    What you turn on and off is really up to you. When you start getting down the list into drivers and such, I'd keep those going. Made the mistake of unchecking something from Sony once on my wife's laptop, turns out it was the drivers for her DVD player. Oops! Luckily I only unchecked it, so was able to go back in and turn it back on. As far as software goes, the only third-party software I have running on mine at startup is my antivirus (Microsoft's Security Essentials...free, and good coverage so far! http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=e1605e70-9649-4a87-8532-33d813687a7f) and Weatherbug (WeatherBug - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com). I would delete any toolbars, like Google or Yahoo Toolbar, the more toolbars you have, the more susceptible your browser is to takeover. I've turned off all the Adobe stuff, since anything that I open that needs it will automatically start the program anyway (such as my printer software). After you do all that, try a test....reboot your PC. See how long it takes to boot up as compared to before!

    Another tip: clean up your temp files. Usually your browser will have a way to delete temporary internet files/history (always bookmark those sites you think you want to visit later, you can delete bookmarks later too), or you can browse for the temp files yourself. They're typically located at C:\Users\<username>\Cookies, C:..\<username>\Local Settings\Temp and ..\Local Settings\Temporary Internet. Delete everything in there, they're not needed and don't really help web pages load any faster unless you're on dialup...even then, there's no significant difference. If you're using WindowsXP, those are located in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\etc etc. There's one more, located in C:\Windows\Temp. This one is used by programs to drop temp files. If you try to delete one that's in use, Windows will pop up an error message. Just highlight all but the one that errored, and continue deleting. This will free up a ton of hard-drive space, increasing your virtual memory and letting programs run/load faster.

    The only time you should really have to reinstall your OS is in the event of a catastrophic hard disk failure. The myth that the only way to truly get rid of a virus is to wipe the drive (there are things called boot-sector viruses that a drive reformat will not touch...thankfully, that's hard to infect) is usually perpetuated by either those who don't know any better, or those who wrote the virus in the first place. If the douchebag who wrote the thing can't get it to hoark up your system, getting you to do it for him is the next best thing.

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    #6 RabidAlien, Jan 30, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
    Heh. Double post.

    ETA: As always, if you're farting around in the innards of your computer and start to feel uncomfortable or have doubts, just close out of whatever it is and get in touch with someone who does. Usually the 12 year old kid next door (the one writing viruses) will help. Operating systems are pretty forgiving nowadays, you can't delete anything that will cause your OS to become inoperable. You CAN, however, wreck other programs. In which case you kick yourself and learn how to reinstall it. :lol: Or kick yourself because that folder had 20 years worth of photos (or porn, in Lucky's case :evil4:) that you just deleted.
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Good advice RA, and if I can add that it's not a bad idea to periodically create a "restore point" for your system when it's cleaned up and running smooth...especially before making any changes, such as installing a new program or hardware.
     
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