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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 20th 2011, 10:34 AM

This is a long post and written in chronological order to show the "story" that happened. Perhaps it can amuse you, may not, I don't know. The questions I'd like answered are at the bottom so if you want you can skip the story and go to the good stuff.

Let me start out by saying I'm mediocrly good with computers. If I get a problem it's minor and I fix it, same goes for fixing my parents' computers.

Last Friday however I was browsing on Google and my computer freaked out after I clicked on a google image of a diagram for what I wanted. It began saying it was infected and such but I thought it was either an ad or some annoying adware. I minimized my Internet window and my background vanished to all zeros and ones, and it said text that my computer is infected with spyware, all your files are vulnerable, etc... .

I had trojans and bloodhound viruses in the past so I figured I could deal with this one also. Usually my fire-wall is up around medium-high and I had symantec anti-virus installed already. It began freaking out and identified a file in system32 so I went poking in there and deleted it. I don't like messing in system32 because I don't know anywhere near enough of computers to understand the stuff in there.

I got this window popping up of system tools and it identified all the bugs, trojans, etc... in there. It said to click on a button to get rid of the virus so I did but it then said it needs payment immediately, which I found odd. It kept hounding me for my credit card information and I don't tend to intentionally download things that want that information. I also couldn't minimize the window as there wasn't any button for that.

I tried getting Symantec to delete something it found but it said it couldn't because either: 1) the file doesn't exist, 2) Symantec is off, 3) file is in e-mail and 4) I don't have authority to delete it (despite the fact I'm the administrator on my laptop).

I talked to a guy at Staples, brought it in and the result was I fucked it up badly, I needed all my files I wanted to keep saved on an external hard-drive then get the laptop wiped. It was delivered on Friday and meant to finish on Sunday/Monday but finished on Tuesday.

I brought it home and started finishing one of my research papers then went to dinner. I came back and the screen was off, which was expected but all the lights were off. I kept pressing the on button but the power light flashed for half a second the turned off. I took out the battery and felt the laptop was burning hot. I've used it before for days on end with large files and it never was this hot, I was worried it would start smoking but it didn't.

I waited then got it to turn on and it said it shut down due to an unexpected increase in temperature, so any recently loaded files (everything was recently loaded) may be gone. Sure enough some were but nothing major.

So, can a virus screw up your laptop so badly it starts over-heating so fast despite getting a new hard-drive? I tried it later and so did my father, and not even 20 mins in, it was burning hot. My speculation is something is wrong with the fan, probably something stuck. The desk is clean and before I left Staples I inspected the outside, keyboard and monitor to ensure it was not changed significantly, otherwise I may chat with the same IT guys. I got the laptop back from one of the techs who repaired it (erased hard-drive and re-loaded files), the office was cleaner than Mr. Clean's head. Even when I put my hand on the desk, no dust, no nothing, just desk.

It's a Dell Inspiron 1420/1520, dual-core, windows vista about 3-4 years old. If I send it back to Dell, if it's not under warranty is it going to cost a lot? I already paid around $330 to get the hard-drive wiped and data kept. If it's going to be another few hundred, I'm wondering if it's soon going to kick the bucket and I might as well buy a new laptop.

Is there any chance the virus could have screwed around and done this? Or would it be a physical problem? For either, how much would it usually cost to repair it? I have scalpals and other fine instruments for dissecting animals but I don't want to start poking through the fan just to hit something and fry myself or really screw the laptop over.

Lastly, I'm curious, what was the virus? The IT guy didn't tell me, all he said is somehow it snuck through Symantec, pretended to be an anti-virus software spewing file names that don't exist on the computer, killed Symanetec and could start gnawing on the registry. The IT guy said it was a virus that's gone around a lot and been modified to keep being successful.

Also, what are better anti-virus programs? So far I dumped Symanetec and got the latest version of Norton (something with the Internet and I think anti-virus), firewalls up, use Firefox (supposedly more secure than internet) and want to know what else I can add to ensure I don't get screwed over again. Currently I'm not on my laptop because it gets so hot I can fry eggs and bacon on it.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)

Last edited by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart!; March 20th 2011 at 10:39 AM.
   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 20th 2011, 06:16 PM


STUPID TeenHelp's server acting up right when I hit Submit post. Now I just lost everything that I have typed! I feel like I want to hit the webmaster here (though hopefully he won't be reading this )! But still . . .


Anyhow . . . time to get out of angered 13-year-old mode and start to retype



You are a greedy person, aren't you? Asking so many questions in a single post, and you actually asked another TWO questions after saying, "Lastly," . (Sorry, somehow that made me laugh; I have a weird sense of humor, I know )

Let's see . . .


What was the virus?
It's a type of rogue malware (nicknamed: Scareware). You can read more about them here on Wikipedia or Microsoft's Security Center.

Not only has it gone around and improved lot, it has many variations as well. Why? Because it's a powerful malware (capable of locking down almost your entire system) and it can make money (the fake antivirus message that you clicked on that asked for money).


How much has it evolved? Around the internet, there are rumors that as of the end of February 2011, even Macs have been infected as well. TechWorld recently wrote an article about it here: [read this article on TechWorld News]

That article was recently published on March 18, 2011, featuring a recent mass-infection of fake antivirus programs, made possible using Blackhole Exploit kits (a new crimeware that came out in the last half of 2010, I forgot the exact month though).



Off topic, but I find it interesting is that despite the price (it costs $1000 USD to get this toolkit on the black market), the Blackhole exploit kits still manage to gain a lot of popularity; it is among the most common as of now. You see, cheaper alternatives exist on the black market. For example, Phoenix Exploit kits (has been around since 2007, and recently reached version 2.5; so it's quite a solid crimeware) will help automatically install a malware of your choice on your visitor's computer, too.

If a website automatically install malware onto its visitors' computer, how the hell did it appears in the first page of Google search in the first place?
The first task is to poison Google results by SEO (search engine optimization) techniques; this method has been nicknamed "Black-hat SEO technique" by the general hacking/cracking community.

This is easier than you think. Go ahead and take a look at the search terms from Google trends. Viola! The criminal can simply fetch the hot searches from Google trend and create a bunch of similar searches, too, based on that data. Then, all they need to do would be to generate pages with real contents--or look-like-real contents--and make it attractive to Google bots. This doesn't require much effort either because the look-like-real contents can simply be plagiarized from legitimate sources, or even something as simple as putting links to legitimate sources in headers tags. So soon enough, their pages would appear on the first page of the search result..

Now, here's the fun part: Each page will have two versions--one for Google bots and one for visitors. This can be done by agent-string recognition. Needless to say, the exploits would only be executed on the version for visitor. This way, they can keep infecting visitors yet not get blacklisted by Google. Awesome!

Sounds like a lot of work? No, no, no. If you look "underground," then you would find many exploit toolkits that would automatically do many of these tasks for you.

What did you do wrong?
Getting infected by malware is totally understandable and it's not your fault, seeing how the cracking techniques has evolved over the decades.

Fun fact: 2011 is exactly 40 years from the first time a computer virus was recognized. Yep, computer viruses are officially 40 years old; happy 40th anniversary!!!

Anyway, going back to topic. What you did wrong was that you waited too long to take action. Besides what jumps out in front (a fake antivirus notice that's trying to steal your money), we have no idea what it's doing in the background. It could be opening backdoors to make your system even more vulnerable and installing additional malwares in the background. We don't know unless we check the source code, which we don't have; not to mention that part of it probably encrypted anyway.

Even if you didn't know how to fix it, the least you could have done when you realized that your system was infected was to disconnect your system from the internet, and you didn't even do that. So that's a little unpleasant surprise that I have when I read your post.

What should you do next time?
1. Reboot into safe mode (Google it if you don't know how; it's good to know).

2. Get the lastest version of SUPERAntispyware Portable (it's 100% free, by the way). SInce it is "portable," you can get on another computer and download the latest version onto your USB flash drive, copy it to your computer's desktop, then run it.

3. Run a full scan with SUPERAntispyware portable and have it fix everything it finds.

4. Reboot normally now and see if the fake warnings still exists.

5. Gone? Good, now re-connect to the internet and install Malwarebytes.

6. Update it and check for what SUPERAntispyware Portable might have missed.

7. If you can read Hijackthis log, then download and install it and scan your computer with it and check the log to see if anything still need to be fixed. Alternatively, just ask someone to check it for you.

8. Finally, backup all of your documents and use a system restore. (Just to be sure.)



NOTE: If you have waited forever to take action, then I would recommend to just format the hard drive and reinstall everything. Who knows what teh malware have done to your system by then, probably give it 12 backdoors?


NOTE (yes, another note): Occasionally you might run into malwares that would work even in safe mode. This is rare and I haven't run into this kind trouble yet. But if that's teh case, you probably would be using a 32-bit version of Windows, which means that Combofix would be of some use in this situation.


What might be causing the overheating in your laptop?
If you have already taken your laptop to a tech guy for $330 USD so I would assume that he did a very, very, very thorough job as far as fixing your computer goes. (I mean, honestly, $330 for a 30 to 45 minutes piece of work is a damn good pay!) Your computer should be almost as good as new if you have paid THAT much. I would recommend you to take it back to him and demand him to take another look.


What are better antivirus programs?
I started a thread about malware barriers here (though it doesn't seem like anyone cares). So maybe you can look through some combinations and apply them for yourself, though 100% safety is almost impossible.

Currently I am using Microsoft Security Essential, a free antivirus program from Microsoft itself, developed for Windows users. It is not special in anyway, but it is a good-enough choice for most users. It also has been recommended by reputable tech blogs such as Lifehacker, and performs decently well on independent antivirus tests by AV-Comparative.

SUPERAntispyware is my backup, in case cases like these happen (when our main antivirus fails to protect us). I also dual-booting with Ubuntu, which allows me to fix pretty much anything in Windows WITHOUT needing to boot into Windows.



Speaking of AV-Comparative, it's a very good website where they post the result of each antivirus programs that they have tested. Since you are looking for "better" antivirus programs, I definitely recommend you to have a look at AV-Comparative's results and make teh decision for yourself.



Extra info: In my experience, I have seen McAfee, AVG, Avast, and Webroot failed to stop these fake antivirus threats. Granted, of course, that I don't remove malwares for a living; I only do them when a friend or family member call or when my desktop is infected. (My laptop is 100% clean and I treat it better than I treat myself, actually; see here for details.) But this should be fairly convincing that it's not exactly Symantec's fault that you have gotten infected.

Anyhow, the point is that Symantec is a good antivirus system. It's just that most antivirus programs does not focus much of exploits. Besides, regardless of what your antivirus program is, you won't get much higher than 75% of protection.


Take care,
VoidZN


   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 20th 2011, 07:03 PM

Haha, yeah I did say "lastly" twice and yeah I am a greedy SOB.

I thought at first maybe the good ol' restarting the computer would work so I did that twice because everything was normal on start-up then a minute or so in, it went crazy. Disconnecting the internet seemed a bit useless because I thought it's going to chew in the system, I didn't realize until later it could send information out.

Anyway, I asked the multiple tech guys both on the phone and in-person about what happened and how to protect myself better, neither gave a reply anywhere near as close to yours. One of them said "Symantec is good but it's not that great, I recommend Norton Anti-Virus because it probably would have caught the virus and you wouldn't be experiencing these difficulties with your computer". I was annoyed not at him but I have quite a lot of research on my laptop and an up-coming set of papers due, I told him this and my dad bought a new Norton for himself, mother and myself, so the tech guy just installed Norton freely on mine.

I was going to download some programs online for the same things you were mentioning but the tech guys said I may want to avoid doing so as it can conflict with Norton. Since you seem much more helpful (and less expensive), could any of the programs you mentioned conflict with Norton? I don't want to start installing stuff and have Norton go bat-shit crazy on me. Also, can any of the programs you mentioned conflict with each other? I don't want to use something I've never used before just to find out it's going mad and I start running around on my keyboard trying to figure out what I did.

If I have a USB or external drive plugged into my laptop and I get a virus, malware, bug, trojan or whatever else, could the USB or external drive also get infected? I thought, or rather hope, they have some equivalent of a firewall and/or anti-virus scanner program, although I don't know if that's the case.

I also looked at your "what is your current malware" thread but I have this tendency to tilt my head and give a weird look whenever I start reading computer babble I don't understand. It's like when my friend in computer science/programming shows me his java script coding and I just say "so... uh, what's that line there for?" and he goes on a 10-minute explanation then says "you didn't catch any of that, did you?" and as usual I say "stuff about computers then the rest faded away".

In high-school we had a course that involved computer programming from a teacher who knew a bit. I was one of the few who would've failed had she not spent an extra few hours with me fiddling around and saying the code I wrote adds up to a whole lot of nothing.

Lastly, and only one, this isn't so much about my computer as it is about curiosity. What's Python coding and how is it different from other basic computer languages? Also, is Redhat an efficient thing to use? I've used it a few times. And, back to the virus, it said before the "ccApp.exe" (not sure if there were 1 or 2 c's) is infected. What is c(c)App.exe?


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)

Last edited by OMFG!You'reActuallySmart!; March 20th 2011 at 07:11 PM.
   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 20th 2011, 08:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
Anyway, I asked the multiple tech guys both on the phone and in-person about what happened and how to protect myself better, neither gave a reply anywhere near as close to yours. One of them said "Symantec is good but it's not that great, I recommend Norton Anti-Virus because it probably would have caught the virus and you wouldn't be experiencing these difficulties with your computer". I was annoyed not at him but I have quite a lot of research on my laptop and an up-coming set of papers due, I told him this and my dad bought a new Norton for himself, mother and myself, so the tech guy just installed Norton freely on mine.
Are you sure that there was no misunderstanding between you two?

Norton is part of Symantec. If he really said that, then it's like he's saying the forum of TeenHelp is better than TeenHelp.org. Check out Symantec.com and see. Unless, of course, rather than the antivirus, you two were talking about Symantec Internet Security, which is mainly aimed at businesses, not home users.

Symantec is the name of the vendor; Norton is the name of the product. Kind of like Microsoft is the name of the vendor; MS Security Essential is the name of product. (I have a habit of calling it by its full name, Microsoft Security Essential, rather than shorten it because many people still don't know that Microsoft has its own antivirus program.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
I was going to download some programs online for the same things you were mentioning but the tech guys said I may want to avoid doing so as it can conflict with Norton. Since you seem much more helpful (and less expensive), could any of the programs you mentioned conflict with Norton? I don't want to start installing stuff and have Norton go bat-shit crazy on me. Also, can any of the programs you mentioned conflict with each other? I don't want to use something I've never used before just to find out it's going mad and I start running around on my keyboard trying to figure out what I did.
You mean the antiviral programs? If you run multiple instances of them at the same time, then yes, conflicts might happen. But there's no harm in having on your computer but not run them at the same time. Besides, most antiviral programs these days also include antispyware; thus, they are more of "antimalware" programs rather than just antivirus.

Anyhow, kind of like going double-handed with your girlfriends, you know. If you try to run both of them at once, you would probably meet two problems: (1) Not enough stamina/resource, and (2) they might conflict with each other and murder you on the spot. On the other hand, if you go one by one, then heaven awaits. Ya know!


If you don't want that, then it's fine, too. Keep a portable version of SUPERAntispyware on the USB flash drive in case surprise cases happens. Update it once or week or once month to keep up with the time.

When scan, if you can update it right before the scan, then awesome! But if you cannot, then it's fine to scan first with the outdated version; then after things stabilized a little, connect to the internet to update it and scan again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
If I have a USB or external drive plugged into my laptop and I get a virus, malware, bug, trojan or whatever else, could the USB or external drive also get infected? I thought, or rather hope, they have some equivalent of a firewall and/or anti-virus scanner program, although I don't know if that's the case.
Yes, it's possible. But most antivirus can optionally scan external media devices for you, too, if you wish. Try right click on the device and see if the option "Scan with *YourAntivirusHere*" is there. Or you can check scan-location settings in your antivirus programs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
Lastly, and only one, this isn't so much about my computer as it is about curiosity. What's Python coding and how is it different from other basic computer languages? Also, is Redhat an efficient thing to use? I've used it a few times. And, back to the virus, it said before the "ccApp.exe" (not sure if there were 1 or 2 c's) is infected. What is c(c)App.exe?
About Python, no idea, I don't know Python. It feels like you are testing me because seeing that it is you who ask, surely you have already Google searched it, .

No idea on Redhat, too; I have never used it before. If you mean Linux distros, all I have used are Ubuntu and Fedora, but I stick with Ubuntu simply because it is the most popular as of now. Plus, Redhat distro isn't free. I am not about to pay for something that has a good free alternative,

ccApp.exe stands for Common Client Application; it's part of Symantec/Norton's auto-protection feature. Since you have Symantec/Norton, having ccApp.exe should be normal. I believe that was just part of the fake warning by whatever rogue malware you got infected with.



Last edited by Digilodger; March 20th 2011 at 08:31 PM.
   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 22nd 2011, 05:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post

Are you sure that there was no misunderstanding between you two?

Norton is part of Symantec. If he really said that, then it's like he's saying the forum of TeenHelp is better than TeenHelp.org. Check out Symantec.com and see. Unless, of course, rather than the antivirus, you two were talking about Symantec Internet Security, which is mainly aimed at businesses, not home users.

Symantec is the name of the vendor; Norton is the name of the product. Kind of like Microsoft is the name of the vendor; MS Security Essential is the name of product. (I have a habit of calling it by its full name, Microsoft Security Essential, rather than shorten it because many people still don't know that Microsoft has its own antivirus program.)
Hmm, well I'm not sure now. We were talking of internet security then briefly of anti-virus programs and that's when he said that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post
You mean the antiviral programs? If you run multiple instances of them at the same time, then yes, conflicts might happen. But there's no harm in having on your computer but not run them at the same time. Besides, most antiviral programs these days also include antispyware; thus, they are more of "antimalware" programs rather than just antivirus.
For that I asked more because I was a bit confused and he did say if they're on the computer at the same time, conflicts can occur. He then said the same if you run them together. I thought if they'd conflict when they run together, then they'd conflict when they're on the computer together but not run at the same time. I thought it was like having 2 people who hate each other. When 1 speaks but the other doesn't, they'll still hate each other (and make that known).

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post
Anyhow, kind of like going double-handed with your girlfriends, you know. If you try to run both of them at once, you would probably meet two problems: (1) Not enough stamina/resource, and (2) they might conflict with each other and murder you on the spot. On the other hand, if you go one by one, then heaven awaits. Ya know!
LOL, not sure if it's sad or not, I've been in both situations before, as well as a third situation (they're together and no problems).

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post
About Python, no idea, I don't know Python. It feels like you are testing me because seeing that it is you who ask, surely you have already Google searched it, .
Nah, haven't searched it yet. You seem to be able to make computer stuff I find impossible to understand, easier to understand. Online sites tend to do the opposite, or a part is easy to understand but it's obvious and I know it already, the rest is some gobbly-gook. I have a friend in computer programming but he basically makes it easy when he tells me how to click the mouse, anything else hardly seems to be English. Another friend is attempting but not as good as computer programming so when we're all together and the two of them argue, to me it's like a UFC match and eventually the first friend is pummelling the other. when they ask me I go "yeah, beta java line340, something like that".

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post
No idea on Redhat, too; I have never used it before. If you mean Linux distros, all I have used are Ubuntu and Fedora, but I stick with Ubuntu simply because it is the most popular as of now. Plus, Redhat distro isn't free. I am not about to pay for something that has a good free alternative,
Well now you've confused me, what are Ubunto and Fedora (other than the kick-ass hat)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post
ccApp.exe stands for Common Client Application; it's part of Symantec/Norton's auto-protection feature. Since you have Symantec/Norton, having ccApp.exe should be normal. I believe that was just part of the fake warning by whatever rogue malware you got infected with.
Ah ok, that's less worrying. I thought it was some important part of system32 and when it's infected, Windows is fucked. I guess Windows is fucked either way though because Norton just kicked the bucket.


I can rip you off, and steal all your cash, suckerpunch you in the face, stand back and laugh. Leave you stranded as fast as a heart-attack.
- Danko Jones (I Think Bad Thoughts)
   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 22nd 2011, 04:39 PM

Oh man... if you'd told me about it the moment you got that virus, I could have sent you the Malwarebytes guide to remove it.. I had it a while back, plus I just fixed my friend's laptop with it it yesterday..
   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 22nd 2011, 08:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
Hmm, well I'm not sure now. We were talking of internet security then briefly of anti-virus programs and that's when he said that.
I don't get it either. As said in my previous post, Norton is a product of Symantec corporation. Why he said, "Symantec is good but it's not that great, I recommend Norton Anti-Virus because it probably would have caught the virus and you wouldn't be experiencing these difficulties with your computer," is beyond me.

Maybe you can catch him on the phone again and ask what he meant. I have zero mind-reading capability, unfortunately, unlike some people on here (example: click here)



Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
For that I asked more because I was a bit confused and he did say if they're on the computer at the same time, conflicts can occur. He then said the same if you run them together. I thought if they'd conflict when they run together, then they'd conflict when they're on the computer together but not run at the same time. I thought it was like having 2 people who hate each other. When 1 speaks but the other doesn't, they'll still hate each other (and make that known).
If you run any combination of Symantec's Norton, McAfee, Microsoft Security Essential, Avast, Avira, AVG, etc. at once, then one of the logical consequences would be a bunch of warnings for "*Insert-Name-Here* caused invalid page fault in module *Insert-Weird-Name-Here*.DLL at *Insert-Weird-Strings-of-Addresses-Here*." Many other errors may potentially arise, too, but I have never researched this so I have no idea what all the potential problems are.

Of course, if you're lucky enough, then even bullets won't hit you. So, if you lucky enough, feel free to use as many antimalware programs at once as you want. Are you lucky enough?



Whether multiple antimalware programs can be useful or not is depending on your choices.
For example, if you already have MS Security Essential on your computer, then it's pretty much meaningless to install AVG. They may not interfere with each other if you only run ONE of them, but (1) many people don't know how to turn their antivirus program off and prevent it from "startup with Windows," and (2) it's a waste of disk space, even if you don't run them together.


However, MS Security Essential with Malwarebytes and SUPERAntispyware is a different story.

Antivirus programs today include antispyware, antiwhatever, too. Hence, I like to call them "antimalware" programs. A wider range means a wider payloads and exploits to cover. (I'll explain this later.) According to independent virus testing like AV-Comparatives, it is safe to assume that most antivirus programs today only provide around 70% of protection or less.

The other 30% has to be cover by something else. Thus, we recommend to install multiple programs. Because of the "crooked" terminology usage that we have today, it's hard to specify correctly what you should install. (E.g. They call themselves "antivirus" but they also cover spyware, trojan, rootkits, etc.)


Malwarebytes functions differently from your antivirus programs. It does NOT try to include everything; it only focuses on what normal antivirus programs missed.

Let's take a look at what the developer of Malwarebytes has to say,
Code:
Going after malware by family is not the way we do things as most current malware blends two or more types in almost all cases .

The majority of the research that goes into MBAM is based on what the Antivirus vendors are failing on most frequently . This allows us to keep a smaller database and prevents conflicts with antivirus software .

The only thing MBAM does not do is to unpatch system files as this is the job of your dedicated antivirus software .

MBAM is designed to work along side your existing antivirus software , not conflict or compete with it .
You can find the original quote here, (ignore the first post of the user; it gives false information).


SUPERAntispyware focuses solely on "spyware" (again, the way we use these terms has become crooked over the years). It completely ignore things like viruses, worms, etc. So in the "spyware" area, it is better than your average antivirus softwares.


As you have read, the way they function is different, especially how Malwarebytes does its scan. In this example, MS Security essential is the generalist (covering everything), Malwarebytes adds variety to the combination (covering where MS Security misses), and SUPERAntispyware is the expert is one area.

Thus, the reason why we want more than just a single antimalware program on our system


Why do antivirus programs seem to fail a lot?
One vulnerability ---> 100 potential exploits ---> 10000 potential payloads

That's just a basic, by the way. Some vulnerabilities allows less potential exploits than others, and vise versa.

Software developers (like the developers of our web browser, operating system, flash, PDF reader, etc.) frequently fix any vulnerability in their software. Hence, this is the reason why it's important to keep our softwares up-to-date. Preventing one vulnerability means preventing hundreds of potential exploits and thousands of potential payloads.

Antivirus programs today chase after payloads. Of course, as you can see, it's impossible to "catch them all." Like pokemons (worse than pokemon, actually), new payloads keep coming out non-stop. "Gotta catch them all" just doesn't work. Hence, our antivirus program generally only provide us about 70% protection.


Exploits? Well, since it is in between, it is take care of by both. Anyhow, the best way to prevent exploits is to prevent serious vulnerability. If you've got a hot body and don't want to be exploited by a pervert, then don't be vulnerable because that would make you look like an easy target.


If your system has already been infected, then the needs for multiple tools arise:
Malwarebytes and SUPERAntispyware can work miracles when used together, capable of removing commonly missed malwares like the rogue that you just got or TDSS variants (a lot of so-called "Google Redirect Virus" uses some variant of this rookit, like TDL3, the third generation of TDSS rootkits). Rkill can be a great supporter for the two, too. Of course, your antivirus program helps, too; there are threats that both Malwarebytes and SUPERAntispyware will miss, but a traditional antivirus program would catch.

Maybe a staff on here should post a thread on how to use Malwarebytes and SUPERAntispyware to their full potential . Hmm . . . now there's a novel idea, .


Specifically for dealing with rookits, TDSSkiller and MBR.exe are great, but they are threat-specific and can be a little overpowered. I don't dare advising anyone on here to use it without first identifying the problem (some are obvious, while others are not; seeing a log from their system [like DDS, OTL or RSIT] helps a lot in not-so-obvious cases of infections). Hijackthis logs is good to provide the basic info of a system and is adequate to identify what the problem is, but it fails to go deep into a system so it's not as detail as the one previously mentioned (still, reading a Hijackthis log is a lot easier and faster than the other ones, and it's definitely better than near-zero info).



Unrelated, but ironically, not a single person on here has post a log of their system when asking a malware-related question. Yours happen to be one of the most informative; some don't even say anything more than, "Hey, I'm living somewhere on Earth; find me if you can!"

And even AFTER they have fixed the problem, they don't even care enough to post the log back so we can review it. (Many antimalware programs generate a log after they have done something; Malwarebytes does, TDSSkiller does, etc.) Instead, they respond with a "thanks." Well, a thanks doesn't provide any useful info at all; a log is much more useful. It's teh best "thank" we can have (besides lots of money, of course )


Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
Well now you've confused me, what are Ubunto and Fedora (other than the kick-ass hat)?
Were we talking about the same thing? I thought you talked about Linux distros, but were you?



Last edited by Digilodger; March 22nd 2011 at 08:48 PM.
   
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 25th 2011, 04:35 AM

Sounds like, 1) You got the "System Tools" virus that is sweeping the web lately, and 2) The tech guy you sent the machine to is either highly incompetent, acting maliciously ensuring you will continue having problems, or both.

If you simply had the drive reformatted and Windows reinstalled, there is no reason the computer should start having overheating problems afterwards. The only cause I can think of is that this "tech guy" was doing stuff he shouldn't. And what kind of nutcase is he to recommend Norton over Symantec when they are both the same stupid piece of cruddy software? Just trying to make you waste money it sounds.

I suggest that you take this thing to a different tech and have it fully checked out. My suspicion is that he might have disconnected a cooling fan or something.
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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 25th 2011, 05:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidZN View Post
Were we talking about the same thing? I thought you talked about Linux distros, but were you?


I had to look up RedHat to be sure and apparently it's with Fedora and some Linux stuff but nothing directly called Linux distros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingTrue View Post
I suggest that you take this thing to a different tech and have it fully checked out. My suspicion is that he might have disconnected a cooling fan or something.
I have a few questions about this. First, is it easy to disconnect a cooling fan? Second, is it easy to connect/disconnect/reconnect a cooling fan? Third, if I were to send it to Dell to get fixed or some other place, how much may it cost? Lastly, is it delicate? That is, if I were to (but have not) try to be adventurous and fiddle with it on my own, is it something that's fragile? I've done numerous dissections on various animals, today involved removing the brain of a locust and fruit fly intact, and last week maintained a beating heart of a live locust after dissection, so I'm fairly dextrous with my hands. Is it something that requires lots of dexterity or something easy?


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Re: Virus, hard-drive wiped and still not working - March 27th 2011, 10:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW!USaidSomethingSmart! View Post
I had to look up RedHat to be sure and apparently it's with Fedora and some Linux stuff but nothing directly called Linux distros.
Awesome, we were talking about the same thing. Now then, back to your original question: What are Ubuntu and Fedora?

Fedora and Ubuntu are the two most-popular Linux-based operating system as of today. (Hence, the name "Linux distros.") Fedora is backed by Redhat Inc.; Ubuntu is backed by Canonical Ltd. So it's safe to assume that both will remain actively developed in the future.

I would say that Fedora and Ubuntu are on par with each other. Neither is better. If you are looking at Linux OS, then either one of these two will be fine.


I can go into details of the fundamental differences between the two if you are seriously looking into trying out Linux OS.

However, once again, I know nothing about Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It aims at the commercial market rather than home users. (Hence, the name "Red Hat Enterprise Linux.") If you want to use Redhat, go for it, but I doubt you would get much support. Personally, for home users, I would recommend Canonial's Ubuntu or Redhat's Fedora instead.



   
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