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Windows 7: Internet connection and search result problems after malware removal..


05 Aug 2010   #1

Vista
 
 
Internet connection and search result problems after malware removal..

I have a long description of the problem that happened. If you find it too long to read, just jump to last para.


I am using Windows 7 Ultimate. I was browsing internet using latest Google Chrome Beta and suddenly I saw Sun Java splash screen. After about a minute, I got two UAC prompts to allow couple of files in Appdata/Local/Temp folder to which I clicked "No". Immediately after that windows rebooted, and after restarting, I started getting the messages that system is infected and some fake scans started running. I found out the location of the files in task manager and manually deleted all the files. There was one "C:\settingsxx.exe\settingsxx.exe" in my startup files list (checked using CCleaner) which was not showing in explorer, so I booted into ubuntu (I have wubi installation) and deleted the settingsxx folder. Then rebooted into Windows 7, and ran CCleaner. At this point, my internet was acting wonky - search results were getting redirected to some google-like page but url read 'search.search-star.com'. No other site was opening. I unchecked the proxy options in IE options which this malware must have enabled, but still no help. Then I ran a full scan using MS Security Essentials. It caught many malwares and I removed them all. A restart later, internet works and search does not get redirected, but search results dont look right anymore. First, while all other website open pretty fast, it takes quite long to fetch search results from google/bing/yahoo, which used to be instantaneous. Then once the results do appear, they clearly look fishy. For example this is link to google search results to query 'hello' on my system right now, whereas this is what normal results look like. Similar issues are appearing with Bing and Yahoo search results too. Here for example is bing result to search query 'hello' and this is another example of google's messed up search results. I ran the SuperAntiSpyware complete-scan and it did not find anything significant. So looks like I am free of malware, but some setting got changed which is causing this whole issue.

Another weird thing is that as soon as I run portable ubuntu inside my windows (so that I could use firefox in that environment), internet and search seem to work fine inside portable ubuntu, but after a few seconds internet completely breaks, and stops working altogether (in portable ubuntu as well as my Windows 7). It needs a full system restart to get the internet to start working again, logging-off and back on does not help.

One interesting thing throughout this whole issue was that while all programs that access internet stop working (e.g. IE, Firefox, Chome, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Update etc), my VoIP SIP client X-Lite has always been able to stay connected to internet. It never experienced the internet breakage issue that other programs were experiencing since the start of this whole issue, and even now when internet on all else stops working, it can still stay connected.


So, in short, here is my problem - After removing the malware which infected my system in the first place, I am left with broken search (takes 10-14 seconds to return results even though results are being generated in less than one second) and wonky internet (breaks when portable ubuntu is run and needs restart to start working again) which does not somehow effect my VoIP SIP app. I have tried everything I could possibly do to help myself, but now I have no way but to ask for help from people who know better than me. Please guide me!! TIA


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Try to scan your computer using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Download it from here. Install it, and be sure to update it before running a FULL scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2010   #3

windows 7 ultimate 64 bit,Windows 7 ultimate 32 bit,Windows XP sp3 home
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by taylormah View Post
I have a long description of the problem that happened. If you find it too long to read, just jump to last para.



So, in short, here is my problem - After removing the malware which infected my system in the first place, I am left with broken search (takes 10-14 seconds to return results even though results are being generated in less than one second) and wonky internet (breaks when portable ubuntu is run and needs restart to start working again) which does not somehow effect my VoIP SIP app. I have tried everything I could possibly do to help myself, but now I have no way but to ask for help from people who know better than me. Please guide me!! TIA
1.run the mbam scan as advised followed by one with hitman pro.
2.check your host files
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Aug 2010   #4

 
Safe Mode

Taylor, reboot using F-8 in safe mode, this disables most of the non essential drivers including any remaining trojans/malware and then launch Malawarebytes in admin mode and perform a full scan and tell us what transpired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Do as said above, but also flush your DNS cache. This will restore your Hosts file and clear DNS cache:

Copy and paste these lines in Note pad.
@Echo on
pushd\windows\system32\drivers\etc
attrib -h -s -r hosts
echo 127.0.0.1 localhost>HOSTS
attrib +r +h +s hosts
popd
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew
ipconfig /flushdns
netsh winsock reset all
netsh int ip reset all
shutdown -r -t 1
del %0

Save as flush.bat to your desktop. Right click and run as Administrator. Your computer will restart itself.

Now download TFS by Old Timer TFC - Temp File Cleaner by OldTimer - Geeks to Go! and save it to your desktop.
Save any unsaved work. TFC will close ALL open programs including your browser!
Double-click on TFC.exe to run it. If you are using Vista/Windows 7 right-click on the file and choose Run As Administrator.
Click the Start button to begin the cleaning process and let it run uninterrupted to completion.

Important! If TFC prompts you to reboot, please do so immediately. If not prompted, manually reboot the machine anyway to ensure a complete clean.
TFC (Temp File Cleaner) will clear out all temp folders for all user accounts (temp, IE temp, java, FF, Opera, Chrome, Safari), including Administrator, All Users, LocalService, NetworkService, and any other accounts in the user folder. It also cleans out the %systemroot%\temp folder and checks for .tmp files in the %systemdrive% root folder, %systemroot%, and the system32 folder (both 32bit and 64bit on 64bit OSs). It shows the amount removed for each location found (in bytes) and the total removed (in MB). Before running, it will stop Explorer and all other running apps. When finished, if a reboot is required the user must reboot to finish clearing any in-use temp files.

TFC only cleans temp folders. TFC will not clean URL history, prefetch, or cookies. Depending on how often someone cleans their temp folders, their system hardware, and how many accounts are present, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more. TFC will completely clear all temp files where other temp file cleaners may fail. TFC requires a reboot immediately after running. Be sure to save any unsaved work before running TFC.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Internet connection and search result problems after malware removal..




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