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Windows 7: netsh.exe keeps adding a "block everything" rule in Windows Firewall

24 Mar 2018   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Enterprise
netsh.exe keeps adding a "block everything" rule in Windows Firewall

The rule name is a string of apparently random letters, always the same letters (4jxr4b3r3du76ina39a98x8k2). It's an Outbound rule that blocks Any Program, any Local address, remote address from 8000::/1 to ::/1 under any protocol.

According to Event Viewer, it is being added from a file called netsh.exe sitting in sysWOW64, rather than system32, which I find suspicious, but neither Avaast nor MalwareBytes found a threat in the file, or anywhere on the system. The file is one of the "accepted" file sizes for netsh.exe, and my googling hasn't turned up anything definitive on whether it is ever found in sysWOW64 (I do also have a netsh.exe file of a different size (also "normal" size) in system32).

It adds the rule then removes it about a minute later, and then two seconds after that adds it again--it does this over thirty times, and eventually settles down and stops. If I disable then delete it, it doesn't seem to add it back. When I restart the system, it adds the rule back in again and starts the in-out dance again.

This problem only started today; coincided with my Ethernet over Power having a hissy fit, but the problem seems to remain once I've switched to a wireless dongle--I suspect the EoP thing is a coincidence, as the connection quality had been deteriorating a while. There are no new updates or installations between yesterday, when it was working fine, and today.

I can delete the rule and browse normally, but obviously this is a kinda crappy experience, and I'm concerned there's something malicious going on. I'd really appreciate any next-steps advice. Thank you for your time.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 netsh.exe keeps adding a "block everything" rule in Windows Firewall

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